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History Matters: Measles killed thousands of Civil War soldiers

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Library of Congress
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A multi-state outbreak of the measles, a highly contagious respiratory disease, has public health departments on guard. The measles outbreak reminds commentator Gary Joiner of how the disease spread during the Civil War.

History Matters is made possible in part by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine.

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Gary Joiner is a cartographer and an associate professor of history at LSU in Shreveport. He is the author or editor of 12 books including “Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862,” “One Damn Blunder From Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign in 1864,” “Through the Howling Wilderness: The Red River Campaign and Union Failure in 1864,” “Red River Steamboats,” and “Mr. Lincoln's Brown Water Navy: Mississippi Squadron.”