Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lincoln's Blood Relics-- Part 10: The Bullet That Killed Him

Booth fired a one-ounce lead ball at Lincoln's head.  The bullet entered below the left ear, bored diagonally through his brain and stopped behind his right eye.  Lincoln never regained consciousness.  No autopsy was necessary to determine cause of death, but it wouldn't have been right to bury the president with the bullet still there.  It had to be dug out.

Edward Curtis, an assistant surgeon at the autopsy described the hideous work"  "I proceeded to open te head and remove the brain down to the track of the ball.  Not finding it readily, we proceeded to remove the entire brain, when, as I was lifting the latter from the cavity of the skull, suddenly the bullet dropped out through my fingers and fell, breaking the solemn silence of the room with its clatter, into an empty basin that was standing beneath.

"There it lay upon the white china, a little black mass no bigger than the end of my finger--dull, motionless and harmless, yet the cause of such mighty changes in the world's history as we may perhaps never realize."

The bullet today is at the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Silver Spring, Maryland.

Such a Little Object, Such a Big Impact.  --Old Secesh

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