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of a line of block - houses stretching ask at a log-cabin for directions. The along the Cumberland River below house contained a dried-up old woman, Nashville, then occupied by a portion and four white-headed, half-naked chilof the command of General Rosecrans. dren. The woman was either stone
The life we led while on this duty deaf, or pretended to be so; but at all was tedious, and at the same time dan- events she gave me no satisfaction, and gerous in the extreme.
Food was I remounted and rode away. On com scarce and bad, the water horrible, and ing to the end of a lane, into which I we had no cavalry to forage for us. If, had turned to seek the cabin, I found as infantry, we attempted to levy sup- to my surprise that the bars had been plies upon the scattered farms around put up during my brief parley. They us, the population seemed suddenly to were too high to leap, and I therefore double, and in the shape of guerillas dismounted to pull them down. As I “potted” us industriously from behind touched the top rail, I heard a rifle, and distant trees, rocks, or hasty earthworks. at the same instant felt a blow on both Under these various and unpleasant in- arms, which fell helpless. I staggered fluences, combined with a fair infusion to my horse and tried to mount; but, as of malaria, our men rapidly lost health I could use neither arm, the effort was and spirits. Unfortunately, no proper vain, and I therefore stood still, awaitmedical supplies had been forwarded ing my fate. I am only conscious that with our small force (two companies), I saw about me several Graybacks, for and, as the fall advanced, the want of I must have fallen fainting almost im quinine and stimulants became a seri- mediately. ous annoyance. Moreover, our rations When I awoke, I was lying in the were running low; we had been three cabin near by, upon a pile of rubbish. weeks without a new supply; and our Ten or twelve guerillas were gathered commanding officer, Major Terrill, be- about the fire, apparently drawing lots gan to be uneasy as to the safety of his for my watch, boots, hat, etc. I now
About this time it was supposed made an effort to find out how far I that a train with rations would be due
I discovered that I could from the post twenty miles to the north use the left forearm and hand pretty of us; yet it was quite possible that it well, and with this hand I felt the would bring us food, but no medicines, right limb all over until I touched the which were what we most needed. The wound. The ball had passed from left command was too small to detach any to right through the left biceps, and dipart of it, and the Major therefore re- rectly through the right arm just below solved to send an officer alone to the the shoulder, emerging behind. The post above us, where the rest of the right hand and forearm were cold and Seventy-Ninth lay, and whence they perfectly insensible. I pinched them could easily forward quinine and stim- as well as I could, to test the amount ulants by the train, if it had not left, of sensation remaining; but the hand or, if it had, by a small cavalry escort. might as well have been that of a dead
It so happened, to my cost, as it I began to understand that the turned out, that I was the only officer nerves had been wounded, and that the fit to make the journey, and I was ac- part was utterly powerless. By this cordingly ordered to proceed to Block time my friends had pretty well divided House No. 3, and make the required the spoils, and, rising together, went arrangements. I started alone just af- out. The old woman then came to me ter dusk the next night, and during the and said, “ Reckon you'd best git up. darkness succeeded in getting within Theyuns is agoin' to take you away.” three miles of my destination. At this To this I only answered, “Water, watime I found that I had lost my way, ter.” I had a grim sense of amusement and, although aware of the danger of on finding that the old woman was not my act, was forced to turn aside and deaf, for she went out, and presently
came back with a gourdful, which you die in your sins : you will go where I eagerly drank. An hour later the only pain can be felt. For all eternity, Graybacks returned, and, finding that I all of you will be as that hand, — knowwas too weak to walk, carried me out, ing pain only." and laid me on the bottom of a com- I
suppose I was very weak, but somemon cart, with which they set off on a how I felt a sudden and chilling horror trot. The jolting was horrible, but-with- of possible universal pain, and suddenly in an hour I began to have in my dead fainted. When I awoke, the hand was right hand a strange burning, which worse, if that could be. It was red, was rather a relief to me. It increased shining, aching, burning, and, as it as the sun rose and the day grew warm, seemed to me, perpetually rasped with until I felt as if the hand was caught hot files. When the doctor came, I and pinched in a red-hot vice. Then begged for morphia. He said gravely: in my agony I begged my guard for “We have none. You know you don't water to wet it with, but for some rea- allow it to pass the lines." son they desired silence, and at every I turned to the wall, and wetted the noise threatened me with a revolver. hand again, my sole relief. In about At length the pain became absolutely an hour, Dr. Wilson came back with unendurable, and I grew what it is the two aids, and explained to me that fashion to call demoralized. I screamed, the bone was so broken as to make it cried, and yelled in my torture, until, as hopeless to save it, and that, besides, I suppose, my captors became alarmed, amputation offered some chance of arand, stopping, gave me a handkerchief, resting the pain. I had thought of this - my own, I fancy,- and a canteen of before, but the anguish I felt - I canwater, with which I wetted the hand, to
not say endured was so awful, that I my unspeakable relief.
