Dr. Horwitz’s Guide to Gunshot Wounds, Circa 1862

The confluence of developments in medical knowledge and military technology enabled doctors to learn a great deal about surgery during the American Civil War. Since, at the war’s outset, very few physicians had any experience treating gunshot wounds, P.J. Horwitz—a Jew from Baltimore and the Union navy’s surgeon general—authored a brief manual on the subject. Here are two excerpts:

Gunshot wounds include all injuries produced by firearms, and partake of the nature both of contused and lacerated wounds. The symptoms of a gunshot wound vary with the parts injured. When the wound is merely fleshy, and the mind of the individual wounded is not directed to the injury, the pain and inconvenience may be so inconsiderable as not to attract his notice, till his attention is called to his condition by the bystanders, or by some circumstances not connected with his injury. . . .

If on first seeing a patient who is wounded he is found to be much prostrated, the best thing to do is to try and soothe him by an encouraging manner, and assurances of his speedy recovery, and at the same to administer such stimulus as he requires, such as brandy and water, a little wine water and ammonia if necessary. Should he complain of much pain, a little laudanum would be serviceable; sometimes also an external warmth may be required.

Read more at Slate

More about: American Civil War, American Jewish History, History & Ideas, Medicine

Planning for the Day after the War in the Gaza Strip

At the center of much political debate in Israel during the past week, as well as, reportedly, of disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington, is the problem of how Gaza should be governed if not by Hamas. Thus far, the IDF has only held on to small parts of the Strip from which it has cleared out the terrorists. Michael Oren lays out the parameters of this debate over what he has previous called Israel’s unsolvable problem, and sets forth ten principles that any plan should adhere to. Herewith, the first five:

  1. Israel retains total security control in Gaza, including control of all borders and crossings, until Hamas is demonstrably defeated. Operations continue in Rafah and elsewhere following effective civilian evacuations. Military and diplomatic efforts to secure the hostages’ release continue unabated.
  2. Civil affairs, including health services and aid distribution, are administered by Gazans unaffiliated with Hamas. The model will be Area B of Judea and Samaria, where Israel is in charge of security and Palestinians are responsible for the civil administration.
  3. The civil administration is supervised by the Palestinian Authority once it is “revitalized.” The PA first meets benchmarks for ending corruption and establishing transparent institutions. The designation and fulfillment of the benchmarks is carried out in coordination with Israel.
  4. The United States sends a greatly expanded and improved version of the Dayton Mission that trained PA police forces in Gaza after Israel’s disengagement.
  5. Abraham Accords countries launch a major inter-Arab initiative to rebuild and modernize Gaza.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship