Much has changed in the century and a half since the Civil War. Technological advances have changed the face of battle and concomitantly the way we treat the casualties of war. But has the field of medicine changed as much as we like to think? Were the sawbones of yesteryear simply butchers? Are the skilled surgeons of today, armed with knowledge undreamed of by their 19th century predecessors, miracle workers in comparison?

Dr. Anthony Hodges has spent decades studying Civil War medicine. His “Bite the Bullet” is an overview of the techniques used by the military physicians of the 19th century to treat battlefield wounds and disease during the War Between the States. Original Civil War medical instruments will be shown to illustrate the medical and surgical treatments used by the Union and Confederate military, the results of those treatments, and how they contrast with the techniques of the modern military medical system.

Come join us Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, for a walk back in time as we examine medical procedures and outcomes then and now.

Dr. Anthony Hodges graduated from the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences with a D.D.S. degree in 1981.  He is married to a dental school classmate, Dr. Jill Prichard Hodges, and they have three grown children. They reside on Elder Mountain, just outside of Chattanooga.  Anthony recently retired from dentistry after 33 years of practice.

He became interested in early American and Civil War history as a young child due to oral family history passed down to him by elderly relatives.  He began to collect Civil War artifacts as a young boy and items from his collection have been displayed in national parks and museums across the South.   He served as a National Park Service living history interpreter for nearly forty years.

Anthony began to study Civil War medicine in dental school and has lectured on the topic for over forty years.  He assisted Dr. Bud Robertson of Virginia Tech in the re-printing of the U.S. Army’s official twelve-volume medical account of the Civil War, The Medical and Surgical History of the Civil War, and wrote numerous Civil War historical articles for the Chattanooga Times-Free Press during the war’s sesquicentennial.

Anthony completed his fourth term as President of the Friends of Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park in 2017 and now serves on the Advisory Board of the National Park Partners (the recently combined Friends of the Park and Friends of Moccasin Bend). He also serves as President of the board of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association.


He is a longtime board member of the East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum of East Tennessee History in Knoxville and serves on the Board of the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga. He is a past Commander of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, as well as the Order of the Southern Cross. Anthony is a “Color Bearer” in the Civil War Trust, a member of the Sons of the Revolution, the Society of Civil War Surgeons, and the Company of Military Historians.