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  • Writer's pictureOld Bone

The Mighty Minié

I have a piece coming out in American Digger Magazine later this year which explores the evolution of the Minié ball and its use and consequences during the War Between the States. Below is an excerpt from the piece. Hopefully, I can post the complete essay here after it appears in print.

When a Minié bullet impacted a soldier’s body, it often flattened out ripping through soft tissue as it tumbled; shattering and splintering bones. In his memoir, The Surgeon and the Hospital in the Civil War Albert G. Hart notes that a man’s thigh might deflect a smoothbore round “with no serious injury” while a Minié bullet, “under similar conditions might not only fracture, but crush two or three inches of the bone.”[i] And while entrance wounds were the size of the projectile, exit wounds could be the size of a man’s fist.

[i] Albert G. Hart, The Surgeon and the Hospital in the Civil War, (Old Soldier Books, 1987), 34.

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