Billie Creek Village Civil War Days will present Fred Schaefer at its upcoming event, set for June 12-13.
Schaefer will present talks and demonstrations throughout the weekend.
The Civil War presented many challenges for surgeons, nurses and other healthcare providers.
In the mid-1800s, standardization of schooling and care did not exist. Medical colleges and apprenticeships to a doctor taught the skills necessary to become a surgeon. Men dominated all parts of the medical field. Even nursing was initially a job for men.
Hospitals were called pest houses because they treated victims of pestilence. Sanitary regulations were nonexistent.
During this time, war produced masses of wounded and dying men who overwhelmed the regular Army Medical Corps and private hospitals. The chance of a Civil War soldier not going home alive was about one in four. Disease took more lives than the famed Minie Ball. Bacteria and germs were not yet known to cause diseases and infections. In all, supplying and caring for the ill and wounded soldier was a tremendous task.
Few know what it was like to live through those years.
The Mid States Living History Association to which Schaefer is a part of exists to bring some of what needs to be told.
Schaefer, a senior surgical assistant with Ortho Indy, a small, private hospital specializing in the care of many of the same types of injuries and procedures that faced the physicians of the Civil War almost a century and a half ago.
Beside medicine being his vocation, re-enacting the life of a surgeon is also his avocation which he practices regularly both in the Indianapolis area and around the Midwest.
He is affiliated with the Lilly Museum of the one Civil War Monument Circle.
Schaefer will speak at 5 p.m., June 12, on Gangrene and Glory in the Livery Barn and again Sunday, June 13, at 10 a.m., at the same location.