Waterloo limbs

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Minimalist » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:49 am

I used to shoot a replica Brown Bess with its .75 caliber barrel and either a .735 or .715 caliber ball. The author of one of the pieces above was wrong. The French Charleville (which I also have) fired the .68 ball out of its .69 caliber barrel with less windage and slightly better muzzle velocity than the Bess. Technically the Charleville had a max range of 1,200 yards as opposed to the Bess' 1,000 but it did not matter. Your odds of hitting anything you aimed at beyond 100 yards were virtually nil.

But what was interesting was the effect on the target. The shooting range used 2' x 4' pieces of homosote board which is a thick, heavy, cardboard type thing as a backing for the paper targets you would staple to them. When either musket sent a ball through the target there was a nice big, round, hole in the front and an exit wound which was the size of your fist. Granted the cardboard backing provided more resistance than the gelatin used in the test and obviously caused the soft lead balls to flatten out some but the bullet promptly lost its velocity although the guy who got hit would have been in deep shit.

Even more interesting was that I also had Civil War era rifled-muskets which fired the .577 Minie bullet. This was a conical shape and when you checked the target on occasion you would see where the bullet went through sideways as if it was tumbling in the air. The exit wound, so to speak, for these was far smaller than the muskets. Because the target backings were used and re-used until they fell apart so you could see the impacts of other shooters with more modern weapons. Even the .22s left virtually the same hole going out that they made going in. You wouldn't want to get hit by anything but when you add in the impact of a heavy musket ball to the utter ineptitude of 18th century "medicine" it can be seen that very few of the seriously wounded ever returned to the ranks.

The issue with the ballistics test above is not really on point. It contrasts a modern pistol with a modern rifle. The damage done by each is clearly visible. I'd like to see a similar test with a Napoleonic musket.
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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Simon21 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:47 am

Minimalist wrote:
Even more interesting was that I also had Civil War era rifled-muskets which fired the .577 Minie bullet. This was a conical shape and when you checked the target on occasion you would see where the bullet went through sideways as if it was tumbling in the air. The exit wound, so to speak, for these was far smaller than the muskets. Because the target backings were used and re-used until they fell apart so you could see the impacts of other shooters with more modern weapons. Even the .22s left virtually the same hole going out that they made going in. You wouldn't want to get hit by anything but when you add in the impact of a heavy musket ball to the utter ineptitude of 18th century "medicine" it can be seen that very few of the seriously wounded ever returned to the ranks.

The issue with the ballistics test above is not really on point. It contrasts a modern pistol with a modern rifle. The damage done by each is clearly visible. I'd like to see a similar test with a Napoleonic musket.
Of course one reason wounded did not return to the rnks was infecton. It was only whenit was noted that crippled seaman could still serve (often as cooks and musicians) tht questions began to be asked why (Nelson being a prime example). The apprent answer was the use of tar (creosote) which was liberally slapped on after a leg etc was removed at sea. This had he effect of cauterising and sealing the wound.

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Minimalist » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:15 pm

Stonewall Jackson died from infection ( after being shot by his own men) resulting from the amputation of an arm at Chancellorsville. Marshal Jean Lannes, commanding Napoleon's Vth Corps at Aspern-Essling died after his foot was amputated when it was struck by a spent cannonball that was literally rolling along the ground.

OTOH, Confederate General John Bell Hood suffered grievous wounds which resulted in the loss of a leg and the use of an arm but lived until 1879. Go figure. It seems that medical treatment was largely a matter of luck.
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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by circumspice » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:22 pm

Even though compound microscopes have been around since the late 16th century, physicians didn't really understand the causes of infection/sepsis. The concept of the necessity of cleanliness in healthcare facilities & personnel was completely unrecognized until Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton & Louis Pasteur, to name a prominent few. Prior to these innovators, washing hands between patients was considered unnecessary. According to the articles I recently read about the evolution of healthcare, discoveries & breakthroughs were spotty, inconsistent & not correlated to healthcare as a whole. It wasn't like each discovery was passed along & recommended to healthcare providers around the world. The dissemination of such vital info was slow to nonexistent. The first known handwashing policy occurred in 1840, in Vienna. It was noted that fewer women died after childbirth if the midwife or physician washed their hands between patients. Wow...
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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Minimalist » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:33 pm

Gunners would swab the cannon with water after every shot but the surgeons couldn't be bothered to wash their hands or their equipment.

