Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Andrew Wiest

Advisor Department



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has only been studied since its diagnosis after the Vietnam War. However, soldiers have always felt the affects of the wars they fought. These affects are physical, mental and emotional. Currently, PTSD is one of the most common affects of war on a soldier. While PTSD has only been studied since its discovery after the Vietnam War, symptoms almost exactly like PTSD have been present in soldiers for decades. This thesis uses letters from soldiers in the Vietnam War to create a basis of trauma that could create PTSD in soldiers. Using this base of research, the thesis uses letters from soldiers in the American Civil War to determine if PTSD was an affect they could have also suffered. The soldiers from the Vietnam War may or may not have been diagnosed with PTSD, as an official diagnosis is not the goal of this thesis. Instead, this thesis wants to determine if the circumstances that lead to the development of PTSD was present during the American Civil War.