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
, 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