From Around the Web

Better late than, you know…. the Pennsylvania Patriot & Union retracts an 1863 editorial panning the Gettysburg Address.

Most of us would love to own a real Civil War cannon, but it’s probably still ill-advised to fire it at your neighbor, even if it’s only loaded with wadding.

Dr. Howard Markel at PBS takes a look at the Painful History of Anesthesia. Dating back only to 1846 it was pretty new technology for the Civil War, which was the first war in which anesthesia played a major role.

Modern medical re-enactors quash the “bite the bullet” myth. Yep, we’ve all heard that CW surgeons amputated without anesthesia and the patient got only a bullet to bite on. Medical authorities did sometimes run out of anesthesia, but it was not the norm.

Popular Science has quite an interesting map of the prevalence of syphilis during the Civil War. Washington DC seems to have been a hot spot.

And finally, a newsletter about the 169th New York. The author, Steve Wiezbicki, is the descendant of one of its soldiers.  The link above will probably decay pretty fast, but you can find the newsletter and more on the New York State Military Museum web site. Scroll down for the newsletters and much more info that Steve has dug up. The NYMM also has a lot of other good info on New York outfits, much of it contributed by descendants like Steve.

The Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Center are combining at the James River location, former site of Tredegar Arsenal.

The marriage of museums, announced to The Associated Press, will meld the collection of Confederate battle flags, uniforms, weapons and other historic relics with a narrative-based museum that uses bold, interactive exhibits and living history events to relate its 360-degree telling of the war.

UPDATE: Did “Honest Abe” crib some of the Gettysburg Address? Well “of the people, by the people, and for the people” were first written by English cleric John Wycliffe in 1384. Coincidence?

A look at the venerable “Trap Door” Springfield, the first breech-loading service rifle to be adopted by the US Army. In 1866 the Army adopted the first model, a converted Springfield muzzle-loader sleeved down to .50 caliber with the Allin conversion added on. Had the war lasted a year longer this is what the Yankees would have been using. About the same time the Enfield rifle was also converted to a .577 cal. breech-loader with the Snider conversion.

The article looks at the pros and cons of the Trap Door, including the switch from copper cartridges to brass.



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