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(Civil War Forensics) Surgeon: Pneumonia Likely Killed 'Stonewall' Jackson
The Charleston Gazette ^ | May 10, 2013 | The Charleston Gazette

Posted on 05/10/2013 8:08:54 PM PDT by DogByte6RER

stonewall jackson photo: General Stonewall Jackson! stonewall1.jpg

Surgeon: Pneumonia likely killed 'Stonewall' Jackson

Legendary Confederate general died 150 years ago Friday

Historians and doctors have debated for decades what medical complications caused the death of legendary Confederate fighter Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, felled by friendly fire from his troops during the Civil War.

Shot three times while returning from scouting enemy lines in the Virginia wilderness, Jackson was badly wounded in the left arm by one of the large bullets the night of May 2, 1863. Blood gushed from a severed artery. It took at least two hours to get him to a field hospital, and Jackson was dropped twice in a stretcher before his arm was amputated. He died days later at age 39.

Scholars have long questioned whether it was an infection or pneumonia that killed Jackson, who gained the nickname "Stonewall" early in the war at the Battle of First Manassas and went on to be lionized in the South and feared in the North because of his military prowess.

On Friday, the 150th anniversary of Jackson's death, a trauma surgeon with experience on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan revealed his diagnosis of Jackson's death after reinvestigating the medical record. After reviewing the 1860s files and subsequent reports, University of Maryland surgeon and professor Joseph DuBose told The Associated Press that Jackson most likely died of pneumonia.

DuBose is confirming the original diagnosis given by Jackson's personal physician, the famed Confederate Dr. Hunter H. McGuire.

"You would be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified than him for the treatment of this injury and taking care of Stonewall Jackson," DuBose said. "I do defer to him in some regard. I kind of have to. He's not only the treating physician; he's also the only source of information."

McGuire's original medical notes were lost when he was captured by Union soldiers. He recreated them from memory three years later for the Richmond Medical Journal.

Pneumonia was common in the Civil War, becoming the third-most fatal disease for soldiers.

Jackson was the subject of an annual conference Friday at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore that reviews medical diagnoses of historical figures. In the past, researchers have reviewed the deaths of Alexander the Great, Edgar Allan Poe and Abraham Lincoln, among others.

DuBose is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, where Jackson was a professor when the Civil War broke out. A large statue of Jackson stands near the campus barracks. So, his legacy and death were ingrained in DuBose's experience as a cadet.

Jackson was shot by soldiers from the 18th North Carolina regiment in a moment of confusion. He had led a surprise attack in the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia, and the Confederates drove Union forces back about three miles. Civil War historian James I. Robertson Jr. recounts that Jackson wasn't satisfied and rode out at night to review the enemy's position. When he rode back, he was shot by his own soldiers.

Being dropped during a frantic nighttime rescue might have contributed to Jackson's death, DuBose found.

"If he had been dropped and had a pulmonary contusion, or bruise of the lung, it creates an area of the lung that doesn't clear secretions real well, and it can be a focus that pneumonia can start in," DuBose said. "That's probably what happened in this particular instance."

DuBose, a U.S. Air Force veteran, said pulmonary embolism -- a blockage of the major blood vessel in the lung -- still occurs in nearly 6 percent of combat casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is even more common among those who have amputations, as Jackson did.

Still, the debate will continue over Jackson's death.

Dr. Philip Mackowiak, an internist who organizes the conference each year, said he differs with DuBose on the Jackson case. He reviewed the records and said he believes a recurrent pulmonary emboli destroyed Jackson's lung over time, leading to his death. The medical records don't describe Jackson coughing, as one would expect with pneumonia, Mackowiak said.

It's impossible to know for sure what killed Jackson, but DuBose said modern medicine could have saved him. Jackson's doctor didn't have the tools or knowledge to treat the complications after the shooting.

Robertson, a former Virginia Tech historian and professor who wrote Jackson's biography, said he has been persuaded that sepsis, caused by severe infection, killed Jackson, because of his chaotic rescue and unsanitary conditions. He noted, though, that doctors at the time agreed Jackson had pneumonia.

"Unfortunately, medicine in the mid-19th century was still in the Dark Ages," he said. "Obviously, I'm not overly concerned with how he died. I'm terribly concerned that he died."

