Lynchburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Quartermaster’s Glanders Stable
Over a 15 month period, of the 6875 horses stabled there, only 1000 were sent into the field. Almost 3000 died. 449 were shot, and the rest were unfit for service.
The “great glanders epizootic,” or epidemic, was taking a tremendous toll.
Dr. John J. Terrell and Dr. James G. Page, tow of the physicians attending the wounded and sick in Lynchburg’s many hospitals, were designated by Major James G. Paxton, Quartermaster in Charge, to do research on the respiratory disease, glanders. The “baneful scourge,” glanders, was ravaging the horses and mules and affected humans as well. The research was done near this spot in a quarantined horse stable, just as the
In what was considered a landmark study of early pathological experimentation, Drs. Terrell and Page studied 19 horses stricken with glanders, conducting postmortem examinations at various stages of the disease’s progression. They also were able to transmit the disease intentionally from a diseased horse to a sound one, sacrificing the animal 33 days later to study his advanced and terminal symptoms. The researchers’ results and recommendations were published in 1864 in a pamphlet, Glanders and Farcy in Horses, which was distributed by the Confederate authorities to all of its facilities for quartering horses and mules.
It was concluded that this glanders disease, which caused major respiratory distress and death, was caused by “a virus” and was spread at watering troughs and in unhealthy crowded stable conditions where animals were prone to nuzzle. Infected mucous was easily passed from one animal to another. There was no cure. Prevention of the disease was the only solution to controlling the epidemic. This was achieved by housing horses and mules in uncrowded, well-ventilated stables, introducing good sanitation and a healthy diet, and by destroying the infected animals.
Horses use the nose and the sense of smell
When the Civil War ended, so did the need to quarter such large numbers of horses and mules together. Glanders was no longer an epidemic. The historic first steps in veterinary medicine, so similar to Dr. Terrell’s innovations in the treatment of smallpox in the Pest House, attest to a local medical legacy of great importance.
Location. 37° 24.831′ N, 79° 9.438′ W. Marker is in Lynchburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Taylor Street and 4th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 401 Taylor Street, Lynchburg VA 24501, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Glanders Stable (here, next to this marker); Ivy Chapel Union Church (a few steps from this marker); Chapel and Columbarium (a few steps from this marker); Hermon Methodist Church (a few steps from this marker); Iron Fencing (within shouting distance Lynchburg’s First Public Hanging, 1830 (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Lynchburg's Pest House (within shouting distance of this marker); Station House Museum (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lynchburg.
Also see . . . The Civil War Quartermaster's Glanders Stable. Old City Cemetery. (Submitted on May 28, 2014.)
Categories. • Animals • Science & Medicine • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 28, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 461 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 28, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 4. submitted on May 27, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 5, 6. submitted on May 28, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.