1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!

Lincoln kicked in head by horse!

Discussion in 'Campfire Chat - General Discussions' started by Dugger, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Sneathen

    Sneathen Sergeant

    Apr 8, 2012
    St. Louis
    Just had a thought, the Bolsheviks were keen on preserving Lenin's brain. Why didn't we preserve Lincoln's? Just a thought.

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. Bonny Blue Flag

    Bonny Blue Flag 1st Lieutenant

    Jun 21, 2008
    Irving, Texas
    A typical chore for the youthful Abraham Lincoln was to take corn over to Gordon's gristmill
    about two miles from the Lincolns' cabin near Little Pigeon Creek in southern Indiana. When he
    arrived one day in 1818 there were others waiting in front of him. Watching the horses slowly
    go round and round, young Lincoln commented that "his dog could eat the meal as fast as the
    mill could grind it." Eventually it was Abraham's turn, and he hitched his old mare to the
    gristmill's arm. To keep the horse moving, he hit it with a whiplash, clucked in the normal
    manner, and shouted, "Git up, you old hussy; git up, you old hussy." Just as he yelled the
    words "Git up" again, the horse kicked backwards with a hind foot hitting the boy in the head.
    Lincoln was knocked down and out. Noah Gordon ran to his aid and picked up the bleeding,
    unconscious lad. Dave Turnham, who had come to the mill with Abraham, ran to get Abraham's
    father. Thomas Lincoln hauled his injured son home in a wagon and put him to bed. He lay
    unconscious all night.

    Apparently some (including Noah Gordon) thought he was dead or near death. Neighbors flocked
    to the Lincolns' cabin. The next morning one onlooker cried, "He's coming straight back from
    the dead!" Abraham jerked all over. Suddenly he blurted out the words "You old hussy," thus
    finishing what he was about to say before the horse knocked him out. In discussing the affair,
    Lincoln himself used the words "apparantly (sic) killed for a time."
    As a result, Lincoln suffered from diplopia (double vision) and (outward deviation) of the left
    eye, both due to partial paralysis of the small eye muscles.

    "Lincoln noticed double vision only occasionally and it did not bother him a great deal. Most
    people's faces are asymmetrical, but Lincoln's case was extreme, with the bony ridge over his
    left eye rounder and thinner than the right side, and set backward." said Fishman.
    "Lincoln's contemporaries noted his left eye at times drifted upward independently of his
    right eye, a condition now termed strabismus. Lincoln's smaller left eye socket may have
    displaced a muscle controlling vertical movement," said lead author Dr. Ronald Fishman, a
    retired ophthalmologist and history buff.

    "Life masks were in vogue in the 1860s. Lincoln cooperated with sculptors to make them twice,
    in 1860 before his first presidential nomination, and in 1865, two months before his
    assassination. Lincoln probably did it for political purposes more than posterity. It's the
    equivalent of TV face time now," said James Cornelius, curator at the Lincoln Presidential
    Library in Springfield, Illinois.

    The left part of Lincoln's face was much smaller than the right one, a developmental defect
    called hemifacial microsomia. This can be the effect of many conditions, from smallpox and
    heart illness to trauma or heredity.

    After examining the important life mask of Lincoln made in Chicago in 1860 by Leonard L. Volk,
    Dr. Edward J. Kempf reported in an April 1952 article "Abraham Lincoln's Organic and Emotional
    Neurosis" in the American Medical Association Journal-Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry,
    that he was able to identify a depressed skull fracture of the left frontal bone. This serious
    injury, along with the aging process, with its inevitable sagging and loss of skin tone,
    aggravated the effects of the ptosis, especially in the injured left eye. This forced Lincoln
    to raise his left brow more and more as time went by.

    Laser scans of a bronze and a plaster copy of two life masks of Lincoln's face, belonging to
    the Chicago History Museum, show the 16th president's degree of facial asymmetry.

    The findings provide evidence for why Lincoln’s photographs and portraits mainly show his
    right profile — as is the case with the penny. Lincoln was kicked in the head by a horse as a
    young child, though it is unclear from the laser scans whether this, or an inherent
    developmental defect, contributed to his condition.

    Gutzon Borglum, who carved on the Mount Rushmore (South Dakota) the monument representing the
    faces of several U.S. Presidents, referred to the left side of Lincoln's face as being
    primitive, immature and unfinished. He described Lincoln's left as "wide open" and out of focus,
    "indecisive", noncommittal and dreamy".

