Thursday, March 22, 2012

"One of His Nuts Was Big as a Goose Egg"

I've been very scattered lately in my genealogical research. I'm attributing much of that lack of focus to the fact that I'm at somewhat of a dead end with Great Great Great Grandpa Julius.  I say "somewhat" only because the "end" is dead online and I'm reluctant for some reason to aggressively pursue the offline resources.

Anyway, in trying to get some focus back, I'm scouring my 3GRGR's Civil War Pension file for info.  Its extensive - spanning about 180 pages of documents, including a LOT of declarations/affidavits (what they like to call "depositions" sometimes, but are nothing like what I think of as a deposition in my current line of work), from friends and relatives.  There were two pension claims (three, really, if you sub-divide the invalid pension claims).  He had two invalid pension claims -- one for rheumatism and one for the sword stabbing in his ass, that occurred "in battle" (while his company was retreating from the position at First Bull Run).  The other was his widow's pension claim (his fifth wife), after he died.

So I'm scouring this, which is somewhat difficult because its all handwritten in poor penmanship.  But I'm reading a doctor's examination of 3GRGR and come across the following gem that caused a double or triple take:

Mind you, his "nuts" have absolutely nothing to do with his claim.  Three lines down, there is a sentence that reads
"The bayonet wound doesn't hurt him. One of his nuts was big as a goose egg, but the swelling has gone down . . .."
My first reaction in reading this was: "they used 'nuts' as slang for testicles in the 19th Century?"  My second reaction was "DOCTORS used 'nuts' as medical terminology for testicles in the 19th Century?"

Go figure.  For what its worth, his nuts didn't kill him.  The rheumatism did.

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