Worn Out ("Shell" shock and the War of 1812)
- Of course, when a British soldier was declared "worn out", it might also mean that his dental state had finally deteriorated to where he no longer had an upper and lower tooth that would meet to tear open his cartridges anymore.....
IMHO, we need to be EXTREMELY careful in attempting to decipher the quasi-medical vernacular of the period. Not all "medical" judgements in the military would have been made by qualified medical personnel, but often by superior officers or perhaps even NCOs! And, even when we strive not to allow it, our modern knowledge of PTSD and other combat-related psychological disorders will colour our perspective and understanding of what we read. An interesting discussion, to be certain... but one in which we must be very cautious with regard to our assumptions.