Sunday, January 3, 2010

General "Stonewall" Jackson's Death

In a "Military History" Magazine that I recently found again in my library, there was an interesting article which discusses the cause of death of General Stonewall Jackson. It has been said in many sources that the cause of the General's death was not the wounds that he received at the hands of his own men, but rather the effects of pneumonia. The article investigates the possibility of still another reason for his death; Pulmonary Embolism. The article is quite interesting and worthy of a review.

The last paragraph of the article is indicative of the final possible result,

"Even with today's advanced technology, it is estimated that as many as half of all pulmonary emboli go undetected by physicians. The current treatment and prevention of thromboembolism is accompanied by the use of blood-thinning agents such as Heparin or Lovenox. Although Stonewall Jackson's death was unpreventable, given the state of medicine at the time, it is more likely that he died from thromboembolism as a direct consequence of his wound and amputation, than from the indirect cause of pnueumonia."

Reference: J.D. Haines, "Stonewall Jackson's Death---," Military Heritage Magazine, June, 2008, Col. - Soldiers, Sovereign Media, Herndon, Va,, pages 8-11.

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