Civil War traveling exhibit on display at Gundersen

'Life and Limb - The Toll of American Civil War' on display at hospital lobby

A unique glimpse into a piece of medical history comes to town.

“Life and Limb – The Toll of the American Civil War” is on display at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

The traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health looks at the hundreds of thousands of men who had limbs amputated to save lives. And that work inspired some modern medical treatment.

“A lot of that work done on the battlefield really led to the development of the specialty of orthopedic surgery, so what was learned on the battlefield was applied later in medical practice,” said Melinda Orebaugh, director of library and patient education services at Gundersen.

There are some Wisconsin ties shown with the exhibit too thanks to collaboration with UW-La Crosse, the public library’s archives, and a local photographer.

Sections in the exhibit highlight:

The Horrors of War
Maimed Men
Honorable Scars
The Empty Sleeve
Sacrifices Forgotten

You can see the display for yourself in the hospital lobby. It’s open through July 19.