n battle reports from the age of fighting sail, we learn details of the events reported: the identities of the ships involved and their commanders, and the outcome. Of the human cost, we learn the number killed and wounded, but little or nothing of the causes, nature, and care of these wounds. It is a rare piece of good fortune that an 1812 medical day book kept by the Constitution's 27-year-old surgeon, Amos A. Evans, has been preserved, providing a vivid picture of the fortunes of that famous frigate's wounded following her battle with HMS Guerriere.
The Butcher's Bill
A surgeon on board "Old Ironsides" in 1812 graphically recorded what he saw as he attended to the ship's wounded following her battle against HMS Guerriere.
By Commander Tyrone G. Martin, U.S. Navy (Retired)