made no more of losing the limb than It is unnecessary to detail the events of parting with a tooth on account of by which, finally, I found myself in one toothache. Accordingly, brief preparaof the Rebel hospitals near Atlanta. tions were made, which I watched with Here, for the first time, my wounds a sort of eagerness such as must forwere properly cleansed and dressed ever be inexplicable to any one who has by a Dr. Oliver Wilson, who treated not passed six weeks of torture like me throughout with great kindness. I that which I had suffered. told him I had been a doctor ; which, I had but one pang before the operaperhaps, may have been in part the tion. As I arranged myself on the left cause of the unusual tenderness with side, so as to make it convenient for which I was managed. The left arm the operator to use the knife, I asked: was now quite easy; although, as will “Who is to give me the ether ? " be seen, it never entirely healed. The “We have none," said the person quesright arm was worse than ever, — the tioned. I set my teeth, and said no humerus broken, the nerves wounded, and the hand only alive to pain. I use I need not describe the operation. this phrase because it is connected in The pain felt was severe; but it was my mind with a visit from a local visitor, insignificant as compared to that of any - I am not sure he was a preacher, other minute of the past six weeks. who used to go daily through the wards, The limb was removed very near to the and talk to us, or write our letters. One shoulder-joint. As the second incision morning he stopped at my bed, when was made, I felt a strange lightning of this little talk occurred.
pain play through the limb, defining “How are you, Lieutenant ?”. every minutest fibril of nerve. This
“O,” said I, “as usual. All right, but was followed by instant, unspeakable this hand, which is dead except to pain." relief, and before the flaps were brought
“ Ah,” said he, “such and thus will together I was sound asleep. I have the wicked be, - such will you be if only a recollection that I said, pointing
to the arm which lay on the floor: with thus intensifying the momentary
were examining the wounded about me It is no part of my plan to detail my came up to where I lay. A hospital weary months of monotonous prison steward raised my head, and poured life in the South. In the early part of down some brandy and water, while August, 1863, I was exchanged, and, another cut loose my pantaloons. The after the usual thirty days' furlough, re- doctors exchanged looks, and walked turned to my regiment a captain. away. I asked the steward where I
On the 19th of September, 1863, occurred the battle of Chickamauga, in “Both thighs,” said he; "the Doc's which my regiment took a conspicuous won't do nothing." part. The close of our own share in “ No use?” said I. this contest is, as it were, burnt into “ Not much," said he. my memory with every least detail. It “ Not much means none at all," I was about six P. M., when we found our- answered. selves in line, under cover of a long, thin When he had gone, I set myself to row of scrubby trees, beyond which lay thinking about a good many things a gentle slope, from which, again, rose which I had better have thought of bea hill rather more abrupt, and crowned fore, but which in no way concern with an earthwork. We received orders the history of my case. A half-hour to cross this space, and take the fort in went by. I had no pain, and did not front, while a brigade on our right was
At last, I cannot explain to make a like movement on its flank. why, I began to look about me. At
Just before we emerged into the open first, things appeared a little hazy ; but ground, we noticed what, I think, was I remember one which thrilled me a common in many fights, — that the en- little, even then.. emy had begun to bowl round-shot at A tall, blond-bearded major walked us, probably from failure of shell. We up to a doctor near me, saying, “When passed across the valley in good order, you ’ve a little leisure, just take a look although the men fell rapidly all along at my side.” the line. As we climbed the hill, our “ Do it now," said the doctor. pace slackened, and the fire grew The officer exposed his left hip. heavier. At this moment a battery “ Ball went in here, and out here.” opened on our left, — the shots crossing The Doctor looked up at him with a our heads obliquely. It is this moment curious air, — half pity, half amazement. which is so printed on my recollection. “If you 've got any message, you ’d I can see now, as if through a window, best send it by me." the gray smoke, lit with red flashes, “Why, you don't say its serious ? " the long, wavering line, — the sky blue was the reply. above, – the trodden furrows, blotted “Serious! Why, you ’re shot through with blue blouses. Then it was as if
the stomach. You won't live over the the window closed, and I knew and saw day.”
