March 20, 2018

“Weapons of Mass Destruction”
– Mark Laubacher

March 20, 2018

In an effort to bring about resolution to the Civil War, creative suggestions and research was offered by individuals, many of whom were civilians. Several of such suggestions involved the use of chemical and biological agents as unconventional weapons by both Confederate and Union forces against their adversaries.

Weapons of mass destruction were not sortied as neither President Lincoln nor President Davis gave authorization, as both disapproved of unconventional warfare. Both feared the negative propaganda, the infuriation of the citizens, and reprisals from irregular warfare. As a result, on April 24, 1863, President Lincoln issued General Order No. 100, which prohibited the use of poison in any manner. This presentation, complete with photos and descriptions, will discuss and illustrate the chemical and biological poisons considered by both militaries during the War Between the States. It is imperative that history shows that such weapons of mass destruction were considered, but not utilized.

Mark Laubacher, RN, paramedic, is a Certified Specialist in Poison Information since 1992 at the Central Ohio Poison Center located at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. Prior to this, he was a full time staff nurse at Children’s Emergency Department for 4 years. He received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Capital University in 1989. He is also currently a faculty member for Grant Medical Center Paramedic Program in Columbus, Ohio. Having delivered over 400 presentations, he routinely presents at the state and national levels on various topics of toxicological emergencies. He is active member of the following: 1st Ohio Light Artillery Battery A, Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable, Society of Civil War Surgeons, National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Society of Civil War Historians.