Jackson was a pivotal figure and perhaps the most esteemed soldier in the war, Robertson said. He was known for secrecy and speed to execute surprise flank attacks for Gen. Robert E. Lee's strategy.

"He was killed in what may be the high-water mark of the Confederacy," Robertson said. "You can make a case that, after Chancellorsville, it's just a question of time for Lee."


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Military/Veterans; Miscellaneous; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: 1863; 19thcenturymedicine; civilwar; confederacy; forensics; forensicscience; pneumonia; stonewalljackson; thomasjackson; warbetweenthestates; warmedicine
stonewall jackson photo: Stonewall Jackson - Kuntsler Jackson.jpg Painting of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson by Mort Künstler
1 posted on 05/10/2013 8:08:55 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
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stonewall jackson grave photo: stonewall arm StonewallsArm.jpg This tombstone in Orange County, Va., marks the spot where "Stonewall" Jackson's arm was buried after amputation.
2 posted on 05/10/2013 8:12:55 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER
"Unfortunately, medicine in the mid-19th century was still in the Dark Ages,"

Like we aren't today. They gutted me like a fish in Dec 2009. I did survive it. It is barbaric.

/johnny

3 posted on 05/10/2013 8:23:02 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: DogByte6RER

**”Stonewall” Jackson by Mort Künstler ***

Mort Kunsler was one of the fine artists of the men’s magazines of the 1950s and 1960s. They would do a painting, then do a story around it.


4 posted on 05/10/2013 8:23:19 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: DogByte6RER

Proud to say that my four time great-grandmother from Clarksburg, VA (now W.V) was Stonewall Jackson’s aunt.


5 posted on 05/10/2013 8:24:25 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (NRA)
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To: DogByte6RER

Perhaps of medical or strict historical interest. But common sense tells you, he died as a result of his wounds.


6 posted on 05/10/2013 8:29:08 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: DogByte6RER

General Robert E Lee was quoted as saying “Jackson has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right”.


7 posted on 05/10/2013 8:41:36 PM PDT by ryan71 (The Second American Revolution)
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To: LibWhacker

This appeared in a local major market newspaper.... The point exactly? This article sounds like the kind of thing I wrote in boy scouts to get my journalism merit badge.

Many of these employed as such journalists should consider themselves lucky that they didn’t have to meet THOSE standards.


8 posted on 05/10/2013 8:47:12 PM PDT by bakeneko
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To: DogByte6RER

I’ve always wondered if Jackson would have survived had they gotten him up, walking around in the sun, and getting a little D-3.


9 posted on 05/10/2013 8:47:44 PM PDT by pallis
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To: DogByte6RER

A quite elegant death if I remember correctly - supposedly said at the end “let’s cross the river boys, and rest in the shade of the trees”.....


10 posted on 05/10/2013 8:55:57 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: DogByte6RER
Gettysburg would have very differently had Jackson been there, he being the most brilliant flanker of the war.
11 posted on 05/10/2013 9:04:32 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
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To: DogByte6RER

I have read somewhere that Jackson’s physician was considered perhaps the best Dr. in the country. He was also one of the youngest.

He was later president of the AMA. On the day Jackson died, he seemed to be recovering a bit but Dr. McGuire told Jackson’s family that he would die that day.


12 posted on 05/10/2013 9:04:51 PM PDT by yarddog (Truth, Justice, and what was once the American Way.)
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To: Intolerant in NJ
A quite elegant death if I remember correctly

There are worse things to aspire to.

/johnny

13 posted on 05/10/2013 9:20:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd
Gettysburg would have very differently had Jackson been there

Jackson had the "gravitas"(sp)that the other generals lacked to challenge Lee's fateful decision to charge the well fortified positions the Union established.

Victory on the Gettysburg battlefield was at long odds prospect even if with faithful Jackson at Lee's call and an withdrawal from the would have only prolonged the war.

Given the might of the industrialized north, the South's only hope of ending the war rested upon the political defeat of Lincoln in the upcoming election.



Lee took the gamble, lost and thus the war was essentially over...

