One hundred and fifty years ago, Arkansas troops had been pouring into the Confederate ranks across the state. As military camps became more and more crowded, illnesses began to pose a serious threat to the amassing army. One of the more common maladies of the early war was Measles.
An Arkansas newspaper related in October, 1861 that the Measles, “is now prevailing among our troops generally…I can assure my brother practitioners they will find highly efficacious in the speedy and successful management of the measles at home or in the tented field.” The following remedy was suggested:
“…one drachm of carbonate of ammonia (solid hartshorn) added to an ounce and a half of camphor water . Give a teaspoon three or four time a day, varying the dose according to age and other circumstances. It should be given early, if possible, before the eruption appears.”
Measles was not the only health concern facing the average Arkansas soldier. According to an 1861 news article, basic health supplies were badly needed for the aching troops: “The sick soldiers at the Little Rock Arsenal are in need of some old domestic linen and flannel cloths for the dressing of blisters and other purposes.” These cloths were provided by the ever-vigilant ladies of Arkansas.