On April 1, 1865, Alfred Lane was shot in the hip during the Civil War Battle of Hatcher's Run, Virginia. He died about a month and a half later, after the wound became gangrenous.This photo, and the description of the patient, come from a series of images posted to Flickr by Mike Rhode, archivist at the National Museum of Health and Medicine—which began its existence during the Civil War as the Army Medical Museum. The photos get a lot more graphic than this—both in terms of wounds, and general nudity—but it's an amazing collection that's mostly never been seen by the general public before, and which offers a rare, un-edited peek into the casualties of both war and early medicine. Both contributed to the death of people like Alfred Lane. From the University of Toledo Libraries ...
Amputation of a wounded arm or leg was the most common operation, due largely to the .58 calibre Minie ball ammunition used during the war. This heavy conical-shaped bullet of soft lead distorted on impact causing large, gaping wounds filled with dirt and pieces of clothing. Its heavy weight shattered any bone it contacted. Because of the severity of the wounds and the overwhelming case load, surgeons usually elected for fast and easy amputation over trying to remove the bullet and save the limb.
Early in the war it became obvious that disease would be the greatest killer. Two soldiers died of disease (dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, and malaria) for every one killed in battle. Soldiers from small rural areas suffered from childhood diseases such as measles and mumps because they lacked immunity. Outbreaks of these "camp and campaign" diseases were caused by overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in the field.
The gangrene, ironically, probably came from an infection Lane picked up in the Hospital, itself.
The full photo set on Flickr
How bullets were removed during the Civil War.
Thanks to merrileeiam for Submitterating the photos!
Image: Some rights reserved by otisarchives1
NASA today announced that astronomers studying data from NASA’s Great Observatories have found the best evidence yet for “cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes.”
Could you recover a murder victim’s last sight of their killer by extracting it from the retina? Little more than a century ago, forensic scientists thought it might be possible. After all, in 1877 physiologist Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne was able to develop a simple image from an albino rabbit’s dissected eyeball. (Above, the two images […]
Backed by huge donations from vitamin companies, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is pushing to get naturopathic medicine recognized and regulated in all 50 US states, paving the way to receiving public funds in the form of Medicare reimbursements.
If you’ve got a killer app idea, but don’t have the technical expertise to pull it off, get a crash course in all things app development with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle, now over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store. Across 83 hours of training, you’ll learn to develop for the world’s most popular mobile OS, mastering […]
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]
If you or your company’s IT system are besieged by black hat cyber attacks, an ethical hacker might be all that stands between crippling damage and a company’s long-term prosperity. It’s no wonder that the market for IT security specialists is exploding. Certification is the key – so learn the tenets of ethical hacking and get […]