No other scene in my life is Then the man did what struck me thus scarred, if I may say so, into my as a very odd thing. Anybody got a memory. I have a fancy that the hor- pipe ?” Som ne gave him a pipe. rible shock which suddenly fell upon He filled it eliberately, struck a light me must have had something to do with a flint, and sat down against a tree
near to me. Presently the doctor came three days it attacked twenty persons. over to him, and asked what he could Then an inspector came out, and we do for him.
were transferred at once to the open “Send me a drink of Bourbon." air, and placed in tents. Strangely "Anything else ?"
enough, the wound in my remaining “ No."
arm, which still suppurated, was seized As the doctor left him, he called him
The usual remedy, back. “ It 's a little rough, Doc, is n't bromine, was used locally, but the it?"
main artery opened, was tied, bled No more passed, and I saw this man again and again, and at last, as a final no longer, for another set of doctors resort, the remaining arm was ampuwere handling my legs, for the first tated at the shoulder-joint. Against time causing pain. A moment after, a all chances I recovered, to find myself a steward put a towel over my mouth, useless torso, more like some strange and I smelt the familiar odor of chloro- larval creature than anything of human form, which I was glad enough to shape. Of my anguish and horror of breathe. In a moment the trees began myself I dare not speak. I have dicto move around from left to right, – tated these pages, not to shock my then faster and faster; then a universal readers, but to possess them with facts grayness came before me, and I recall in regard to the relation of the mind to nothing further until I awoke to con- the body; and I hasten, therefore, to sciousness in a hospital-tent. I got such portions of my case as best illushold of my own identity in a moment trate these views. or two, and was suddenly aware of a In January, 1864, I was forwarded sharp cramp in my left leg. I tried to to Philadelphia, in order to enter what get at it to rub it with my single arm, was then known as the Stump Hosbut, finding myself too weak, hailed an pital, South Street. This favor was attendant. “Just rub my left calf,” said obtained through the influence of my I, “if you please.”
father's friend, the late Governor An“Calf?” said he, “you ain't none, derson, who has always manifested pardner. It 's took off.”
an interest in my case, for which I “I know better," said I. “I have am deeply grateful. It was thought, pain in both legs.”
at the time, that Mr. Palmer, the leg“Wall, I never !” said he.