    Although the extent of his boyhood head injury may only be speculated on, it is probable that,
    in addition to the depressed skull fracture resulting from the fronto-temporal (forehead,
    close to the temple) trauma, he may have sustained a left orbital blow-out fracture (a fracture
    to the floor of the eye socket) and perhaps a superior orbital fissure syndrome (paralysis of
    several voluntary and involuntary nerves to the eye), altering the position of the eye in its
    socket, and causing damage to the motor nerves in that region. These injuries would identify
    the source of all of Lincoln's post-natal eye problems.


    -Ability Magazine / Abraham Lincoln's Depression

    -The Kaplan Daguerrotype of Abraham Lincoln - The Forensic...

    -Seven score and two years later, Lincoln's facial defects...

    -Abraham Lincoln had a lopsided face and stabismus - softpedia

    -Lincoln's brush with death - information, photographs, etc...

    Linda Duff and Dugger like this.
  4. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Jun 3, 2012
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
    Great post Dugger, very interesting read.
    Dugger likes this.
  5. Dugger

    Dugger Banned

    Mar 27, 2011
    Southern Ohio
    Yes I can. I do understand.:wink:
    Linda Duff likes this.
  6. Dugger

    Dugger Banned

    Mar 27, 2011
    Southern Ohio

    Hah! Well semi great maybe.:bye: Just read ALL the post/article put up by Linda Duff......bunch of medical terminology in there but it is very good. I read it all. Very good. Kinda scared me cause so much of it hit home. I tell ya WHAT.....a lot depends on where yer head is HIT. The brain has mutiple facets and ya never know what the heck might happen. Some are for emotion, some intellect, some motor acuity....on and on. I am NOT a doc. I defer to Linda on serious info on this. It is a HELL of a cool thread however. I agree cause I started it...heh. Lincoln did have some issues but we do not have him for modern docs to check out. I have NO doubt his kick in the head did have consequences.....that just from experience.

    Vets are also hip to the fact that just shell concussion can render a man impaired. I knew some of these Vets in my youth in the fifties. Ok....I gotta move on here. Tks.
    jessgettysburg1863 likes this.
  7. Linda Duff

    Linda Duff Corporal

    Apr 21, 2012
    Monetville, Ontario CANADA
    Absolutely wonderful big picture...Thanks for posting it. Such a great face... full of character.
  8. Dugger

    Dugger Banned

    Mar 27, 2011
    Southern Ohio
    It was too messed up maybe? Americans tend to let the body go. Also, totalitarians need secular icons to revere, preserve, and use to hold sway over people who are easily impressed and manipulated. Totems. That's all. THERE is no human GOD insofar as I know. You only see this kinda ****/idiocy in control freak ideologies. Usually. But, oddly the people really know it is all BS....the military in the control of the utopians makes sure this looks cool. They make sure people seem to revere secular GOD figures. All phoney. (Hitler?) Been watching this **** since the early fifties. See today....N Korea. I will go no futher with this one.

    There is no utopia. When gov says they will lead you there....run like hell. They historically tend to kill those who have issues with same-think. "What is truth?"
    Arioch likes this.
  9. Arioch

    Arioch Sergeant

    Dec 24, 2010
    Well said 'Dugger', & spot on......The "church", or, religion if you will....is the enemy of the state....at least that is what the Bolsheviks and Lenin pontificated. Remember the tired old Marx quote? "Religion is the opiate of the masses".....

    So what did that mean in the case of, to preserve or not to preserve, the corpse (let alone the brain)? It meant that the body was now state property....so, Lenin is now a mummy.....

    Now, think of 19th century American society....a majority Christian society, and fairly devout, too......Do you think that they could have preserved Lincoln's brain, without some protest from some section of society? SOMEBODY would have protested vehemently on the grounds of moral and religious objections.

    The thinking is 180 degrees opposite of the totalitarian regimes.....God, before the state (God, family, country....sound familiar?)

    It's even spelled out in our own founding documents: ...One nation under God.
    Dugger likes this.
  10. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

    Dec 31, 2009
    Smack dab in the heart of Texas
    The description of the autopsy kinda makes me think the whole thing was pretty....mushy?
  11. Arioch

    Arioch Sergeant

    Dec 24, 2010
    yeah....Dugger mentioned it earlier, it was probably too torn up to be of any real studious use...

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)