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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been working at a rural hospital this week, covering the ER while a colleague is on vacation. Over the weekend, there was a small gathering of re-enactors at a local state park, recreating a small Civil War battle (yes, I know, there weren't any Civil War battles in Oregon).

Early in the afternoon, we got a radio call that one of the volunteer fire department ambulances was inbound with a male "stabbing victim" - the message was relayed via the Sheriff's dispatcher, so we didn't have any direct contact with the ambulance.

When they arrived, it was immediately clear that this wasn't a run-of-the-mill stabbing; there was a meter-long (approximately) metal rod sticking out of his abdomen. Fortunately, the victim was in stable condition (otherwise he wouldn't have survived the ambulance ride), so I stabilized the rod, typed and cross-matched some blood and called for a surgeon.

While we were waiting for the surgeon, I asked the man, who was in pain but conscious, how it had happened. He and a group of friends were watching two lines of infantry (in Union and Confederate uniforms) face off and exchange fire with each other. Obviously, they were using blank charges, but they took the precaution of aiming over the heads of the opposite line of troops, so as to not hit each other with the burning wadding.

The two lines had just exchanged fire three times (with many simulated casualties) when my patient suddenly felt like he'd been punched hard in the stomach. He looked down and saw the rod sticking out of his belly, but he never saw anyone stab him.

I took a closer look at the rod and saw something I'd missed before: a cupped knob on the end. That's when it hit me - something I'd read about in a book on the Civil War, about how sometimes soldiers in the heat of battle would forget to remove their ramrods before firing.

Yep. This poor man had been hit by a ramrod from a replica Civil War rifle that some poor schmuck had left in his barrel. I passed that along to the Sheriff's deputy who came to investigate; he didn't seem excited about heading back to the park and trying to find out who was missing a ramrod.

Just another weird day in rural Oregon. God, I love it so!


Jim
 

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That's not your average run of the mill story.
You sure that ramrod wasn't a yard long?
Metric and Civil War just doesn't sound right.
 

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Wow, that's different..... :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's not your average run of the mill story.
You sure that ramrod wasn't a yard long?
Metric and Civil War just doesn't sound right.
I couldn't actually measure it - part of it was "hidden". Also, it was bent.

Jim
 

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I couldn't actually measure it - part of it was "hidden". Also, it was bent.

Jim
I was just messin with you about metric measurements. I reckon that's what you would use in the Medical field though.
Being I'm in construction, and stubborn, I only use it on Japanese motorcycles.
 

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I hope they didn't display a confederate flag there...:eek:
 

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Those rods come out of the barrels with quite a velocity and can have devistating results as you witnessed.

I had an experience where I left a ram rod in a Kentucky pistol while firing at a 25 yard target. The rod and ball went ripping out of the barrel and all I noticed through the smoke was some pieces of wood splintering off around the target. The target had some odd holes or rips but it didn't dawn on me that I launched my ram rod. I figured it out when it was time to reload and I couldn't fined the darn thing.

Hope your patient is doing okay. I wonder if a Yankee or a Rebel got him.
 

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I was a re-enactor for many years, and a great hobby it is, The rules covering safety in the revolutionary war re-enacting hobby forbid drawing the ramrod at any point after the safety inspection, and no ramming of cartridges on the field is allowed. Which is not to say I have never seen a ramrod go flying, just that I saw in once in about 20 years. The poor devil was a spectator? Here's hoping he never has a day with worse luck than this one!
 

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One conclusion I've come to lately is that when it comes to IDIOTS, they are no longer amateurs, even out in the boonies.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I hope there was no beer involved.
This may be one of the few times when alcohol was not a factor. Kind of a "first" in that respect.


I hope they didn't display a confederate flag there...:eek:
I'd be willing to bet there were a few Confederate flags present. At least on one side of the field.


I was a re-enactor for many years, and a great hobby it is, The rules covering safety in the revolutionary war re-enacting hobby forbid drawing the ramrod at any point after the safety inspection, and no ramming of cartridges on the field is allowed. Which is not to say I have never seen a ramrod go flying, just that I saw in once in about 20 years. The poor devil was a spectator? Here's hoping he never has a day with worse luck than this one!
As I understand it, this "re-enactment" is a local thing, without a lot of organization. Maybe they should consider the safety rules you mention. I don't have any personal experience with Civil War (or Revolutionary War) re-enactment.


Poor guy! I wonder if the shooter will be charged with anything?
I never heard if the Sheriff's deputy ever found who launched the ramrod. I expect that it will be difficult to track them down, especially once the word got out that someone was injured (I'm sure I wasn't the first person to notice the long metal rod sticking out of the poor gentleman's belly).


Jim
 

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I do RevWar reenacting and have done Civil War reenacting, ramrods are NOT used on the "battlefield"-at least, not by those who know the rules. At a reenactment at Monmouth Battlefield some years ago a Union drummer boy's drum was pierced by a tompion.
 

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I do RevWar reenacting and have done Civil War reenacting, ramrods are NOT used on the "battlefield"-at least, not by those who know the rules. At a reenactment at Monmouth Battlefield some years ago a Union drummer boy's drum was pierced by a tompion.
I had to read that one twice! The first time I read it that he had been pierced by a tampon! :eek:

I know, I know! I'm getting too old for the internet...:eek:
 

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Went to a battle of the bulge reenactment by accident a few years ago. No ramrods,but they had lots of cool vehicles, encampments, and armor. No German reenactors, nope straight to jail in Belgium or Luxembourg if they wear a German uniform or display a swastika.
 

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I had to read that one twice! The first time I read it that he had been pierced by a tampon! :eek:

I know, I know! I'm getting too old for the internet...:eek:

you just need a large-print edition monitor :eek:
 
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