America's Civil War


In the decades after he was shot at Gettysburg, William Eckert wasn’t troubled much by the Confederate bullet that lodged near his right shoulder. Then one day in the summer of 1905, the Union veteran from New Jersey felt a sharp pain in his left ankle. It must be that dastardly piece of Rebel lead, he insisted to skeptics. But how could that bullet make such a circuitous journey through a human body? The ankle was examined by X-ray, a relatively new technology. The result: Eckert, incredibly, was correct. A bullet was indeed lodged in a mass of veins in his left foot.

“In all my experience,” the family physician told a newspaper reporter, “I never met with so strange a case. Had the bullet traveled down Mr. Eckert’s right side there would have been nothing unusual about this case. How it traveled around to the left side is a mystery that no medical man or surgeon probably will ever be able to account

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