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

Margaret D. Blough mdblough1 at comcast.net
Sat Jan 21 16:31:27 CST 2012


Jack- 


I agree with you. In any individual, you have to start with who they were before they went to war. Joshua was college-educated, a teacher, a married man, a father, an established person in the community. He already clearly had a very strong sense of self. Tom, before the war, was a grocery store clerk, the only Chamberlain brother not to attend college. During the war, he rose from private to Lieutenant-Colonel and had a distinguished war record, apart from his brother. His diligence and judgment upon learning of his brother's critical wound at Petersburg, including bringing the 20th Maine's surgeon with him as he searched for Joshua, is justly credited with a major, if not the but for factor besides Joshua's own determination, in Joshua surviving what most believed to be a mortal wound. From all accounts, unlike Joshua, Tom never found his place in the post-war world. Even now, for people dealing with depression and other mental illnesses, heavy alcohol consumption is a form of self-medication, an attempt to numb pain, psychological and/or physical. So, in the case of the Joshua and Thomas Chamberlain, you have two brothers, so, other than birth order, you don't have radical differences for nature and/or nurture. Both saw major combat during the war. So there are still mysteries as to why they had such radically different post-war lives. 


Regards, 


Margaret 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Lawrence" <jlawrence at kc.rr.com> 
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at arthes.com> 
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 1:44:54 PM 
Subject: Re: GDG- Now: CW PTSD was: Custer: G'burg, LBH & Philbrick 

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes: 
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. 

Regards, 

Jack 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Margaret D. Blough" <mdblough1 at comcast.net> 
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at arthes.com> 
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 yahoo.com> 
> To: gettysburg at arthes.com 
> 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 
> ----------------http://www.arthes.com/mailman/listinfo/gettysburg_arthes.com 
> -to unsubscribe 
> http://arthes.com/pipermail/gettysburg_arthes.com/ for Archives 
> ----------------http://www.arthes.com/mailman/listinfo/gettysburg_arthes.com 
> -to unsubscribe 
> http://arthes.com/pipermail/gettysburg_arthes.com/ for Archives 
> 



----------------http://www.arthes.com/mailman/listinfo/gettysburg_arthes.com -to unsubscribe 
http://arthes.com/pipermail/gettysburg_arthes.com/ for Archives 


More information about the Gettysburg mailing list