What was the environmental impact of the Civil War? Considering that a battle was a major man-made disaster, someone had to take care of the biological mess that resulted. Countless dead bodies of men, horses and mules and amputated limbs were left behind. Whole armies encamped and left spills of gunpowder, lead and other substances. Human and animal waste and polluted water remained for the local people who had to go on with their lives. We discuss the environment in certain areas after major battles of the Civil War and the positive results that our parks and preserved battlefields have yielded.

Photo: Bodies on the battlefield at Antietam (Library of Congress)