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It has been charged that limbs and arms were often uselessly sacrificed by the operators; that they were especially fond of amputating, and just as likely to amputate for a flesh-wound as for a fractured bone, on the ground that they could do it more quickly than they could dress the wound;

A Folding Litter.

that it made a neater job, thus gratifying professional pride: but how the victim might feel about it or be affected by it then or thereafter did not seem to enter their thoughts. It was undoubtedly true that many flesh-wounds were so ugly the only safety for the patient lay in amputation. A fine fellow, both as a man and soldier, belonging to my company, lost his arm from a flesh-wound — needlessly, as he and his friends always asserted and believed.

A corporal of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery suffered a compound fracture of the left knee-joint from a piece of shell by which he was struck at the battle of

A stretcher.

Hatcher's Run, Oct. 27, 1864. In the course of time he reached the Lincoln Hospitals (well do I remember them as they stood on Capitol Hill where they were erected just before the bloody repulse at Fredericksburg), where a surgeon decided that his leg must come off, and, after instructing the nurse to prepare him for the operating-room, left the ward. But the corporal talked the matter over with a wounded cavalryman (this was a year when cavalrymen were wounded quite generally) and decided that his leg must not

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October 27th, 1864 AD (1)
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