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| Donald Worster on: The Loss of His Arm
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Donald Worster on: The Loss of His Arm
Donald Worster Q: One of the worst things that could happen to anyone would be to lose a right arm. How did this effect Powell? How did he react to that loss?

DW: He was sent back to Illinois to do some recruiting, he didn't leave the military, he stayed in the army. He went back with what must have been a very painful arm, as well as a melancholy feeling about what his future would be to recruit more soldiers for the cause. Well, within months, he was back at the front again and continued through the rest of the war. He did not leave action. He wanted back into the action. He stayed to the very end of the war, he was mustered out just a few months before the actual surrender of Lee and the Confederates to the Union armies.

This amputated arm caused him a lot of pain in his life, particularly later in his life. He had to go through surgery when he was, you know, in his 50's and 60's. He had to have more treatment of this. So, he must have had a lot of pain associated with it constantly. But it doesn't seem to have slowed him down anyway. It certainly did not affect what he would tackle on the Colorado River or some of these other western adventures. He threw himself into physical situations that were astonishing for a man who was lacking an arm--climbing up ice packs on mountain sides, places that people with all their limbs were reluctant to go. And, he was charging ahead.

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