Alexander, William (Lord Stirling)

PA — 11 September 1777.
NY — 27 August 1776.
New York, NY — The Anglican parish of Trinity Church was founded in 1698 in lower Manhattan; the first church building was constructed facing Wall Street the same year. The magnificent neo-gothic structure that one sees today is the congregation’s third church; the graveyard is the burial ground for several patriots, including Alexander Hamilton.

Wounds [from battle] were first cleansed with lint, either dry or wet with oil, and bandaged lightly. Later they were to be washed with a digestive — a substance used to draw pus — and then covered with a bread-and-milk poultice, with oil for moisture. For the first twelve days, a cooling regiment of medicines and diet was recommended, on the theory that this lowered the danger of infection. The empiricists among the medical men of the time had noticed that a man ran a fever with an infection, and concluded, with somewhat superficial logic, that keeping him cool would lower the chances of the infection taking root.

Unfortunately, there was little or no interest in using clean bandages or instruments.

Thomas Fleming
Now We Are Enemies: The Story of Bunker Hill (1960; reissued 2010)