The bullet probably hit the Union soldier as he was fleeing. It may have struck his cartridge box first, which sent it tumbling through the muscle of his right buttock, broke his right leg and buried itself sideways in his thigh bone just below the hip.
His buddies probably carried him as they retreated before the storm of Rebel gun and cannon fire. At the field hospital, the harried surgeons probably took a look at him and moved on to those less seriously wounded.
After he died, he was laid in a shallow pit with a dead comrade and the sawed-off arms and legs of as many as 11 more soldiers cut down at the Civil War’s Second Battle of Bull Run, in August 1862.
On Wednesday the National Park Service announced that archaeologists have found the “limb pit” where the two soldiers and the amputated arms and legs were buried.
The discovery, on the battlefield just north of Manassas, Va., is extraordinary, experts said.
Nothing like it has been found before, and a century and a half after the battle, when a Park Service archaeologist examined the fallen Yankee’s thigh bone, the bullet was still stuck in it.
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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)