Civil War Talk Radio: April 18, 2008

Air Date: 041808
Subject: Civil War Medicine
Book: Well Satisfied with My Position: The Civil War Journal of Spencer Bonsall & Civil War Pharmacy: A History of Drugs, Drug Supply and Provision, and Therapeutics for the Union and Confederacy
Guest: Michael A. Flannery

Summary: Professor Michael A. Flannery from the University of Alabama at Birmingham discusses his book Well Satisfied with My Position and Civil War medicinal practices.

Brett’s Summary: Gerry and Michael discuss Michael’s book Well Satisfied with My Position, focusing on Spencer Bonsall, a hospital steward who kept a journal from March 1862 to March 1863. Bonsall joined up with the 81st Pennsylvania and experienced the Peninsula Campaign and the Battle of Fredericksburg firsthand. Bonsall thought highly of George McClellan. Flannery believes Bonsall provides an excellent first person account of camp life for an ordinary soldier. Bonsall traveled the world prior to the Civil War, was highly educated, and wrote in a pleasing hand. He was also a practicing pharmacist during that time. Flannery also discusses at length doctors’ treatments of the day and their oftentimes deadly effects. Gerry asks about Professor Flannery’s other book, Civil War Pharmacy, as well.

Civil War Talk Radio airs most Fridays at 12 PM Pacific on World Talk Radio Studio A. Host Gerry Prokopowicz, the History Chair at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, interviews a guest each week and discusses their interest in the Civil War. Most interviews center around a book or books if the guest is an author. Other guests over the years have included public Historians such as park rangers and museum curators,wargamers, bloggers, and even a member of an American Civil War Round Table located in London, England.

In this series of blog entries, I will be posting air dates, subjects, and guests, and if I have time, I’ll provide a brief summary of the program. You can find all of the past episodes I’ve entered into the blog by clicking on the Civil War Talk Radio category. Each program should appear either on or near the date it was first broadcast.


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