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Original Civil War Medical Double Incline Leg Splint, as in Gettysburg Museum


Product Description

This is another rare piece from the Civil War Medical collection I am working on, it is a Double Incline Leg Splint. It stands 29“ high and has a hinged area near the top and the bottom has two wooden adjusting screws for the adjustable footrest. It had three linen straps to secure to the leg and another to secure the foot. They worked just as period suspenders did, you would pull the strap through, and clasp would lock it in place. Because of its age and use, only remnants of the straps on the bottom remain.

For many soldiers wounded by a projectile, there would usually be a bone fracture. The bones were pushed back into place, set, and held immobile until the fracture healed together. A rigid splint of wood or leather was tied in place by linen bandages. Civil War surgeons would have to determine how serious the fracture was, if shattered into many pieces, the limb would have to be amputated to avoid gangrene setting in. In my book "The Civil War Soldier - His Personal Items", I discuss these medical procedures further.

These splints are well documented, they are on exhibit in both the Gettysburg Battlefield Museum and The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA (see pictures). The example at Gettysburg was found in a Confederate hospital site in Fredericksburg, VA, and was from the Rosensteel collection (see pictures). Another known example exists with a maker mark stamped “A. Goodwin, Ashfield, Mississippi”. There are other examples, such as in the collection of Colonel Jacob Ludlow, a surgeon with the First Pennsylvania Infantry and that of Dr. John Frissell, Medical Superintendent to care for the sick and wounded soldiers being brought to Wheeling Hospital in West Virginia, as well as military prisoners (see pictures).

Like I said, this is a rare piece of Civil War medical history, and something you do not come across very often. There are few in private collections, most existing examples are in museums. For its age, it remains in very nice condition and would complement just about any Civil War collection.

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