This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The value of bromine as an escharotic and caustic in these maladies was conclusively shown during the American civil war, by Surgeon Goldsmith. The formula commonly employed was: "bromine, 1 oz.; bromide of potassium, 160 gr.; water, 4 oz." After thorough cleansing of gangrenous wounds this was applied, and, although very painful for a time, the pain was mitigated by bathing, and the malady was arrested better by this than by any other means (Medical Times, ii., 1863, 526). The same application was found valuable in diphtheria and erysipelas, and the liquid, when exposed in shallow vessels, served also to disinfect hospital wards.
Mr. Marshall and Mr. Southam used a solution of 1 scruple of bromine in 1 oz. of spirit for unhealthy wounds, and found it useful, but very painful; its offensive smell is also a drawback to its employment (Medical Times, ii., 1868, p. 93). The pure drug has also been applied, and acts well in similar cases, but requires special precaution to carry the vapor away from the patient (Lancet, ii., 1868).