Just my humble opinion.
14 posted on 05/10/2013 9:59:06 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: RedMonqey

It’s hard to admit it....that one simple bad decision, which amounted to a twenty-minute effort, triggered the end of the war.

Everyone, at some point in their life, needs to make a trip to Gettysburg...spend an entire day there....and get the layout of the land and the battle.


15 posted on 05/10/2013 10:10:17 PM PDT by pepsionice
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To: DogByte6RER

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as Southern as you can be, but doesn’t it bother anyone that they WASTED a ton of money on something like this?

The man has been dead for 150 YEARS! Who CARES what killed him? It was how he lived that was important.


16 posted on 05/10/2013 11:20:11 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: DogByte6RER

blood loss, opportunistic infection, sepsis and/or pneumonia, possible blood clots complicting things, shock.


17 posted on 05/11/2013 2:00:00 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I wish we in the South would have won


18 posted on 05/11/2013 4:02:42 AM PDT by Democrat_media (D's & Mary Landrieu voted 4 UN to take away our 2nd amendment rights)
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To: DogByte6RER

I thought that the fact that Jackson died of pneumonia was established long ago.


19 posted on 05/11/2013 4:10:10 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: RedMonqey
Jackson had the "gravitas"(sp)that the other generals lacked to challenge Lee's fateful decision to charge the well fortified positions the Union established.

Would he have challenged it though? He never argued with Lee on any other orders.

20 posted on 05/11/2013 4:12:26 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: Democrat_media
I wish we in the South would have won

Better luck next time.

21 posted on 05/11/2013 4:13:54 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: 0.E.O
Enjoy being slaves of these sick government bureaucrats
22 posted on 05/11/2013 4:17:49 AM PDT by Democrat_media (D's & Mary Landrieu voted 4 UN to take away our 2nd amendment rights)
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To: Democrat_media
Enjoy being slaves of these sick government bureaucrats

It always amuses me when you rebel wannabes complain about slavery.

23 posted on 05/11/2013 4:19:37 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: DogByte6RER

Longstreet and Jackson were “modern” generals that believed in maneuver warfare, using terrain to you advantage, surprise and deception. To a lesser extent Grant was like that too.


24 posted on 05/11/2013 4:22:51 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: 0.E.O

you trust and love government ,being a slave, bowing to your masters at the government agencies ,and your Gods government and barack Hussein Obama


25 posted on 05/11/2013 4:39:26 AM PDT by Democrat_media (D's & Mary Landrieu voted 4 UN to take away our 2nd amendment rights)
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To: 0.E.O
you think it's amusing that Lincoln in DC denied states their rights and then genocided Americans in the South, burning Atlante for example etc. for some trumped up PC charge
26 posted on 05/11/2013 4:47:16 AM PDT by Democrat_media (D's & Mary Landrieu voted 4 UN to take away our 2nd amendment rights)
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To: Democrat_media
you trust and love government ,being a slave, bowing to your masters at the government agencies ,and your Gods government and barack Hussein Obama

Blah, blah, blah. It's also amusing how so many of you take any thread that remotely touches on the rebellion and try to convince everyone how everything would be sooooo much better if only the South had won. Ninety percent of what is wrong with this country is the fault of the Democrats, and for most of that time the Democrats were Southerners. So why should be think that a Confederate States would be any different?

27 posted on 05/11/2013 4:49:37 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: Democrat_media
you think it's amusing that Lincoln in DC denied states their rights and then genocided Americans in the South, burning Atlante for example etc. for some trumped up PC charge

Yeah I think it was a hoot.

28 posted on 05/11/2013 4:51:17 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: 0.E.O
Things couldn't be much worse

I am for Louisana seceding. if other states want to join us fine

and what do you think the barack Obama donkey would do if we did secede? send an army against the citizens like Lincoln did that's what this evil tyrant would do and you know it..and of course the news media will make up some charge against Louisiana to justify invasion

29 posted on 05/11/2013 4:54:05 AM PDT by Democrat_media (D's & Mary Landrieu voted 4 UN to take away our 2nd amendment rights)
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To: central_va
Longstreet and Jackson were “modern” generals that believed in maneuver warfare, using terrain to you advantage, surprise and deception.

