Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Civil War Oddities #70

Guiding his horse during the heat of battle, a line officer sometimes wished for an extra arm. That way he could use his revolver while holding his reins and waving signals to his aides.

Confederate Major General John B. Hood tops the list of those who kept on going with inadequate body equipment. At Gettysburg, an injury to his left arm left it all but useless. Chickamauga then cost him his right leg, which was amputated very close to his trunk. Hood therefore led Confederates in the battle of Atlanta while strapped into his saddle, wearing a five thousand-dollar French made cork leg.

Though notoriously temperamental, drugs may have affected his judgment. Trying to cope with constant pain, he used laudanum in such quantities that some medical analysts suggest it may have produced euphoria.