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Mil Med. 2011 May;176(5):531-6.

Felo De Se: soldier suicides in America's Civil War.

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1
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This article examined the factors associated with suicide during America's Civil War and the years immediately following the cessation of armed conflict.

METHODS:

Contemporary newspaper reports, complemented by book and journal articles, provide an understanding of the incidence and motivations of suicide.

RESULTS:

The rate of suicide in the general population dramatically increased in the years following the war's end. During the Civil War, suicides occurred nearly every month, reliably peaking in the spring of each year. Depression and alcohol abuse were major factors associated with military suicides.

CONCLUSION:

Emotional disorders and alcohol misuse, when combined with the hardships of war, contributed to a steady rate of suicides during the Civil War.

PMID:
21634298
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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