army medical museum

Vertical Longitudinal Section - Human Head

Sagittal section taken slightly right of the median line of the body. The grey matter of the brain is tinted red, everything else is painted “natural hues”. Designed to show the relations between the head and neck structures, particularly the brain, turbinate bones, nares, mouth, and pharynx. 

From the National Museum of Health and Medicine on Flickr. Preparation created in 1886. Photograph taken in the 20th century.

Skeleton of Peter Cluckey (1882-1925) a Spanish American War vet with progressive ankylosing rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis. He enlisted when he was 17 years old and was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1905 with a Certificate of Disability. Cluckey died on Sept. 10, 1925 at 43 years old. He donated his body to the Army Medical Museum (now the National Museum of Health and Medicine) because he wanted scientists to be able to study his disease. Peter Cluckey’s remains are on display in a wooden chair at the National Museum of Health and Medicine.



When invasive organisms were introduced to the body via gunshot wounds, a “phagedenic condition” (“eating-sloughing”) can occur. It was treated the same way as all other ulcers developing wet gangrene - amputation

Charles F. Barnum, Private in Co. E, of the 187th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, was shot in the Battle of Petersburg, VA, and was photographed and illustrated when his ulcer extended 6.5 inches from his ankle. The amputation was performed just below the tubercule of the tibia, and healed fully. No prosthetic was recorded before discharge.

Photograph from National Museum of Health Archives. Contributed Photograph 1183.


General Sickles (Center) With His Staff, After The Loss Of His Leg At Gettysburg- For Several Years He Visited The Limb On The Anniversary Of The Amputation

During the height of the Confederate attack, Sickles fell victim to a cannonball that mangled his right leg. He was carried by a detail of soldiers to the shade of the Trostle farmhouse, where a saddle strap was applied as a tourniquet. He ordered his aide, Major Harry Tremain, “Tell General Birney he must take command.” As he was carried by stretcher to the III Corps hospital on the Taneytown Road, he bravely attempted to raise his soldiers’ spirits by grinning and puffing on a cigar along the way. His leg was amputated that afternoon. He insisted on being transported back to Washington D.C which he reached on July 4, 1863, bringing some of the first news of the great Union victory, and starting a public relations campaign to ensure his version of the battle prevailed. On the afternoon of July 5, President Lincoln and his son, Tad, visited General Sickles, as he was recovering in Washington.

Sickles had recent knowledge of a new directive from the Army Surgeon General to collect and forward “specimens of morbid anatomy … together with projectiles and foreign bodies removed” to the newly founded Army Medical Museum in Washington, D.C. He preserved the bones from his leg and donated them to the museum in a small coffin-shaped box, along with a visiting card marked, “With the compliments of Major General D.E.S.” For several years thereafter, he reportedly visited the limb on the anniversary of the amputation. The museum, now known as the National Museum of Health and Medicine, features the artifact on display still today. Photo: Sickles’s leg, along with a cannonball similar to the one that shattered it, on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine