Title: Hicks, W. G.
Source text: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, Part 3, Volume 1 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1888), 582.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e10553
CASE 102.—Private W. G. Hicks, Co. L, 1st N. H. Heavy Art'y; a temperate man of full habit; complained from March 1, 1865, of pain between the shoulders, but was otherwise apparently well. On the 22d he was seized with a severe chill and headache, for which a mercurial purge was taken; at 10 P. M. the pain extended along the spine and was attended with vomiting and some febrile action; pulse 100. Three cathartic pills were given, with cold applications to the head and mustard to the back of the neck. He vomited the medicine, passed a restless night, and in the early morning went out and walked half a mile, when he was found nearly insensible. On admission to hospital on the 23d he was partly conscious but unable to speak; his face was flushed, skin hot and dry, pulse 100 and feeble; his eyes opened when he was addressed, his right hand moving incessantly toward his head, which was thrown back by tetanic spasm; his lower extremities were also in constant motion; he moaned at short intervals and resisted efforts to open his mouth for the administration of food and medicine. Six wet cups were applied to the back of the neck and were followed by a cantharidal blister; mustard was used along the spine and on the feet and calves of the legs; two drops of croton oil were given and ten grains of the sulphate of quinine. At noon the bowels were moved freely, but the patient was unconscious and the opisthotonos aggravated. At 9 P. M. there was no change, although the blister had drawn well. Ice was applied to the head and beef-essence given freely. He passed a restless night, his lower extremities in constant motion and his breathing labored. He died at 7 P. M. in an attack of severe tetanic spasm. Post-mortem examination: Body robust. The pia mater covering the cerebrum, cerebellum and cord was much congested. The brain was not examined. Beneath the spinal arachnoid was a large collection of pus, which seemed mixed with a small quantity of oil; the substance of the cord appeared healthy. The right ventricle of the heart was nearly filled with a firm coagulum. The lungs were healthy.—Hospital, Fort Reno, D. C.