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How Civil War Medicine Killed President James Garfield

September 20, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

| Pay-What-You-Please

Sixteen years after the end of our nation’s bloodiest conflict, antiquated Civil War medical techniques led to the death of President James Garfield.

A sketch of James Garfield's death scene

When an assassin’s bullet struck James Garfield in July 1881, the battle to save the president’s life began. In the weeks that followed, doctors argued over how to treat the stricken executive. In the end, Dr. D. Willard Bliss took control of Garfield’s recovery and controversy has surrounded his role ever since. Jake Wynn of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine will discuss the history of Garfield’s recovery and how antiquated techniques learned by Dr. Bliss during his Civil War experience played a role in James Garfield’s death in September 1881.

The presentation will take place on September 20 at 6:00 PM at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office. It will be a “pay-what-you-please” presentation.

Jake Wynn is the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. He also writes independently at the Wynning History blog.


September 20, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Jake Wynn
301-695-1864, ext. 1009


Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum
437 7th Street NW
Washington, 20004 United States
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