Phantom Limbs; Mysteries of the Mind; Scientific American Presents; by Melzack; 7 Page(s)
In 1866 S. Weir Mitchell, the foremost American neurologist of his time, published his first account of phantom limbs, not in a scientific journal but in the Atlantic Monthly, as an anonymously written short story. In his tale, "The Case of George Dedlow," the protagonist loses an arm to amputation during the Civil War. Later, he awakens in the hospital after, unbeknownst to him, both his legs have also been amputated.
"[I was] suddenly aware of a sharp cramp in my left leg. I tried to get at it... with my single arm, but, finding myself too weak, hailed an attendant. 'Just rub my left calf,... if you please.'" "'Calf?. ..You ain't got none, pardner. It's took off.'"