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Mon, Jun 24

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Highlands

One Continuous Grave How Infectious Disease Remade the American Revolution

One of the least studied aspects of the American Revolution is how it was influenced by smallpox, dysentery, typhus, yellow fever, malaria, and other epidemics diseases.

One Continuous Grave How Infectious Disease Remade the American Revolution
One Continuous Grave How Infectious Disease Remade the American Revolution

Time & Location

Jun 24, 2024, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Highlands, 348 S 5th St, Highlands, NC 28741, USA

About the Event

One of the least studied aspects of the American Revolution is how it was influenced by smallpox, dysentery, typhus, yellow fever, malaria, and other epidemics diseases. American invaders might have succeeded in bringing two additional British colonies into the United States had they not been stopped in their tracks by smallpox and malaria. But epidemics by no means suppressed humans’ free will. The Continental Army shrank during the winter of 1776-1777, when it most needed to expand because Continental soldiers refused to reenlist, and other young men declined to sign up, until the army took better care of the troops’ health. In February 1777, George Washington got the message, inoculating the Continental Army against smallpox, saving thousands of soldiers’ lives and reopening the recruitment valve. Disease was a story about women as well as men. Women succumbed to infectious diseases spread by the war and battled disease as army nurses and even as laundresses required to wash shirts infested with lice and the deadly typhus virus.

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