Exhibit shows toll on wounded soldiers

The national traveling exhibit “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War,” is on display in the lobby of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library through Dec. 13.

Curated by the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, the exhibit explores the experiences of disabled Civil War veterans.

Beth Stahr, head of reference and instruction at the library and coordinator of the showing, said the exhibit notes the hundreds of thousands of soldiers — many as young as 18 — who were wounded in the war but survived.

“The exhibit highlights the brutality of operations near the battlefields and the challenges of caring for the wounded soldiers during the Civil War,” she said. “It is estimated that about three-quarters of all the operations performed during the war were amputations, sometimes undertaken without anesthesia. The exhibit shows the realities of wartime and the scale of the carnage.”

The exhibition is free.