Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where is Stonewall's Arm?

Where Is General Stonewall Jackson's Arm Buried? - National Parks Traveler

The Curious Fate of Stonewall Jackson's Arm - NPR

 'He has lost his left arm; but I have lost my right arm.'
—General Robert E. Lee

General Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson.

Although no doubt my great grand uncle, Private Lewis Simpson (click here for blog posts about Lewis and his brother Justus)), would have wanted to get a shot at Stonewall Jackson, it was actually the General's own troops that accidentally shot him in the arm.
Private Lewis Simpson, 89th New York Volunteers, Company K. Courtesy of the Frazier Farmstead Museum
  'He [Stonewall Jackson] will wake up some morning to find his stonewall all gone to thunder and his soul singing rebel anthems with the Devil and his Angels in Hell.'
Private Lewis Simpson

From Eighty-Ninth Infantry
SIMPSON, LEWIS L.—Age, 19 years. Enlisted, September 17, 1861, at Unadilla, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. K, October 21, 1861; discharged for disability, February 5, 1863, at Frederick City, Md. Rosters of the New York Infantry Regiments during the Civil War

Lewis was wounded in the left leg at the Battle of South Mountain. As with General Jackson and so many Civil War soldiers, amputation was at that time the best and most effective means of saving a life. Lewis' left leg was not amputated in a field hospital. Instead, the surgery took place three days after he was wounded and had been evacuated to the U.S. Military Hospital in Maryland. Hopefully conditions were at least somewhat more sterile. 

Tombstone for "Stonewall" Jackson's left arm.

The Civil War
Amputation Kit

How a Civil War amputation was performed.

Amputation of the leg 

Amputation of the arm 

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