One of the ways of finding out is to listen to those who were actually
hit by musket balls during the conflict. One, George Ferguson,(Light
Company, 100th Regt. of Foot) was wounded in the left arm at Chippewa.
The ball lodged in his arm near the elbow, and was later removed in
hospital by Surgeon Alexander Thom at York. The remarkable thing is
that Ferguson writes the following "When I received my wound I knew
nothing of it until my piece fell out of my hand and I saw the blood
running down in a stream."
The ball had lodged in the flesh of the arm, and did not break any
bone. The pain came to him after he had reached safety and his arm had
been tourniqetted. The removal of the ball, without anaesthetic, was
also very painful. The arm was saved, although Thom and others wished
for it to be amputated.
This is, of course, only one example of such a case. It does
illustrate, however, that in this case, with Ferguson standing in the
regular British line, the ball did little damage. Also, his body
initially filtered out the pain. If the ball had hit bone, then the
story might have been completely different. This single illustration
cannot be used to generalise, but it is nevertheless interesting.
I do recall that some enthusiasts in ancient warfare wanted to see how
well the composite bow worked, and they used pig carcasses. Results
were predictable - arrows travelling at certain speeds pierce flesh ;->)
On Sunday, November 30, 2003, at 11:00 PM, Larry Lozon wrote:
> From: "mark dickerson" <mdickerson1@...>
> " it was been 10 years or since my last physics class. And this
> still doesn't answer the question to how a human body would react to a
> musket ball.
> Mr. Mark,
> It's gunna leave a mark!!!! :^)
> The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds
> of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of
> THOUSANDS of square miles...
> Unit Contact information for North America:
> Crown Forces Unit Listing:
> American Forces Unit Lisiting
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