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Bone damage from a minie ball

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by CSA Today, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. diane

    diane Colonel Forum Host

    Jan 23, 2010
    State of Jefferson
    My mother-in-law was born without her right hand. She made a living as a typist - and a darn fast one, too! That's no joke on those old manual typewriters... Sometimes I think if the loss is early, or a birth defect, it's easier to overcome - somehow kids can manage through things that would kill an adult. Bea will cook a huge dinner and very seldom ask for help. (Peeling potatoes is a problem...things like that!)

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  3. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

    Feb 20, 2005
    Columbus, Ohio

    Whenever I feel the ache in my joints from working in our garden at home or when I am working on a 'honeydew' project for the wife, and feel the urge to complain, I will think about what you went through and realize just how lucky I am to have a few joint pains and aches.

    Thanks for the lesson, brother, appreciate it.

  4. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

    Feb 20, 2005
    South of the North 40
    As a note with modern medicine, modern medical care and physical therapy I was back to work in 6 mos, 3 mos later I was off of light duty and back to work at about 95%. While there were/are still times I couldn't/can't handle a ladder I had one last surgey a year later w/ another month out & 6 of light duty. In short most of a year to year and a half of recovery under modern medical care. I can't fathom what those men went through... the taste I had was one of morphine & other meds to regulate pain and keep infection at bay.

    Those men survived & largely went on with their lives as best they could on what today we would call third world medicine, at best. I know what kind of pain I have dealt with and can't imagine what they dealt w/. Having suffered through morphine withdrael three times I can understand morphine addiction and what it did to the injured and their families.
  5. UKMarkw

    UKMarkw Sergeant

    Dec 6, 2012
    Portsmouth, England
    Modern rifle rounds shouldn't tumble as far as I know. The Minie ball round I have from Gettysburg is very heavy and very soft so mushrooming would occur almost on impact meaning by the time it got through the muscle it was already an amputation waiting to happen. I would imagine being hit by one in a major bone such as a femur, scapula etc would have literally knocked you off your feet. Terrifying!!
    dvrmte likes this.
  6. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

    Sep 3, 2009
    South Carolina
    If they tumbled, you'd be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn. I first heard of the so-called tumbling bullets from returning Vietnam vets. I didn't believe it then or now. The only high velocity bullet I've seen tumble was because the barrel was shot out. My grandfather gave me a 1893 7mm Mauser that he couldn't get to hit paper with. After bore sighting it, I couldn't hit paper at 50 yds. either. I shortened the range to 20 yds. and finally hit paper. Instead of a round hole there was a hole resembling a keyhole, indicating the bullet wasn't spinning but wobbling. Upon inspecting the bore near the muzzle there was no rifling visible.
  7. TinCan

    TinCan 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

    Aug 20, 2011
    Owensboro, Kentucky
    I bet they hate to see you at airports.
  8. JPWalton

    JPWalton Sergeant

    Apr 29, 2013
    RE tumbling bullets: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/20090812.aspx

    It's easy to find other sources. The tendency of the 5.56 mm NATO round and the 5.45 mm Russian round to tumble their way through a target is very well documented. Has been for almost 50 years.

    I mis-wrote in one respect. It's not "tumble in flight" but "tumble through the target."
  9. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw First Sergeant

    Dec 26, 2007
    Those with less limbs seem to do alot better than those of us who are "intact."
  10. wondering

    wondering Sergeant

    Jul 24, 2012
    North of the 49th
    Man alive, that's a terrible break .... much suffering (akin to wound by Civil War armament~). I'm glad you came through and are with us today. Hang in there, chief. :thumbsup:

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