This article is supposed to be about a Civil War era black woman doctor, but it is disappointingly light on details for her. There is this statement, though: “The Civil War, says James Downs, a professor of history at Connecticut College, “was the largest biological catastrophe of the 19th century. More soldiers died from disease than from battle or even battlefield wounds.” An interesting reframing of the discussion, which always looked at the war deaths as military, rather than medical byproducts!
It was an almost unimaginable public health crisis, and in 1865, Dr. Crumpler — one of the few Black women employed by Freedmen’s Bureau — rushed headlong into the breach, leaving Boston for Richmond to minister to the medical needs of as many of the freed slaves as she could. In addition to her desire to help a population of more than 30,000 people, she knew her extensive field experience in Virginia would provide her “ample opportunities to become acquainted with the diseases of women and children.” Accor