Term Paper: Todd Quintard: Civil War Doctor

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[. . .] Quintard's diary was not only of the military workings of the high command. These details were captured more by accident than design as Quintard's diary was focused on the everyday life which he encountered as part of the Tennessean militia. As mentioned previously, Quintard was not charged with the duty of winning battles. His job could be determined a success whether or not men won military factories or not. His purpose was ministering to the military man, wounded in body and taxed in spirit by the war effort which raged around him. Quintard was allowed t move with the troops, and observe the backside of a skirmish. At one of the early victories in Tennessee, over 4000 union soldiers were captured. As they lay down their weapons in surrender, Quintard notes "I suppose that we had captured the entire union army" (Elliot, 2003) Quintard writes of his travels to and from the front lines, to and from friends' houses, and of his visits with commanders. He watched the battle between the Monitor and the Virginia, and immediately he recorded the dinner he had with friends, and a book he was given to read. These details have nothing to do with the war effort, but they are related to life. Quintard's purpose was to help aid and assist life, in all its forms throughout the conflict. Doctor Quintard was an enthusiast and an optimist. No man was ever more loyal to his friends than he. His estimate of human character was always based upon whatever good he could find in a man. Nothing was a greater delight to him in recalling the scenes of the war than to describe some deed of heroism, some noble trait of character, or some mark of friendship that was shown him by a soldier; to acknowledge some kindness shown him, or to correct some error of judgment that had been passed upon some actor in the drama of the civil war. Some of the men whom he paused to eulogize were his friends, and Quintard's honesty in his journals is a reminder that wars are not fought by generals who are seated behind well protected battle lines. Battles were fought by friends, who had become soldiers.

In today's society, Quintard's journals would have never been published. Ours is a reformed culture which is increasingly adamant about separating the context of God and religion from the public eye under the guise of a better society. Quintard, however, demonstrated that the separation of church and state is a matter of church power and state power, not a matter of personal belief, or demonstrating those personal beliefs in the public arena. Quintard often spoke to the regiments, and some of his sermon titles were "Your sin will find you out" and "Righteousness exalts a nation." His position as a war chaplain did not cause others to question his loyalty to God because he did not remain a pulpit pounding pacifist in a protected church. Quintard applied his religion as he applies bandages and dressings to wounds. He rejoiced with those after a battlefield victory, such as the surrender of the 4000 Union troops. He also passed through the field hospitals, praying with dying men, some of whom he knew closely. Such is the reputation of a good man, and such was the practice of Quintard as he lived his faith in the most difficult of time.

Quintard allowed the difficulty on the time to help him create a Confederate Soldier's Pocket Manual of Devotions. This book was meant for the soldier to encourage himself during dark and difficult times. The first page, Quintard's call for men to abide faithful to their own duty, was possibly the clearest window into the purpose and desire of Quintard as he spent 4 years serving on the confederate battle fields.


That man leads a sincere Christian life:

Who endeavors to serve and obey God to the best of his understanding and power.

Who strives to please his neighbor to edification.

Who endeavors to do his duty in that state of life unto which it has pleased God to call him.

Whoever would continue in the practice of these things unto his life's end, it is necessary that he should call himself often to an account whether he does so or not; constantly pray for grace to know, and to do his duty; and preserve himself in such a teachable temper as to be always ready to receive the truth when it is fairly proposed to him. (Quintard, 1863)

The significance of Quintard's book is that he is evidence of the power of a unified life, which selects the principles he wished to live by, and then followed through on those principles. He could not stop the war which raged around him, and he couldn't help every dying soldier. But he did help those that were within the scope of his reach. His work also is significant in that it shows that war is not just a matter of military commanders, action - drama scenes, and soldiers running into, and out of battle, as the Hollywood cameras would try to portray it. War is a cultural upheaval that tries men's souls. War does not stop culture and society from operation while it is raging. Ultimately war changed the culture, and changes the person in the same way Dr. Quintard helped them, one person at a time.


Noll, A. (ed.), Doctor Quintard, Chaplain C.S.A.... Sewanee, Tennessee, 1905.

Cunningham, H. Doctors in Gray: The Confederate Medical Service. Louisiana State University Press, 1958

Quintard, Charles Todd. 1824-1898, comp. By The Confederate Soldier's Pocket Manual of Devotions. Charleston: Evans & Cogswell, 1863.

Linderman, G. Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War. 1989.

Wilson, J. And Fiske, J. (ed.) Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889. edited Stanley L. Klos, 1999

Gailor, T. Some Memories. Kingsport, Tenn: Southern… [END OF PREVIEW]

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