The Strange Blue Glow That Saved Many Soldiers Lives During Civil War ㅡ Angel's Glow

The Strange Blue Glow That Saved Many Soldiers Lives During Civil War ㅡ Angel's Glow

Have you ever seen someone who glows in the dark? In today's world, using fun body paints or glow sticks is not unlikely, but in the 1800s, this was a crazy idea. However, After the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, a phenomenon known as Angel's Glow saved the lives of many Civil War soldiers. Soldiers who lay in the mud for two rainy days had wounds that glowed in the dark and healed unusually quickly.

This may sound like a fairy tale, but it is a Civil War legend that dates back to April 1862, following the Battle of Shiloh. Something strange is said to have happened when night fell on thousands of wounded soldiers stranded on the battlefield. Some of their wounds began to glow a faint blue. Troops with glowing wounds were more likely to survive their injuries — and to recover faster — once they were transported to field hospitals. As a result, the enigmatic blue light was dubbed "Angel's Glow."

However, due to months of marching, poor diets, and unsanitary living conditions, many soldiers' immune systems were weakened, rendering them unable to fight infection.

Major General Ulysses S. Grant had pushed deep into Confederate territory along the Tennessee River by the spring of 1862, a year into the American Civil War. He was camped at Pittsburg Landing, near Shiloh, Tennessee, in early April, awaiting the arrival of additional Union troops.

But, On the morning of April 6, Confederate troops based in nearby Corinth, Mississippi, launched a surprise offensive against Grant's troops, hoping to defeat them before the second army arrived.

The Confederates battered the Union troops throughout the day, driving it back towards Pittsburgh Landing and threatening to trap it against the Tennessee River. Following initial success, the Confederates were unable to hold their positions and were forced back, as General Buell’s army troops began arriving, resulting in a Union victory. Nevertheless, both sides suffered heavy losses, and the level of violence shocked both the North and the South.

More than 16,000 soldiers were wounded, and 3,000 were killed during the Battle of Shiloh, and neither Union nor Confederate medics were prepared for the carnage. It took more than 48 hours for all of the wounded to be removed from the battlefield and helped.

During the two days of fighting, many soldiers became immobilized in the mud of the rain-soaked fields between the river and the swamp. As a result, their wounds from bullets and bayonets were easily contaminated. And some of these wounds began to glow faint blue after sunset, According to reports.

This mystery went unsolved for nearly a century until two teenage boys completed a high school science fair project in 2001. With the assistance of his microbiologist mother, who was studying the blue-glowing bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens, Bill Martin and his friend Jonathan Curtis conducted their own experiments to determine if the blue-glowing bacterium P. luminescens was the source of the soldiers' life-saving glow.

He and his friend, Jon Curtis, researched both the bacteria and the conditions at Shiloh. They discovered that the cold, wet, and muddy fields would have been ideal for Photorhabdus luminescens to thrive. P. luminescens is a luminous bacterium that lives in the guts of parasitic worms known as nematodes. The two share an unusual lifecycle. When the nematode feeds on its host, it vomits, releasing some of the glowing bacteria that live in its digestive tract.

The bacteria, which are bioluminescent and glow a soft blue when released, begin producing several chemicals that kill the insect host and suppress and kill all other microorganisms already inside it.

8 Responses to "The Strange Blue Glow That Saved Many Soldiers Lives During Civil War ㅡ Angel's Glow"

  1. Wonderful nature has a healing.
    When we pollute we reduce our possibilities of survival

  2. I have been reading about this fascinating experience with this bacteria and with Africans wounded elefant, which has been wounded by chains around the feets. And it has been working in 134 cases out of 140 wounded elefants damage and bleeds wound. They heal up 4 times faster than them that got pencil and lotions on. Such a fantastic success with this glow bacteria.