GDG- Now: CW PTSD was: Custer: G'burg, LBH & Philbrick

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at
Sat Jan 21 12:44:54 CST 2012

Hi Margaret.
But people do that (drink themselves to death) all the time.
I think a better explanation might be is that war changes all whom it 
touches, and different individuials handle it differently.
We just put a name on it now.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Margaret D. Blough" <mdblough1 at>
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at>
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: GDG- Now: CW PTSD was: Custer: G'burg, LBH & Philbrick

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Michael-
> I think it would be very tough, in the absence of ability to ask follow up 
> questions, to distinguish between the fact that being in combat changes a 
> person (also complicated in the Civil War by the fact that, in some cases, 
> the person might be years older than when hen left) and an incapacitating 
> mental disorder. One case in which I know it's suspected is Tom 
> Chamberlain, Joshua's younger brother. Tom drank himself to death.
> Regards,
> Margaret
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael DiLauro" <madpd2001 at>
> To: gettysburg at
> Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 6:07:07 PM
> Subject: Re: GDG- Now: CW PTSD was: Custer: G'burg, LBH & Philbrick
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> At the risk of going off-topic let me try this...
> Having handled about a 1/2 dozen NGRI cases over the years the challenge 
> always is having your expert shrink or psychologist reconstruct the 
> defendant's state of mind at the time the crime was committed. (Although I 
> had a case once where the client went to see a shrink somewhere between 
> the 1st and 3rd murders. As an expert witness he was allowed to opine 
> about the defendant's condition at the time he examined him but could not 
> render an opinion on the ultimate issue of NGRI.)
> The 'lookback' is done via a psychiatric examination which includes 1) 
> interviewing the defendant 2) reviewing prior treatment records if they 
> exist 3) talking to friends and family members about D's behavior 4) 
> sometimes neuropsychological testing and MRI. With an adequate evidentiary 
> foundation and properly qualified expert he/she can speak to D's state of 
> mind at the time of the crime and the ultimate issue of whether D meets 
> legal criteria for NGRI. And I'm pretty sure that PTSD is a recognized 
> psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM IV.
> Now for our ACW friends alot of this stuff is impossible due to the 
> passage of time and lack of technology. Also what was the state of medical 
> record keeping at the time of the ACW and thereafter? If decent then there 
> could be alot of good information that would speak to the issue of PTSD. 
> And of course any recollections of friends, family members, co-workers, 
> etc. would be very valuable, as it is today.
> From a legal standpoint a historian would not be qualified to speak to the 
> issue. But a shrink or psychologist with an interest in history would 
> certainly be qualified to speak to the issues involved in any serious 
> treatment of the issue.
> Finally, my physicians assistant is an ACW buff and got me involved in the 
> RICWRT. I will ask him the next time I'm in to see him with my annual 
> winter sinus infection.
> Mike DiLauro
> ---------------- 
>  -to unsubscribe
> for Archives
> ---------------- 
>  -to unsubscribe
> for Archives

More information about the Gettysburg mailing list