They were also two generals who fit in well under Lee's leadership style, which was to give his subordinate commanders broad ideas of what his intent was and leave it to them to put those ideas into action. Longstreet and Jackson could do that. Ewell and Hill, not so much.

30 posted on 05/11/2013 4:56:51 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: DogByte6RER

He was more than a hero. He was the Stone wall


31 posted on 05/11/2013 5:03:54 AM PDT by Democrat_media (D's & Mary Landrieu voted 4 UN to take away our 2nd amendment rights)
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To: Democrat_media
I am for Louisana seceding. if other states want to join us fine

I'm not saying secession wouldn't someday be necessary, but if it comes to that then I certainly wouldn't want to hitch my wagon to the southern states. I'd like to carve out a conservative country starting in Oklahoma and moving up through Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, then taking in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. Realizing that access to the sea is probably needed then if we can't get western Canada to join us I'd bite the bullet and accept Washington. Except for King county it's actually pretty conservative. Give me that and I'd be happy. Then whatever you Southerners do is of no interest to me.

32 posted on 05/11/2013 5:04:44 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: Democrat_media
The standing Army of the USA, the part that is

 A. Not deployed overseas and 
 B. Not of Southern heritage

is to small to occupy New Orleans let alone all of Louisiana.

33 posted on 05/11/2013 5:08:04 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd
Gettysburg would have very differently had Jackson been there, he being the most brilliant flanker of the war.

JEB Stuart taking a tour of Pennsylvania while Lee needed him didn't help either. "... the absence of the cavalry rendered it impossible to obtain accurate information. ... By the route [Stuart] pursued, the Federal Army was interposed between his command and our main body, preventing any communication with him until his arrival at Carlisle. The march toward Gettysburg was conducted more slowly than it would have been had the movements of the Federal Army been known" (from Lee)

34 posted on 05/11/2013 6:27:40 AM PDT by Hacksaw
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To: 0.E.O
Would he (Jackson)have challenged it though? He never argued with Lee on any other orders.

Good question. Jackson never HAD to question his decisions before. It has been argued that if Jackson and not Ewell leading, Cemetery Hill would have given the Confederacy a distinct advance to swept the Union line on Cemetery Ridge and threaten the Union's line of communication's.

It's all a bunch of "what ifs" and "if so's" but it is very interesting to me and my family because my great, great grandfather fought with the 14th Tennessee in Archer's Brigade under General Lee's Arny of VNorthern Virginia.

He was one of a handful of survivbing veterans that fought that day(s) with the 14th that was literally decimated at the Gettysburg Battle.

He was later shot in the arm at the Battle of Hatcher's Run.
35 posted on 05/11/2013 2:43:40 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: pepsionice
It’s hard to admit it....that one simple bad decision

Yeah it is but history is replete with such moments.

Some have conjectured that Lee , fatigued by the long endurance of the war had suffered a mild stroke and that had compromised his decision making.

I haven't seen any proof of the stroke theory just that he died years later of one. But I can can well imagine the stress and pressure of having the responsibility of a nation resting on your every decision would wear any man down.

My brother visited the Gettysburg Battlefield and he said it was tremendous powerful experience.

Humbling he said.
36 posted on 05/11/2013 2:54:40 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: 0.E.O
Longstreet and Jackson could do that. Ewell and Hill, not so much.

I have often wondered what Gen.Nathan Bedford Forrest could have accomplished had he been given a larger command than the short sighted, truly elitist command given him.

His lack of formal military education and social status among the plantation elite hurt him but wounded the Lost Cause even more....
37 posted on 05/11/2013 3:03:47 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: Democrat_media; 0.E.O

Now now here you two, Democrat_media, 0.E.O.
(imatating my grannies voice)

As a loyal Son of the South, I can respectfully say that there are good things as well as bad things that we Southerners bear the brunt for. Slavery was one of the worst things I can imagine fighting and dying for but the Union brought flower to an ever expanding government, Corporate-Fascism and activist intrusion in our daily lives.

Lincoln indeed, freed the slaves and he should be given credit for it but he also allowed for the Black Republicans to destroy a bit of the Constition as well.

Nobody can say they are stainless in this country..

So can we...

...Just get along?


38 posted on 05/11/2013 3:20:59 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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