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Health Sciences Library hosting exhibit on African Americans in Civil War medicine

African American health care workers

Fugitive slaves, known as “contraband” worked for the Union Army as nurses, cooks, laudresses, and laborers. The people in this photograph served with the 13th Massachusetts Infantry, circa 1863-1865. Photograph courtesy Massachusetts Commandery Military Order of the Loyal Legion.

The Health Sciences Library is hosting a National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit titled “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine.”

“Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries,” which consists of a traveling banner exhibition and a companion website, explores the stories of African American men and women who, during the American Civil War, overcame prejudices to serve as soldiers, nurses, surgeons, laundresses, cooks, and laborers. Their participation in the war challenged the prescribed notions about race and gender and pushed the boundaries of the role of black people in America.

“Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries,” guest curated by Jill L. Newmark, also includes an education component that features two K-12 lesson plans and a university module.

This exhibit will be at the library through April 3. More information is available at”