Newly Discovered ‘Limb Pit’ Reveals Civil War Surgeons’ Bitter Choices

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tags: Civil War, Archeology



Side by side, in a shallow pit, two soldiers were hastily buried — and along with them, not flowers or mementos, but 11 arms and legs.

The limbs belonged to the fallen soldiers’ comrades, according to archaeologists, and were likely gathered from the amputation tables of deluged Union Army surgeons on a Civil War battlefield and buried there.

The remains, discovered in 2014 and excavated in 2015 from Virginia’s Manassas National Battlefield Park, mark the first-ever discovery of an intact surgeon’s “limb pit,” the National Park Service announced on Wednesday. Experts say the finding is a pivotal development in understanding combat injuries and medical practices in wartime in the mid-19th century.

Read entire article at NYT

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