The Strange Reason Why Glow-In-The-Dark Wounds Saved The Lives Of Many Civil War Soldiers

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Facebook/ISU Microbiology Club

It’s 2000, and high school seniors Bill Martin and Jonathan Curtis are touring the site of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. That 1862 clash was one of the bloodiest of the Civil War, leaving 3,482 dead and 16,420 wounded. But, in addition to being aware of the hefty death toll, the teenagers have heard a strange story about wounds that glowed in the dark. And even weirder still, it’s said that those with glowing wounds had better survival rates; but is this mere myth? With these questions in mind, the boys decide to investigate.

Image: Plymouth Chapter of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade

We’ll get back to Martin and Curtis and their discoveries, but first let’s find out a little bit about the Civil War – and in particular the Battle of Shiloh. Many historians will tell you that the Civil War was about slavery. Basically, the Southern states wanted to retain the practice, while the Northerners wanted to abolish it.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: via Wikimedia Commons

And at one level this is undoubtedly true. But the slavery issue was coupled with another bone of contention: states’ rights. Indeed, many in the South were highly resistant to the authority of the federal government, which they saw as an instrument of the North – especially when it came to the issue of slavery.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT