Title

The United States-Mexican War Soldiers of Greenwood Island, Mississippi: An Historical, Archaeological, and Bioarchaeological Analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2016

Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Abstract

The analysis of the remains of six soldiers recovered on the Mississippi Sound represents one of the few bioarchaeological studies of soldiers from the USA-Mexican War (1846–1848), a time of Manifest Destiny coupled with extensive immigration. The soldiers at Camp Jefferson Davis do not represent those who fell during fighting, but, most likely, those who died from dysentery, which was rampant during the war. Overall, results of analysis closely mirrored expectations based on historical records. All were young adult males of European ancestry. They were of average stature and exhibited typical rates of nutritional deficiencies and childhood-growth disruptions for the time. The soldiers showed evidence of robust physical activity, but trauma was relatively rare, with only one possible battlefield injury seen. When the findings are situated in historical context, they provide unique insight into health conditions of both the military and civilian components of American society during the mid-19th century.

Publication Title

Historical Archaeology

Volume

50

Issue

4

First Page

92

Last Page

114

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