Reprise: Embalming

As Sergeant Timothy Chase of the 29th Massachusetts discovers (Chapter 8: General Burnside’s Truce), embalming of the dead was a gruesome business.

Yet it was essential if a soldier’s loved ones were to be able to identify a son, brother or father a week or more after his death.

It was rarely available, however, to privates or sergeants, except through the U.S. Sanitary Commission which, of course, did not attend to the Confederate dead.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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