Through the Eyes of  Field Surgeon
By: Alexander Breen

      Pt. Renalds, was assigned his job as a field surgeon three weeks after he was enlisted in the war. Pt. Renalds had much to say when we asked him about his experience after we visited the battle sight.

He spoke much of his experiences with amputation.

He explains it as, “Quite horrifying watching the patients struggle as the chloroform entered their bodies. They became wild eyed and tried to rise quickly and get away. The most basic way for bullets was the amputate the limb. We left those with abdominal wounds to die in the field. Nothing is worst than watching a brother or neighbor or good friend dying.”

Pt. Renalds first was action in Manasas. Many of the field sergeants are very little education. Renalds speaks of his little time in medical school after enlisting to the Confederate Army.

“It was nothing much, that we learned in medical school. I attended at the University of Atlanta. We were taught the basic amputation ways and how to keep out our equipment clean. From there we went into the battlefield. We'd look in the battlefield to see if there was anyone who we could help.” says Renalds.

“This is a life changing experience which, for some reason, has made me want to study more. I just wish the Union would let us separate, and I could serve the Confederate States of America by being a doctor,” Renalds said.

Pt. Renalds is planning to stay in the army until 1864 and will stop serving. From their he plans on getting his medical degree.