Virchow's work was extremely important
in relation to the Civil War and how medicine evolved. Being the
'father' of cellular pathology' he advanced the understanding of the process
of disease and contributed to the survival of those afflicted with diseases
which were the number one reason for death during the War.
A German pathologist, Virchow opposed
the idea that disease was an affliction of the body at large or one of its
humor, wanting to find the anatomical location of diseases. In Die
Cellularpathologie (Cellular Pathology, 1858, English translation 1860),
he set out methods and objectives of pathology and demonstrated that cell
theory applied to diseased tissue as well as healthy. He summarized the cell
theory with the Latin phrase "omnis cellula a cellula" (all cells arise from
cells) in 1855. Joseph Javier Woodward, who wrote the landmark Civil War
manual The Hospital Steward's Manual, referenced and respected the
groundbreaking work of Virchow. Woodward praised Virchow in this quote, "he
has contributed perhaps more than any other single individual...to the
progress in which scientific medicine has achieved in recent years".
Garrison Morton 2299
- "One of the most important books in the
history of medicine". and the very foundation of cellular pathology,
establishing that developed tissue can be tracked back only to a cell.
From PMM 307c
- Virchow was the 1st to state the now universally
accepted axiom, "Where a cell originates it must have been preceded by
another cell, just as animals are produced only by other animals and plants
by other plants".
The U.S. Army Medical Department stamp states that this book was issued to
surgeons and medical personnel during the Civil War. The National Library of
Medicine states in an
article by Wyndam Miles that
these books were issued in limited numbers (page 5) which makes a marked
book all the more rare. With disease killing twice as many men than gunshot
wounds this book would have been instrumental in preventing these diseases