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

Bill Speer bspeer at compassnet.com
Sat Jan 21 18:52:06 CST 2012


It was quite clear to me that Henry Robinett BEFORE the war maintained his
"character" during the war and after...more's the pity.

Bill

-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com]
On Behalf Of Margaret D. Blough
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 5:31 PM
To: GDG
Subject: Re: GDG- Now: CW PTSD was: Custer: G'burg, LBH & Philbrick

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
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
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