Secrets They Forgot To Put In Your History Books~
America’s Civil War Soldiers Suffered From PTSD-
Put On Train Cars, Names Pinned To Their Clothing, They Were Left To Wonder The Countryside Dying From Exposure- Photo Library of Congress
Military docs were barely able to discharge the most severe cases of psychological breakdown during the first few years of the Civil War. “They were put on trains with no supervision, the name of their home town or state pinned to their shirts, others were left to wander about the countryside until they died from exposure or starvation,” - Richard A. Gabriel, a consultant to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees and one of the foremost chroniclers of PTSD.
The number of these wayward veterans was sufficient to prompt a public outcry that led to the establishment of the first American military hospital for the insane in 1863, where patients were expected to remain until they could be claimed by a family member. It was reportedly surprising to some Civil War physicians that soldiers on normal leave often collapsed with emotional illness at home, even when they had shown no symptoms of mental debilitation before they had left the fighting.
Jacob Mendes Da Costa first described “disorderly action of the heart” during a lecture on cardiac strain in 1874. His original explanation of the condition was based on his observations of soldiers during the Civil War. Physicians were merely trying to explain in etiological terms what they were observing in veterans: increased pulse rate and blood pressure, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness, and fatigue. This led to the condition becoming colloquially known as “soldier’s heart.”