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Product Description

This is a Civil War Surgeon’s Bleeder. It has a brass body with iron blades. It measures approximately 3” x 1 ¼” and is in three sections, just as it was dug. The iron blade would cut the skin to release the “bad blood”. Many Civil War surgeons continued the practice of bloodletting, simply because they had no other answer for treating the wounded or ill soldier. It can safely be said that this practice never benefited the patient and in many cases did more harm by causing infection. There are examples of this bleeder in "Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medical Instruments and Equipment", by Dr. Gordon Dammann (see pictures).

This bleeder was excavated at Sayler's Creek, near Farmville Virginia. This was the site of the Battle of Sayler's Creek. Robert E. Lee's army was retreating from the Richmond to the Petersburg line here, on April 6, 1865. Union General Philip Sheridan cut off and beat back about a quarter of Lee's army. The battle was composed of three separate engagements, which may be termed the Battle of Hillsman's Farm, the Battle of Marshall's Cross Roads (or Battle of Harper's Farm), and the Battle of Lockett's Farm (or Battle of Double Bridges). The Hillsman house served as a hospital for both Confederate and Union troops. Bloodstains still remain on the floor from when it served as a hospital after the battles. The Lockett house and Christian house still remain. Eight Confederate generals surrendered, and 7,700 men were lost. This was the last major engagement of the war; Lee's surrender at Appomattox occurred three days later. I recently acquired this unique piece directly from the digger. It is in a glass-top display case with an identification tag.

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