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Surgical instruments and case

Surgical instruments and case

Surgeons faced agonizing conditions in field hospitals, with hundreds of devastating injuries and unsanitary tools. Despite the surgeons' best efforts, many soldiers died of infection. This case of surgical instruments belonged to William Leonard of the Fifth Minnesota Regiment. It includes a variety of tools, from a bone saw to suture needles. Hygiene was so poor, and time was so precious during a battle, that tools were often not washed between surgeries, or simply rinsed in cold water.

Date: 
ca. 1861-1865
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