NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Cammie G. Henry Research Center is hosting an exhibit that examines 19th century medical practices in the region. “The Civil War: A Look at the Development of Medicine in Louisiana and the United States through the Civil War” will be up through December, according to University Archivist Mary Linn Wernet. The exhibit was a cooperative effort between Wernet and Kiley Hayes Folgert, a summer intern.
“Overall, this exhibit takes a look at the medical situation throughout the Civil War in Louisiana and on a national level as well,” Folgert said. “We took a look at necessary supplies, problems in procuring them, as well as how these challenges were overcome or surpassed in order to make sure soldiers and families back home were provided for and taken care of. It also looks at how the lack of supplies and lack of knowledge about certain medical conditions paved the way for important medical developments and inventions that we continue to utilize today.”
The majority of the exhibit uses materials from the Egan Collection, an extensive compilation of records from the family of Dr. Bartholomew Egan, a Bienville Parish physician and educator who served as surgeon general of Louisiana under the Confederate government. Egan founded Mt. Lebanon Baptist College for Men, where early pharmaceutical research took place as compounds were developed to treat soldiers wounded in the Civil War.
“This exhibition shows the development and circumstances surrounding medicine throughout the Civil War,” Folgert said. “Through personal experience as the Surgeon General and also through correspondence with the governor while running the State Medical Laboratory, we are able to see the ever-changing situation in the south.”
Folgert is pursuing a graduate degree in library and information sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and spent the summer completing fieldwork hours in the university Archives and the Cammie G. Henry Research Center, housed on the third floor of NSU’s Watson Library. The Research Center is home to several extensive collections of Louisiana books, rare books, archival materials, NSU Archives, microfilm, maps, newspapers and oral history tapes.
The exhibit begins in the hall of the third floor of the Watson Library and continues in the Cammie G. Henry Research Center. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday. Due to limited staff, it is highly recommended that those interested in viewing the exhibit call (318) 357-4585 or email email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> before traveling to the center.