Strange but True

(Reference a letter to Lancet i , 35, 1875) Unusual method of Conception

 

“A real son of a gun”

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On the 12th May 1863, a bullet fired in the American civil war by the confiderates is said to have hit and carried away the left testis of of one of Grant’s soldiers.

The same bullet went on to penetrate the left side of a young woman who was ministering to the wounds of the injured soldiers.

Two hundred and seventy eight days later, while she, firmly insisting on her virginity, gave birth to an 8 lb (3.6 kg) boy. (a son of a gun!)

On close inspection before the delivery the hymen was intact.

Three weeks later , Dr L G Capers of Vicksberg, was called to see the boy because of a swelling of his scrotum.

He operated and removed a smased and battered ‘minieball’. He concluded that this was the same bullet that had hit the testis of the ‘father’ , thus carrying sperm to the mother and fertilizing her ovum. He approached the soldier and related the story, later introducing him to his son’s mother.

The beauty of the story is the two formed an attachment to each other and married, later producing three more siblings to ‘the son of a gun’ by conventional means.

This is not a yarn from me though I am a retired Obstetrician But quoting Records and Curiosities in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Fergusson, Taylor and Watson, Publised by Bailliere Tindall, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC 1 R 4 SG

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