Civil War medicine is topic of lecture

A group of escaped slaves working for the Union Army (courtesy of the US Military History Institute).

A group of escaped slaves working for the Union Army (courtesy of the US Military History Institute).

Betsy Estilow, a professor emeritus of biology at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and a lecturer in Civil War history, presents “Overlooked and Undervalued: The Role of African Americans in Civil War Medicine” 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, at the Tyler History Center in downtown Youngstown.

The free presentation is sponsored by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society in partnership with Youngstown State University’s Melnick Medical Museum.

Estilow earned a bachelor’s degree from Albright College and a master’s degree in Medical Technology specializing in medical microbiology from West Virginia University. While she has been studying Civil War history since childhood, 30 years ago she began actively researching the role of women. Combining her interest in medical care and women has led her to an intense study of civil war medicine. She serves as the president of the Board of Directors for the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland, where she helped in the research and design of the exhibits. She serves as a docent for the museum and developed walking tours of medical sites in downtown Frederick.

In addition, Estilow is a co-founder of the Society for Women and the Civil War, a national organization dedicated to recognizing the role of women from 1861 – 1865. She has given numerous presentations at conferences and at Civil War Roundtables on topics such as Compassion Afloat: Life aboard the Hospital Ships, Field Hospitals at South Mountain, and women such as Mary Bickerdyke and Ella Newsom. She has published in The Journal of Woman’s Civil War History and is the author of a book entitled Doing My Duty: The Wartime Experiences of John S. Hard. Estilow also researched and designed a walking tour of Middletown for the 150th celebration of the South Mountain battles.

For more information, contact the Mahoning Valley Historical Society at 330-743-2589 or Cassie Nespor, Melnick Medical Museum, at 330-941-3487