Battlefield Heroism and Cringeworthy 1800s Medical Treatment

Common battlefield injuries in the 18th and 19th centuries included laceration wounds from bayonets, bullet wounds from grapeshot, and shrapnel wounds from cannon fire. Sailors suffered the same kinds of wounds on ships and sometimes much worse.

Horrible Wounds

Often, the force of cannonballs hitting oak and pine wood ships produced horrible splinter wounds. Ships’ rigging, sails, and masts could fall and crush those below. The raking fire of cannon canister loads, which consisted of metal shrapnel…