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Trauma and the Civil War

Last Date:

Time: 7 p.m.

Price: Free for members; $10 for non-members


Adams County Historical Society
625 Biglerville Rd
Gettysburg, PA

Is PTSD a barrier to understanding Civil War trauma?

Civil War soldiers were not born without fear or immune to the psychological blows of combat. Survivors often left the battlefield dazed and confused, physically battered, and emotionally gutted. Civil War Americans seemingly had little empathy for soldiers who staggered to the rear, broken down by the violence. They believed that men of courage always persevered, always neutralized negative memories of the battlefield, always did their duty. Why did so many Americans condemn soldiers overwhelmed by the horrors of war as having a flawed character, as being cowardly at heart, as unworthy of being called a man? Historian Peter Carmichael will pursue his question through a range of letters and reports from soldiers and physicians that will shed light on the distinctive ways through which Civil War Americans understood battlefield trauma.

Tickets are free for ACHS members and $10/general admission. Reserve your tickets here:

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