Delivered supplis (food, clothing, etc.) to wounded and sick soldiers. Founded a part of the Red Cross after the civil war.
Typhoid is caused by different species of salmonella bacteria in contaminated water and is also carried by flies from privies and latrines to the food soldiers ingested.Typhus is caused by microorganisms called rickettsia, carried by body lice. Unsanitary conditions allow body lice to survive.The symptoms of typhoid fever were continued fever, perhaps pink skin-spots on the upper abdomen, enlarged spleen, diarrhea, listlessness and sometimes death.Because of the symptoms, often the diseases were confused by physicians.
The procedure for administering the vaccine was itself so crude that it often created problems. Each man would wait in line for a doctor to cut his arm three or four times with a knife, then put a little of the vaccine into the wounds. The doctors "wholesale slashing and cutting of arms" gave the men sore arms for 10 days. Smallpox thrived in dirty conditions and affected soldiers and civilians alike. Prisoners of war on both sides died of the disease. Many poor African-Americans living in dirty refugee camps on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., also perished of smallpox. Their clothes were often sold to secondhand shops, thereby spreading the virus, which could live in the clothes for 18 months.