REMEMBER ME: LETTERS HOME FROM A HOSPITAL STEWARD DURING THE CIVIL WAR, 1862-1864, DANIEL McKINLEY MARTIN, 2010 by Alan I. West. "One of the most common problems facing diary editors is determining how to arrange the collection of letters into a concise and meaningful format. Alan West has done the best job solving this problem that this reviewer has seen. He successfully creates the proper context in which to study the person as an individual, as well as through his family and profession." (CIVIL WAR NEWS, Jan. 2011 online) Daniel Martin was working as a druggist's clerk in Pittsburgh at the outbreak of the Civil War, and in the spring of 1862 he traveled to Wheeling to join a regiment with friends and neighbors from the Pittsburgh area. Leaving behind his young family, Daniel spent much of the war engaged in actions throughout West Virginia. Two hundred, thirty of his letters, his 1863 diary and a number of his possessions have survived. Daniel¿s voice provides original and important material on nineteenth century diseases, injuries and death, medicine, and the fight to control the rugged and independently-minded western Virginia. There have been numerous collections of letters published about the Civil War, but few from hospital stewards. Accompanied by well-researched descriptions of diseases, medical theories, the roles of hospital stewards, and the political and social venue of southwestern Pennsylvania, the reader is able to view these letters in the context within which they were written. Daniel never achieved fame or fortune during his lifetime; however, his letters are rich with the day-to-day fears, tribulations and triumphs of a hospital steward during the Civil War, a time when medicine was in its infancy, germ theory was unknown, but efforts to save lives were heroic. Daniel speaks of financial hardships, secessionist, medicine, diseases, generals, patriotism, the deaths of his two brothers in battle, his fellow soldiers and medical officers, battles, politics, slavery, religion, and family squabbles. This book will be of interest to anyone fascinated with life during the 1860s, the Civil War, the history of medicine, the history of Pittsburgh, Chambersburg, and their environs, and West Virginia, from where most of the letters were written. It is also a nineteenth century love story between Daniel and his beloved Annie, who still remain together for eternity in a Philadelphia cemetery.
"This book has tremendous appeal to a wide audience. It is reasonably priced, well written and extensively researched. I encourage any reader with an interest in any aspect of the medical profession to purchase this book as a useful reference on how medicine was practiced during the Civil War." (CIVIL WAR NEWS, Jan. 2011 online) See Richard J. Blumberg's entire book review at: http://www.civilwarnews.com/reviews/2011br/jan/remember-west-b011107.html.
342 pages, 7 x 11 Soft cover with extensive index