Title: L——, Alexander
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), 436.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e18751
CASE.—Private Alexander L——, Richardson's Partizan Cavalry, aged 18 years, was wounded at Warrenton Junction, Virginia, May 2d, 1863, by a small conical ball, which entered at the lower third of the scapula at its inner edge, passed obliquely downward and to the left, and lodged in the thorax. He was admitted, on the next day, to the Mansion House Hospital, Alexandria. On admission, he was found to have paraplegia and complete loss of sensation of all parts of the body below the fourth dorsal vertebra. Stimulants and tonics, with nourishing and sustaining diet, were given. On May 12th, pneumonia of the left lung set in, which rapidly passed into the third stage. His tongue was clean and appetite tolerably good, but his pulse was frequent and feeble. An expectorant was given, with an anodyne at bedtime. By May 20th, a cavity had formed in the lower portion of the left lung containing fluid. His appetite and strength were diminishing. On the 22d, several gangrenous spots appeared on the lower extremities. His urine and fæces passed continuously and involuntarily, the urine displaying the turbid appearance and strong ammoniacal odor so characteristic of lesions of the spinal cord. He continued to grow worse and died on May 27th, 1863. At the autopsy, the lower and part of the upper lobe of the left lung were found entirely destroyed and converted into sanious fluid, of which there were found three pints in the cavity of the pleura. The ball was found to have passed obliquely downward and forward, and lodged in the body of the fourth rib, fracturing, in its course, the spine of the fourth dorsal vertebra. The spinal cord at this point was found softened and disintegrated. The pathological specimen is No. 1600, Section I, A. M. M., and was contributed, with a history of the case, by Surgeon Robert Reyburn, U. S. V.