“You maker, might be able to adapt some ain't got nary leg."
form of arm to my left shoulder, as As I did not believe him, he threw on that side there remained five inches off the covers, and, to my horror, showed of the arm bone, which I could move to me that I had suffered amputation of a moderate extent. The hope proved both thighs, very high up.
illusory, as the stump was always too “ That will do,” said I, faintly. tender to bear any pressure. The hos
A month later, to the amazement of pital referred to was in charge of sevevery one, I was so well as to be moved eral surgeons while I was an inmate, from the crowded hospital at Chatta- and was at all times a clean and pleasnooga to Nashville, where I filled one ant home. It was filled with men of the ten thousand beds of that vast who had lost one arm or leg, or one of metropolis of hospitals. Of the suffer- each, as happened now and then. I ings which then began I shall presently saw one man who had lost both legs, speak. It will be best just now to de- and one who had parted with both tail the final misfortune which here fell arms ; but none, like myself, stripped of upon me. Hospital No. 2, in which I every limb. There were collected in lay, was inconvenientl* crowded with this place hundreds of these cases, severely wounded offi'. After my which gave to it, with reason enough, third week, an epidemic of hospital the not very pleasing title of Stumpgangrene broke out in my ward. In Hospital.
I spent here three and a half months, any case, the intelligent servant will before my transfer to the United States refer the publ to the front door, and Army Hospital for nervous diseases. obey it accordingly. The impressions Every morning I was carried out in made on the cut ends of the nerve, or an arm-chair, and placed in the libra- on its sides, are due often to the changes ry, where some one was always ready in the stump during healing, and conto write or read for me, or to fill my sequently cease as it heals, so that pipe. The doctors lent me medical finally, in a very healthy stump, no such. books; the ladies brought me luxu- impressions arise; the brain ceases to ries, and fed me; and, save that I was correspond with the lost leg, and, as helpless to a degree which was humili- les absents ont toujours tort, it is no ating, I was as comfortable as kind- longer remembered or recognized. But ness could make me.
in some cases, such as mine proved at I amused myself, at this time, by not- last to my sorrow, the ends of the ing in my mind all that I could learn from nerves undergo a curious alteration, other limbless folk, and from myself, as and get to be enlarged and altered. to the peculiar feelings which were This change, as I have seen in my noticed in regard to lost members. I practice of medicine, passes up the found that the great mass of men who nerves towards the centres, and occahad undergone amputations, for many sions a more or less constant irritation months felt the usual consciousness of the nerve-fibres, producing neuralgia, that they still had the lost limb. It which is usually referred to that part itched or pained, or was cramped, but of the lost limb to which the affected never felt hot or cold. If they had nerve belongs. This pain keeps the painful sensations referred to it, the brain ever mindful of the missing part, conviction of its existence continued and, imperfectly at least, preserves to unaltered for long periods; but where the man a consciousness of possessing no pain was felt in it, then, by degrees, that which he has not. the sense of having that limb faded Where the pains come and go, as away entirely. I think we may to some they do in certain cases, the subjective extent explain this. The knowledge sensations thus occasioned are very we possess of any part is made up of curious, since in such cases the man the numberless impressions from with loses and gains, and loses and regains, out which affect its sensitive surfaces, the consciousness of the presence of and which are transmitted through its lost parts, so that he will tell you, nerves to the spinal nerve-cells, and “Now I feel my thumb, — now I feel my through them, again, to the brain. We little finger." I should also add, that are thus kept endlessly informed as to nearly every person who has lost an the existence of parts, because the im- arm above the elbow feels as though pressions which reach the brain are, by the lost member were bent at the ela law of our being, referred by us to bow, and at times is vividly impressed the part from which they came. Now, with the notion that his fingers are when the part is cut off, the nerve- strongly flexed. trunks which led to it and from it, re- Another set of cases present a pecumaining capable of being impressed liarity which I am at a loss to account by irritations, are made to convey to for. Where the leg, for instance, has the brain from the stump impressions been lost, they feel as if the foot was which are as usual referred by the present, but as though the leg were brain to the lost parts, to which these shortened. If the thigh has been taken nerve - threads belonged. In other off, there seems to them to be a foot at words, the nerve is like a bell-wire. You the knee ; if the arm, a hand seems to may pull it at any part of its course, be at the elbow, or attached to the stump and thus ring the bell as well as if you itself. pulled at the end of the wire ; but, in As I have said, I was next sent to