International/Multi-national · national holidays

A collection of veterans and their injuries

November 11 is the annual observation of Veteran’s Day, Remembrance Day (also called Poppy Day), and Armistice Day. It was chosen to commemorate the Armistice with Germany, marking the end of the hostilities in World War I, which went into effect on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

To observe this holiday, here is a collection of vintage injuries soldiers received during combat.

American Revolutionary War:


Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a man to fight in the war, and was shot twice in the leg. Afraid doctors tending to her injury would find her true sex, she removed one of the musket balls herself. The second proved to difficult to extract herself and it remained in her leg for the rest of her life.
[Source and more information]


Peter Francisco, who carried a broadsword into battle and was called the “Virginia Hercules,” is said to have carried an 1,100 lb. cannon on his shoulders to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. He was seriously wounded, but not fatally, in the thigh with a bayonet during a skirmish, earning him a monument in the National Military Park.
[Source and more information]

American Civil War:


Union soldier Carlton Burgan’s face was disfigured after mercury poisoning from Calomel, a mercury chloride used to treat a variety of ailments including teething for infants, intestinal worms, and colds. 1862.
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Union soldier Benjamin Franklin demonstrates his four lost extremities which were lost to frost bite. 1865.
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Union solider Samuel Decker lost his hands when his gun misfired as he was reloading it in 1862. He designed and oversaw the building of his prosthetic arms which allowed him to eat, dress himself, and write among other activities. These photos were taken in 1867.
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Cathay Williams, who went by the aliases William Cathay and John Williams, disguised herself as a man to fight as a Buffalo Soldier, the name given to black soldiers at the time. She was discharged after contracting smallpox and her sex was revealed during treatment.
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World War I


Canadian Soldier with mustard gas burns
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A soldier shows signs of shell-shock, later called war neurosis. 1916
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World War II


Sgt. Edward F. Good helps Pvt. Lloyd Deming eat his Christmas turkey leg. 1944
[Source]

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