Title: Seymour, William
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), 422-423.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e18555
CASE.—Private William Seymour, Co. G, 57th New York Volunteers, aged 19 years, was wounded at the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864, by a conoidal ball, which entered just below the lobulus of the left ear, and passing obliquely downward and forward, emerged one inch above the sterno-clavicular articulation of the right side, external to the sterno-mastoid muscle; the missile then struck the subclavian region at the external end of the middle third of the clavicle, and glanced off along the arm without touching it. He fell unconscious on the reception of the injury; fifteen minutes after which, he walked to the rear assisted by a comrade. He had considerable hæmorrhage, which ceased spontaneously. He was admitted to the hospital of the 3d division, First Corps. Cold water dressings were applied to the wounds, and beef tea administered, which partly escaped through the wound of exit, giving evidence of injury of the pharynx. He was transferred to hospital via Fredericksburg and Belle Plain; the mode of conveyance being an army wagon, the jolting of which caused a slight hæmorrhage, which he expectorated per orem; he also stated having expectorated a piece of meat one inch in length. He was, on May 11th, admitted to Douglas Hospital, Washington. Cold water dressings were applied to the wounds, and the patient was fed through gumelastic bougies, and injections per anum of beef tea for four days, at the end of which he was able to swallow milk with ease. He gradually improved until May 19th, when he had a secondary hæmorrhage from the mouth, amounting to seven ounces of blood. On May 20th, he bled one ounce; 26th, four ounces; and on the 27th, a venous hæmorrhage occurred, which was arrested by compression. On the 29th, hæmorrhage recurred, amounting to two ounces of blood; and again on the 30th, to the amount of four ounces; after which it was thought advisable to ligate the carotid artery. Assistant Surgeon William Thomson, U. S. A., made an incision for the artery, which was searched for a long while, but found to be obliterated. From that time no hæmorrhage occurred, and the patient rapidly recovered. On June 10th, the wound of entrance was entirely closed, and that of exit granulating finely. He had lost the power of the right arm, and for a long time had complete aphonia. The wound had an excrescence not unlike cauliflower, which was daily decreasing in size. He was transferred to Turner's Lane Hospital, Philadelphia, on September 11th. On his admission, the wounds had closed; sensation and motion feeble throughout the right arm; neck had only one-fourth range of movement; the sense of touch was lost from the chin to the external angle of the right eye, and lessened on upper neck; analgesia was more or less complete in these parts; loss of gustation of the right side of the tongue, pain and sense of temperature limited by median line. Very far back there seemed to be considerable sensation, motion seemed good on the right side, and the left side was paralyzed as to motion entirely. Deglutition was imperfect; the voice nearly perfect; appetite and digestion good. On October 10th, the face had recovered sensation; taste not perfect; tact and pain still absent. On the 20th, there was some feeling in the tongue, but no motion on the left side. He was returned to duty on December 9th, 1864. On May 2d, 1866, Examining Surgeon E. Winslow reports that Seymour's wounds had healed externally; but the trachea was constantly discharging pus, brought up by coughing, and was hoarse, and his right arm weak.