From the July 3, 1862, issue of the Richmond Daily Dispatch comes this interesting tidbit:
To prevent fly-blow.
–Many of our brave soldiers are wounded in such manner and in such localities that it is almost impossible to afford the instant and seasonable relief so necessary in such cases. In this weather fly-blows in the wounds are the most inevitable consequence. To prevent this state of things, a physician of established reputation assures us nothing more is required than an application of the juice of the common elder to the wound. This is said to be an instant and sovereign remedy against fly-blows. It is to be hoped that our physicians in charge of hospitals will make trial of this remedy.
Perhaps because I am not from the South, I did not know what fly-blow was, let alone how best to prevent its effects when wounded. Turns out that “fly-blow” is the deposit of larvae made by a flesh-eating fly, or Calliphoridae, which are not uncommon in these parts.
It is not an attractive thing, in other words, which leads me to wonder why on earth there is (or at least was) a Flyblow, West Virginia.
IMAGE: Blow fly