To provide for the nation’s welfare, Congress acts to promote health and prosperity. In 1866 Congress authorized publication of the Medical and Surgical History of the War of Rebellion. Compiled by the Army Surgeon General’s staff from Union and Confederate records of military medicine, it was the United States’ first major federal contribution to medical research. Soldiers who survived the war had a significant presence in Congress. Many senators and representatives served in the Union and Confederate Armies, and Congress employed Civil War veterans as staffers into the 20th century.