Cotton, who still works part time at the museum, shows off the 1874 medical article written by confederate surgeon Dr. LeGrand Caper.
"The war's been over for nine years. My colleagues in the field keep on revealing the almost impossible things they accomplished on the field of battle," Cotton repeated from Caper's article.
Caper's tale comes from the Battle of Raymond. The story centers on a center kind of bullet - a minie ball.
It's a and elongated ball that's larger that bullets used in modern combat. It was also the most commonly used ball during the Civil War.
Current Curator, George Bolm, said the write-up was - at first - accepted. Dr. caper was General Stonewall Jackson's personal staff surgeon for a time.
"Well, I think the way the story was written up - it was written by a credible person. And they thought 'yeah. it's possible,'" Bolm said.
Cotton recounts the story, taking place in Raymond, on May 12, 1863.
"There's this woman and her daughter standing on the porch of their house on the edge of the field were the battle was taking place, you might say cheering them on, and all of a sudden the rebels are retreating," Cotton said.
"The yankees are chasing them. Dr. capers is retreating and he hears this scream. And he turns and this young confederate soldier had been shot through the testicles," Cotton said.
"And he wasn't going to die but he felt like it I'm sure," Cotton said.
"Almost immediately he hears another scream, another high pitched scream, from the porch of this house. And when he goes over there the young lady had been shot," Cotton said.
Both survived - and more, the story goes.
"[Caper] goes back and the girl is very pregnant. And he can't believe it because he knew the family they were not that kind of people. and the girl protested, she swore, she was a virgin," Cotton said.
"He went to the Confederate soldier who, of course, had recovered, and, of course, he knew him. He told him his theory and persuaded the young man to go meet the young lady. And he did. And they feel in love and got married," Cotton said.
But the story seemed odd. In fact, Dr. Caper did not even serve in that area at the time.
And if you needed any extra convincing that this story is a complete fake - consider this. That medical journal entry goes on to say that Confederate soldier fathered two more children with his wife - but wouldn't his injuries prevent just that?
"In fact it was so devastating when these [minie balls] were to hit limbs during that war there was really nothing medically that could be done. Their bones were shattered to such an extent that amputation was the only way to solve the problem," Bolm said.
"The American Medical Weekly printed a retraction saying the whole thing was a farce, the whole thing was a joke, but nobody read it," Cotton said.
So the prank lives on well passed the sarcastic doctor.
"Vicksburg had its very first Christmas parade in 1874. And he was Santa Claus," Cotton said.
"So he'd been a jokester all along, I think," Cotton said. "The original son of a gun."
Caper died at just age 43 and is buried in Vicksburg's Cedar Hill Cemetery.