Medicine: After the General's Leg

Whatever else he did in his 88 flamboyant years, Daniel Edgar Sickles will be remembered for the way his troops were disposed on unprotected ground at the Battle of Gettysburg, and for the fact that he got shot. Civil War buffs still debate the merit of his deployment, but there is no question that the Confederate cannonball that smashed Sickles' right leg helped to make U.S. medical history. After the leg was amputated, a Union medic showed Sickles a year-old circular that directed medical officers "diligently to collect, and -o forward to the...

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