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  • 2. Hospital

    Sick and wounded soldiers could be treated at the hospital, which was designed with the health and recovery of the patients in mind. High ceilings on the second floor allowed for better ventilation and porches surrounding the building meant open air, where soldiers could convalesce and perhaps be restored to good health. A surgeon was in charge of the medical team that would provide treatment; however, the surgeon was the only one who received formal medical training. Despite the design of the hospital and the training of the surgeon, treatment here often impeded recovery rather than aiding it, due to the medical practices of the time. Consider the case of Private Frederick Roderwald, who broke two bones in his left leg while attempting to leap over a garden fence. Since it was a compound fracture, amputation was required to avoid the onset of gangrene. Roderwald was lucky that he recovered, especially since the amputation was performed not by the surgeon (who was away from the post that day), but by the steward (a soldier who maintained the hospital supplies and had no formal medical training).