Article

Latent Blood Detection and STR Analysis of Samples Collected from an American Civil War Field Hospital

Kristen N. Jones, Department of Forensic Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

J. Thomas McClintock, Department of Biology and Chemistry, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

Journal of Forensic Identification 68 (4), 2018/509-523

Abstract

DNA analysis has recently been used to investigate samples of historical significance. During the last battle of the American Civil War (Sailor’s Creek Battlefield, Rice, VA), the Hillsman House served as a field hospital for wounded soldiers, treating more than 500 Union and Confederate soldiers. The presumed “bloodstains” on the f loor under the single surgical table and two post-surgical beds provide evidence of the vast number of soldiers treated. These presumed bloodstains were collected and analyzed using various presumptive blood tests (luminol, phenolphthalein, leucomalachite green, and Rapid Stain Identification of Human Blood). To examine the genomic profiles, DNA was isolated from the collected samples, quantitated, amplified, and subjected to capillary electrophoresis. The generation of partial and complete DNA profiles confirmed the presence of human DNA, as well as the ability of DNA profiling to confirm historical accounts of soldiers being treated in a field hospital from a battle fought more than 150 years ago.

Latent Blood Detection in a Civil War Field Hospital   Dr. McClintock searching for blood stains under the rafters of a American Civil War field hospital using an alternate light source (ALS) and Luminol. Samples were collected and subjected to DNA analysis. The resulting male DNA profiles were consistent with mixtures and corroborated historical accounts of the numbers of wounded soldiers treated at the field hospital at Sailors Creek (Rice, VA), the last battle of the American Civil War. The manuscript was recently published in the Journal of Forensic Identification.

Latent Blood Detection in a Civil War Field Hospital

Dr. McClintock searching for blood stains under the rafters of a American Civil War field hospital using an alternate light source (ALS) and Luminol. Samples were collected and subjected to DNA analysis. The resulting male DNA profiles were consistent with mixtures and corroborated historical accounts of the numbers of wounded soldiers treated at the field hospital at Sailors Creek (Rice, VA), the last battle of the American Civil War. The manuscript was recently published in the Journal of Forensic Identification.