Field Report: The Psychoactive Civil War: Alcohol and Drugs in the American Civil War and Its
Scott C. Martin
Join Scott C. Martin for a presentation of his examination on the use and influence of alcohol and drugs on the American Civil War and its aftermath. Alcohol suffused all aspects of the war, in both the Confederacy and the Union: as pain-killing medicine, morale booster, incentive to soldierly exertion, and object of contraband. Drugs (including opium, quinine, calomel, and nicotine) also shaped the conduct, experience, and outcome of the war. Martin systematically considers the impact of psychoactive substances on the conflict, contributes to the history of American consumerism, and contributes to the emerging scholarly field of alcohol and drugs history.
Scott C. Martin is the Boston Athenæum’s 2017-2018 Caleb Loring, Jr., Fellow and Professor of History and American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale, Master’s from Carnegie Mellon and doctorate in History from the University of Pittsburgh. Among other publications, he is the author of Killing Time: Leisure and Culture in Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1800-1850 and Devil of the Domestic Sphere: Temperance, Gender, and Middle-class Ideology, 1800-1860, and editor of the three volume Sage Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives. Martin is a past president of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society and of the Ohio Academy of History.