Tarheels During the Civil War

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Early Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

This is from a collection of letters in the N.C. Archives, written by J.F. Shaffner, Surgeon of the 4th N.C.T. His fiance's cousin Alf had been wounded severely in the arm and was home on furlough. Date is September 13th, 1864.

I had a letter from your cousin Alf a few days ago, answered it yesterday. He complains of having occasional “restless spells”, and proposes a visit to the Army is palliative. 

I wonder if his spells of restlessness were because he could'nt adjust back to civilian life, or even being away from the army. Alf's thinking that a visit to the army would help maybe verifies this. Or he possibly had that feeling that is read about in personal accounts of World War 2 soldiers, the feeling of not wanting to be away from buddies, not letting them down, etc. Anyway I thought it was interesting. "Restless spells", possible PTSD?

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