Calendar of Events

Artificial Limbs During the Civil War

Ongoing Opportunities

  • November 8 at 7 PM

Join the National Museum of Civil War Medicine on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7 PM as Dr. Guy Hasegawa discusses his extensive research into the development and use of artificial limbs during the Civil War era. 

This is a “pay-what-you-please” event. Dr. Hasegawa’s book, Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs will be available for purchase during the program.

Interest in artificial limbs in the United States began to grow in the years before the Civil War as industrial, farming, and railroad accidents became more common. Large manufacturers, based almost exclusively in the North, developed elegant articulated devices made primarily of wood and outfitted with ingenious systems of hinges, cords, and springs. The large and growing pool of amputees created by the war intensified competition among Northern firms and prompted the establishment of a small number of limb companies in the South. The U.S. government and a private Southern organization worked with some of these firms during the war to provide military amputees with artificial limbs.

Doors open at 6:30 PM.

Guy R. Hasegawa received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of California, San Francisco. After completing a residency in hospital pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he worked as a clinical pharmacist at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he also served as Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. Since 1988, he has worked for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in Bethesda, Maryland, as an editor for the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. His pharmacy-related publications date back to 1978. Dr. Hasegawa’s research in Civil War medicine has dealt with diverse topics, including pharmacy, medical purveying, medical cadets, chemical weapons, and artificial limbs. He has published numerous historical articles in scholarly journals and contributed a chapter to the book Years of Change and Suffering, which he coedited with James M. Schmidt. His latest books are Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs (2012) and Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War(2015).