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vulnus sclopeticum
In Response To: Re: medical terms in CSR ()

Roy: Just got this response back from Terry Reimer at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. "Vulnus sclopeticum" means a gunshot wound without regard to severity. Hugh

July 9, 2002

Dear R. Hugh Simmons,

Thank you for your inquiry to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. We often get queries about the term vulnus sclopeticum, occasionally abbreviated vul. sclopet., vul. sclop., or even V.S.. This is a Latin term which means "gunshot wound." I ran across it many times in the hospital records and medical histories of soldiers. It was used interchangeably with "gunshot wound" regardless of the severity, so it was not limited to severe wounds or amputations.

I have included a short bibliography of books on Civil War medicine. Our Museum store sells these books, please contact Ann Lee at (301) 695-5225 for prices and details. Our on-line store is now in operation as well. You can access it through our website, Museum membership information is also on the website. All members receive our quarterly newsletter which includes information on the Museum, specific artifacts, and research reports. Membership dues support the Museum. Thank you again for your interest in the Museum.


Terry Reimer
Director of Research/ Public Relations Coordinator
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
(301) 695-1864

Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs; Alfred Jay Bollet, Galen Press, 2002

Medical Practices in the Civil War; Susan Beller, Betterway Books, Cincinnati, 1992

Civil War Medicine: An Illustrated History; Mark J. Schaadt, M.D., Cedarwood Publishing, Quincy Illinois, 1998

Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care During the American Civil War; Frank R. Freemon, 1998, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

One Vast Hospital: The Civil War Hospital Sites in Frederick, Maryland after Antietam; Terry Reimer, 2001, National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Inc.

Notes and Observations on Army Surgery; F. Formento; bound with A Treatise on Gun-Shot Wounds; Moritz Schuppert, 1863 (Confederate); reprinted 1990, Norman Publishing Co., San Francisco

Gunshot Wounds and Other Injuries of Nerves; Silas Weir Mitchell, George Read Morehouse, and William Williams Keen, 1864; reprinted 1989, Norman Publishing Co., San Francisco

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