Civil War Wounds

As we remember this Memorial Day the countless Americans over the decades who have served in the military and ‘gave their all’ to this country, and as you examine your own ancestors, here is one event from the era of the American Civil War (1861-1865) not known as well.

With the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, in April 1862, the battle produced many casualties (estimated at 16,000) on both sides. Many had to lay for hours and even days on the ground with not enough medical personnel and equipment during the fighting to help those soldiers. Those still conscious began to notice that their wounds began to glow a faint greenish-blue at night, giving off a gentle luminescence.

Eventually, as the wound men were carted to an Army field hospital to be treated, it was noticed that the men who did have the greenish-blue tended to recover vs those who did not have the greenish-blue on the wound. Their wounds were cleaner, and heal quicker. Doctors had no explanation. The term applied for this was ‘Angel’s Glow’.

Those survivors who told their family over the years had a hard time convincing them. There just seems like no real reason.

Decades later in 2001 a microbiologist studied the soil bacterium at the Shiloh battlefield and saw it was bioluminescent – that it gave off its own glow. It appeared the bacteria had its own glow. It was studied and learned the bacteria could survive in a cool human body. That was the key – the soldiers had laid on a cold ground for days. As they laid there they got the contaminated soil in their wounds. This glowing bacteria could kill off some of the more harmful bacteria the soldier had in his open wounds. It was a form of an antibiotic.

Were any of your ancestors (of either side) at the Battle of Shiloh? That is worth checking out.

Photos: Battle of Shiloh, TN; Angel Glow; and Shiloh.

Related Blogs:

Georgia Confederates

Civil War Ancestors

Ancestors – Civil War

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