An Interview with Kathryn Shively Meier

Our conversation with Kathryn Shively Meier, an assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of “Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia,” published by the University of North Carolina Press. In the interview, Dr. Meier touches on the antebellum medical situation and how this impacts initial thoughts of Civil War soldiers in 1862 Virginia. She describes how these soldiers evolved in their own thinking for their physical and mental well being and how this led to what she terms as “self-care” to ensure their survival.

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[M]y plans are perfect, and when I start to carry them out, may God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none.” So said Major General Joseph Hooker…