Melanie Kiechle

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Public Talk: What a Stench! The Civil War's Instant Cities

  • American Antiquarian Society 185 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA (map)

When they weren't fighting, Civil War soldiers worried about smelly camps, hospitals, and prisons. The stenches of these spaces reminded soldiers of cities, which were notoriously bad for health. This tour of Civil War smellscapes will explain how wartime smells combined with antebellum medical beliefs to create public health in American cities after the war.