'Gettysburg Field Hospital', Pennsylvania, USA, July 1863.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Albumen print of a Union Army hospital tent on the battlefield at Gettysburg. An injured man lies on a table while the surgeon stands nearby with a knife. Several orderlies get ready to hold the wounded man still during amputation, although as one seems to be holding a chloroform inhaler over the patient's face, the others may only be posing for the photograph. Doctors were often overwhelmed by the numbers of casualties and the chances of surviving battlefield surgery were poor. The decisive battle of the American Civil War, Gettysburg was also one of the bloodiest, with over 50,000 men killed or wounded during three days of fighting.