Blue, faded photograph of soldier in Civil War-era uniform and hat

Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits

Injury, Death, and Healing in Civil War Philadelphia

No Civil War battles were fought in or near Philadelphia, but the war came here in other ways. On trains and steamboats, tens of thousands of wounded and sick soldiers arrived in the city, to be cared for in local hospitals. 

What was it like to fight, to become sick or injured, to take care of the wounded? Why did people—especially women—volunteer to work day and night to relieve the suffering of soldiers? What was it like to miss home or die alone? 

Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits explored these questions via artifacts, anatomical specimens, and illustrations from the Museum’s and other collections. You could even step inside our interactive experience that let you see what it would be like to have an arm amputated.

Civil War Medicine Exhibition Walkthrough

This temporary exhibition explored the experiences of soldiers and medical professionals during the American Civil War. Join Mütter Museum Director Robert Hicks on a virtual tour of this remarkable and fascinating display.

Cover image with exhibit title
To see our Civil War Medicine video series, click here!

Join former museum director, Robert Hicks, in this 9-part miniseries that explores the vital role of people, places, and events in Civil War era Philadelphia. 

Civil War Resources
  • Explore our Civil War lessons plans !


The following organizations loaned objects or provided support for this exhibition: 

  • Hancock House

  • Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library

  • The 3rd Infantry Regiment (re-enactors), United States Colored Troops

  • Citizens for the Preservation of Historic LaMott and Camp William Penn

This project is supported jointly by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Institute of Museum and Library Services, and The Groff Family Trust.