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Renovated Medicine 
Museum Slated to Reopen

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is pleased to announce that the newly renovated museum building will be opening in October 2000 in the heart of downtown Frederick, Maryland. The official ribbon cutting is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, at 10:00 AM.

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is presently the only known museum in the nation devoted exclusively to the study and interpretation of Civil War medicine. The museum is devoted to telling the medical side of the drama of the American Civil War. It is a story of care and healing, courage and devotion amidst the death and destruction of war. It is also a story of major advances that changed medicine forever and of thousands of men and women who risked everything to make a terrible situation better. Through the dedication, innovation, and devotion of Civil War surgeons and medical support staff on both sides of the conflict, the foundation for today's modern military medicine was laid. Their tenacity and compassion to heal stemmed a casualty rate that could have easily been twice the 620,000 who died.

The museum building at 48 East Patrick Street in downtown Frederick is currently undergoing a $2 million dollar renovation. Funding for the improvements came from the State of Maryland and the Judge Edward S. Delaplaine Charitable Trust of Frederick, each supplying $1 million dollars. The state also contributed $750,000 toward the design and construction of the new exhibits. When construction is completed in September 2000, the museum will have nearly 7,000 square feet of exhibit space on two floors. The museum will feature five immersion exhibits that bring the visitor into the setting and vividly illustrate different aspects of Civil War medicine. This is accomplished by minimizing the physical barriers that usually separate the visitor from the exhibit. The renovated museum will also have an expanded museum store & research library, administrative offices, and a large meeting and conference room that will be available for group bookings both day and evening.

The first immersion exhibit the visitor will encounter will be Camp Life, portraying a typical camp scene at morning sick call, complete with the only known surviving Civil War surgeon's tent. The second immersion scene will be Medical Evacuation, highlighting the methods used to remove wounded men from the battlefield. Featured objects will include Union and Confederate stretchers and items pertaining to veterinary medicine. The third will be a Field Dressing Station where the wounded soldier received his first medical care. A series of field medical cases will be one part of this display. The fourth immersion exhibit will be a Field Hospital, showing a surgical scene reminiscent of the one in the German bank barn used by the Union Second Corps after the battle of Gettysburg. Authentic surgical kits and medical supply chests will be part of the exhibit. The fifth immersion scene will be a Pavilion Hospital, a recreation of a ward in a large General Hospital, usually the last stop for a wounded soldier on the road to recovery. This display will feature a surviving Union hospital garrison flag and will include information on nurses, hospital stewards, and civilian relief associations. In addition to the immersion scenes, the museum will also have exhibits on medical education, recruiting, dentistry, naval medicine, pharmaceuticals, and herbal remedies. There will also be space for temporary exhibits.

Frederick, Maryland, offers a strategic location for the museum. It is centrally located within a thirty minute drive to five major Civil War battlefields: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Harper's Ferry, West Virginia; Antietam, Maryland; South Mountain, Maryland; and Monocacy, Maryland. The close proximity of these battle sites led to the city of Frederick becoming a major hospital center during the Civil War. Twenty-eight sites in Frederick city were taken over as hospitals after the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. Numerous private homes were also used for injured military officers. One Civil War hospital site is directly across the street from the museum on East Patrick Street. The museum building itself was a furniture shop and undertaking establishment during the War and was used as a station to embalm the dead after the battles of South Mountain and Antietam.

The renovated museum at 48 East Patrick Street will open in October 2000. The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It is closed New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Admission at the downtown site will be $6.50 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4.50 for children 10-16, and $1 for children 6-9. Children 5 and under are free. Docent-guided tours will also be available to groups, but must be booked in advance.

For More Information: Telephone: (301) 695-1864.

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