Title: Gemmel, J. R.
Source text: Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes, United States Army, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861–65.), Part 1, Volume 2 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1870), 405.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e18402
CASE.—Sergeant J. R. Gemmel, 8th New York Battery, was wounded at Fair Oaks, May 31st, 1862, by a musket ball, which entered over the left border of the trapezius muscle, opposite to the sixth cervical vertebra, passed upward and inward, and lodged in the superior carotid triangle, immediately external to the trachea. On the reception of the injury the patient fell from his horse, receiving a contusion of the left arm. He was, on June 4th, admitted to Douglas Hospital, Washington. Simple dressings were applied to the wound. On June 6th, the patient had considerable difficulty of deglutition. An abscess had formed, which was opened, and the ball, with a piece of cloth one inch in length, was extracted, and difficulty of deglutition disappeared. June 20th, there was neuralgic pain in the arm, and impairment of its use. He was discharged the service July 11th, 1862. The case is reported by Assistant Surgeon William Thomson, U. S. A. Gemmel is a pensioner. The Examining Surgeon reports that the ball must have severed some part of the cervical plexus of nerves, as there is complete paralysis of arm and hand. The arm is much smaller than it should be, and cannot be used except for very light work.