One wonders why the practice of sacrificing chickens to Aesclepius ever went out of style!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by circumspice » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:08 am

Too true Min. I read that the British Navy painted the gun decks red in their war ships to keep the gunners from panicking at the sight of blood... I understand that gun decks are dangerous work environments... Remember the expression 'loose canon on the deck? I also remember reading that British officers wore their famous red coats because the color kept you guessing whether not you wounded that officer...

Have you read The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World by Guido Majno? It'sa fascinating book written by a physician about ancient medical practices. It's been out of print for decades but it's still fairly easily found in used bookstores & Amazon.com.
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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Minimalist » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:53 pm

I also remember reading that British officers wore their famous red coats because the color kept you guessing whether not you wounded that officer...
I imagine watching one of them fall face first in the mud would have been a significant clue.

Nope. Never heard of that one.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by circumspice » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:22 pm

Minimalist wrote:
I also remember reading that British officers wore their famous red coats because the color kept you guessing whether not you wounded that officer...
I imagine watching one of them fall face first in the mud would have been a significant clue.

Nope. Never heard of that one.
Wounded, not definitively killed...


You should try to find that book Min. It's a great book. Written by a physician, but written in terms that a reasonably well educated layman can understand. It goes into great detail about the medical practices of certain ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome & India, to name a few. And he doesn't just regurgitate known facts about ancient medical practices, he also takes an experimental approach... He tests the effectiveness of the known treatments in a lab. (both surgical & medicinal) It's a fascinating book. I've had it in my library since the mid 1970s.
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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:40 pm

Wounded, not definitively killed...
Doesn't matter, they would be out of the battle. There is an old military adage that a wounded man is at least three times as much trouble to his own army as a dead one.

Medical science had an appalling tendency to finish off the wounded anyway.

George Washington was probably killed by his "doctors."

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/blood ... tons-death
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by circumspice » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:40 pm

Many years ago I read about the Lincoln assassination. It was barbaric what trusted physicians did to Abe while he was still alive... (he lingered for a while before dying) They threaded a rod into the bullet wound in his head to trace the bullet's path through his brain... It make me nauseous just to think about it. He was still alive... :(
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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Minimalist » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:35 pm

Did they happen to mention what could be gained by knowing that?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by circumspice » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:17 am

Minimalist wrote:Did they happen to mention what could be gained by knowing that?
If I recall correctly, since he was still alive, they were trying to ascertain where in the brain the wound track went. I suppose that because he was still alive they may have believed that the trauma was limited to less essential parts of the brain & may have been survivable... So they were probably trying to determine where the damage was. Of course, because they didn't really know about bacteria causing infections, they weren't particularly worried about introducing bacteria into a wound by inserting a foreign object into said wound. Like I said... Barbaric.

Equally barbaric was how they treated syphilis... It was treated with mercury, arsenic & shockingly, by infecting the patient with malaria... (it was believed to be easier on the patient to treat his/her malaria with quinine than to treat their syphilis with mercury or arsenic) That's just absurd.
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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Simon21 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:19 pm

circumspice wrote:Too true Min. I read that the British Navy painted the gun decks red in their war ships to keep the gunners from panicking at the sight of blood... I understand that gun decks are dangerous work environments... Remember the expression 'loose canon on the deck? I also remember reading that British officers wore their famous red coats because the color kept you guessing whether not you wounded that officer...

Have you read The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World by Guido Majno? It'sa fascinating book written by a physician about ancient medical practices. It's been out of print for decades but it's still fairly easily found in used bookstores & Amazon.com.
The decks of HMS Victory are not painted red in any case it is likely to have had little effect.

The red coat largely derives from the Civil War and from the creation of the New Model Army.

There is of course much bollocks spoken about uniforms - after a few days in the field they were inevitably filthy. Interestingly Wellington only ever issued one order about uniforms "the men should not wear the uniform of the enemy", good advice.

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by Simon21 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:22 pm

circumspice wrote:
Minimalist wrote:Did they happen to mention what could be gained by knowing that?
If I recall correctly, since he was still alive, they were trying to ascertain where in the brain the wound track went. I suppose that because he was still alive they may have believed that the trauma was limited to less essential parts of the brain & may have been survivable... So they were probably trying to determine where the damage was. Of course, because they didn't really know about bacteria causing infections, they weren't particularly worried about introducing bacteria into a wound by inserting a foreign object into said wound. Like I said... Barbaric.

