Kill Count Vs. Wounded TBR Mentality

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the medical aspect of the American Civil War, and I’d like to share some thoughts floating around in my mind. To start off with, I often imagine that soldiers went into battle with the mentality that Legolas and Gimli, (from The Lord of the Rings) have, which is “what will my final kill count be?”

Legolas and Gimli

Or, maybe they went into battle thinking, “I hope I don’t die today.” I know this would be my way of thinking, were I to fight. Regardless, in reading about the use of ambulances in the Civil War, I’ve come to realize that soldiers serving as nurses or surgeons had a much different mentality altogether.

They thought about the wounded TBR, that’s “to be received” in case you’re wondering. Add number 55 to TBR definitions!

Anyway, the soldiers serving in this capacity had several ambulance wagons, one medical supply wagon, and an army wagon per brigade (more on this later). And, once they received wounded, they had to care for them out of a make-shift hospital setup. Tents simply could not be set up since during battles a place that may at one time be safe may later become dangerous, taking into account that the enemy could gain the upper-hand as the battle progressed.

Thus, these serving soldiers had a high level of anxiety, I imagine, as to not only how many there would be of wounded TBR but also to whether or not they would be captured themselves. What an odd way of becoming a POW that must have been!

I am now fascinated at thinking about how different soldiers thought about entering battles. I’m sure cavalry men approached battle much different from artillery men, and artillery men even more differently than naval men!

Until next time, Think as pertains to your position…





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