Showing posts with label Daniel Sickles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daniel Sickles. Show all posts

Friday, February 22, 2013

Why 'Lincoln' should win an Oscar for Best Picture...

...because there's a brief scene of General Daniel Sickles' leg on display at the Medical Museum. Sickles lost his leg at the battle of Gettysburg. The movie is inaccurate as it shows the leg still fully fleshed - which would have stunk amazingly as the flesh decayed off the bone. Instead Museum prepator Schafhirt would have cut and boiled the flesh off, and then wired the bones together so they looked like this picture.
Another scene of a pit of amputated limbs seems to have been influenced by RB Bontecou's photograph "Field Day." And here's the original label for Surgical Photograph 43, Sickle's "Right Tibia and Fibula comminuted by a Cannon Ball."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Letter of the Day: June 9 - Whiskey?

Headqurs: 26th R.P.V.[26th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers]. 1st Brig: 2 Div 3 Corps
Camp near Falmouth June 9th 1863


Today I sent through Med: Purveyor Dr. McMillan a small box containing some of the pathological specimens refered (sic) to in your letter of the 6th inst:

I regret that the specimens are in such a bad condition and so few. The barrel containing the same was broken open and contents buried, my Asst. Dr. Dewling exhumed those I sent, further search is now instituted. The impression is that the barrel was mistaken for whiskey.

I prepared several interesting specimens during my leisure expecting to be the bearer of the same to Washington, as I received orders to report to the Department of the Cumberland in April last, but retained here by Genl: Sickles. I hope soon to present the balance in person.

I have the honor to be
Your obedient servant
S.J.W. Mintzer
Surgeon in Chief 1st Brig, 2 Div, 3 Corps

J.H. Brinton
Surgeon U.S.V. + Curator
Army Medical Museum

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sickles at Gettysburg book PR

As most people who know about the Museum know, we've got part of Dan Sickles that he left behind at Gettysburg. Here's some PR about a new book by Jim Hessler which undoubtedly talks about what he left behind:

Many of you have asked me to keep you updated on the status of my Dan Sickles biography- "Sickles at Gettysburg". It is finally done and will be published on May 1, 2009! The book is full-length (400+ pages), hard cover, with maps and photos. I cover Sickles' entire life (including the murder trial, Chancellorsville, his efforts to remove George Meade from command, his expulsion from the NY Monuments Commission, etc.) with the primary focus, of course, on Gettysburg.

The book will retail at $32.95, and I intend to have signed copies available for a lower price sometime around publication (although I don't yet know that price). I did want to let you know, however, that Amazon is currently offering a pretty good pre-publication deal: $21.75 + free shipping eligibility. It's probably a few dollars lower than what I will be able to offer later, so if you are watching your money right now, I don't know how long Amazon will offer it at this price. (The author doesn't get consulted on these things.) Of course, if you do buy from Amazon, I'll be happy to sign it the next time I see you.

The Amazon link is here (or go to Amazon and search 'Sickles at Gettysburg') :

You can read more about the book at my website:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Did Daniel Sickles visit his leg in the Museum?

Someone emailed the question "Did Daniel Sickles visit his leg in the Museum?" in today.

Here's a bit I ran across a few years ago. A very old doctor wrote his reminiscences of people who knew in the US Army Medical Department in "Personal Recollections of Some Old Medical Officers" by Henry Crecy Yarrow, Military Surgeon January 1927, pp 73-74:

One day he [Curator George Otis] received a visit from a fine looking gentleman of military bearing, who announced himself as General Dan E. Sickles, and stated that he understood his leg, which had been amputated in consequence of a shell wound received in the battle of Chancellorsville, was on exhibit in the Museum. Dr. Otis replied that it was and with that courteous urbanity of manner for which he was celebrated, invited the General to accompany him to the main hall of the Museum. He pointed out several interesting specimens, but the General, apparently losing patience, said, Oh, yes, yes, but let us come to my leg!" They finally reached the case where the leg was exhibited and the General examined it very carefully for a few moments, when he turned to Otis and said with some harshness, "Where is my foot?" What have you done with my foot -- that should have been shown too." Otis replied that there seemed to be no necessity for saving the foot as the part saved showed why a surgical operation was necessary. The General became very angry and anathematized the museum very freely."