Equally barbaric was how they treated syphilis... It was treated with mercury, arsenic & shockingly, by infecting the patient with malaria... (it was believed to be easier on the patient to treat his/her malaria with quinine than to treat their syphilis with mercury or arsenic) That's just absurd.
How do you infect someone with malaria. the disease agent wasn't known until the late nineteenth century and it is not contagious as such. One sign of syph was black teeth as mercury tended to turn the enamel blac.

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Re: Waterloo limbs

Post by circumspice » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:26 pm

Yes, the discovery of the actual organism that causes malaria took place in 1880... Your point being?
Did I, at any time, mention any dates about the malarial treatment for syphilis? So sorry to ruin your "HAH!" moment...

***How do you deliberately infect a patient with malaria, you ask? By injecting the patient with the Plasmodium protozoa, not unlike the way a mosquito injects it... Next question?



[Treatment of syphilis with malaria or heat].
Verhave JP. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2016.
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Abstract
Until the end of the Second World War, syphilis was a common sexually transmitted infection. This stigmatising infectious disease caused mental decline, paralysis and eventually death. The history of syphilis was given public attention because of 'malaria therapy', which had been applied from the First World War onwards in patients with paralytic dementia. In 1917, the Austrian physician Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1857-1940) induced fever in these patients by infecting them with malaria parasites; in 1927, he received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the healing properties of malarial fever. One source, not cited anywhere, is an interview that the American bacteriologist and science writer/medical journalist Paul de Kruif conducted with Wagner-Jauregg in 1930. The reporting of this meeting, and De Kruif's later involvement in the mechanical heat treatment of patients with syphilis, form the inspiration for this article. When penicillin became available, both treatments became obsolete.




Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1857-1940): Introducing fever therapy in the treatment of neurosyphilis.
Karamanou M, et al. Psychiatriki. 2013 Jul-Sep.
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Abstract
For centuries, heat has been used in various ways for the cure of mental diseases. Hippocrates noted that malarial fever could have a calming effect in epileptics. Centuries later, Galen described a case of melancholy cured as a result of an attack of quartan fever. In 19th century, the eminent French psychiatrist Philippe Pinel, in his treatise on insanity referred to the beneficial effect of fever. An opinion expressed few years later by his pupil Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol in his treatise entitled Des maladies mentales considérées sous les rapports médical, hygiénique et médico-légal. However, in 1917, the Austrian neuro-psychiatrist Julius Wagner Jauregg pointed out the therapeutic value of malaria inoculation in the treatment of dementia paralytica. In 1927, Wagner Jauregg received for this work the Nobel Prize in Medicine, being actually the first psychiatrist to win the Nobel Prize. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and received his doctorate in 1880. In 1889, he was appointed Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Graz's Psychiatric Clinic, a position that he held until 1928. Working in the asylum, Wagner Jauregg noted that insane patients with general paralysis occasionally became sane after some febrile episode. After experimenting with several artificial methods (streptococci, tuberculin) to induce fever, he concluded that malaria was the most satisfactory. Actually, malaria infection was an acceptable risk for the patients, as quinine would be administered as soon as syphilis was cured. In 1917, he reported the first favorable results of his study. Patients were inoculated via intravenous injections with malaria. Some physicians were starting the administration of anti-syphilitic treatment (bismuth, salvarsan and later penicillin) after 10-12 febrile paroxysms, while others initiated the regimen the first febrile-free day after 8 malarial paroxysms. The therapeutic regimen was completed with the administration of quinine sulfate to terminate the malaria infection. It is worth mentioning that the above treatment was followed in hospital under strict monitoring of patients' vital signs and regular laboratory tests. In the following years of his discovery, artificial fever was induced by any one of the following methods: the introduction into the patient of a parasitic disease; the injection of a foreign protein; injections of chemical substances such as sulphur; electrical means such as the administration of diathermy or radiotherapy, or placing the patient in an electromagnetic field; and simple immersion of the individual in a hot bath, or placing him in a heat cabinet. Wagner Jauregg's therapy was highly admired and was used on neurosyphilis cases well onto the 1950's. However, with the introduction of penicillin in syphilis' treatment, fever therapy effectively ended. Wagner Jauregg's study led to all the methods of stress therapy used in psychiatry, as electric shock, and insulin.
"Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer." ~ Alexander Pope

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