A short article from Smithsonian.com mentions an intriguing new book. Given the subject, I’m guessing it will be a lot like the morose yet fascinating This Republic of Suffering. I’ve added it to my wish list.
Caroline Hancock was 23 when she served as a nurse after the Battle of Gettysburg, in 1863. She found the smell of the decaying bodies so strong that “she viewed it as an oppressive, malignant force, capable of killing the wounded men who were forced to lie amid the corpses until the medical corps could reach them,” writes Rebecca Onion for Slate’s history blog, The Vault. Hancock’s account is published in a new book called The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War, by Mark Smith, a history professor at the University of South Carolina.