Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Bullet in Lincoln's Brain

After the President's death, Lincoln's body was removed to the White House. Dr. Joseph J. Woodward performed the autopsy on the bed in the room now known as the "Lincoln bedroom". Dr. Woodward was assisted by Dr. Edward Curtis. Dr. Curtis remembered:
"The Surgeon General detailed me the history of the case. . . Dr. Woodward and I proceeded to open the head and remove the brain down to the track of the ball. The latter had entered a little to the left of the median line at the back of the head, had passed almost directly forwards through the center of the brain and lodged. Not finding it readily, we proceeded to remove the entire brain, when, as I was lifting the latter from the cavity of the skull, suddenly the bullet dropped out through my fingers and fell, breaking the solemn silence of the room with its clatter, into an empty basin that was standing beneath.
"There it lay upon the white china, a little black mass no bigger than the end of my finger--dull, motionless and harmless, yet the cause of such mighty changes in the world's history as we may perhaps never realize."


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