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Mexican War Autopsy at Sea


(Medical). William S. Bishop. Autograph Letter Signed, to Augustus Lawyer. November 5, 1846. Aboard the USS Cumberland, off Anton Lizardo. 3 pp. 

Superb Account of a Mexican War Autopsy at Sea

  •      A graphic account by a ship surgeon of an autopsy on a serviceman killed in Mexican War, written to another ship’s surgeon, Augustus Lawyer:  “I am sorry you were not present at Morris’ autopsy—decomposition was going so rapidly on Monday morning that the Dr. hurried the examination through without giving notice to any of the medical gentlemen in the Squadron…You recollect the position of the external wound—the ball continuing its downward direction from the point of the chin, struck the larynx between the thyroid and the cricoid cartileges [sic]…wounding the asophagus [sic] and glancing upon the body of the vertebra made its way downward…where it was found lodged between the body and the transverse process of the right side. It was matter of astonishment…that there had not been more complete apsonia…”


         William S. Bishop (ca. 1804 - 1863 of Rochester, NY) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.   

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