Title: McD——, John
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), 445.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e18894
CASE.—Private John McD——, Co. K, 7th Michigan Cavalry, while in a state of intoxication, on July 1st, 1863, was wounded by a ball from a Colt's revolver (navy size), fired by the guard at the camp of the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry. The pistol was discharged at a distance of ten feet, the missile entering the left side, four inches below and a little to the right of the nipple. He dropped instantly, and upon attempting to remove him to a tent, it was discovered that he was wholly unable to move the lower limbs, and that below the anterior superior spinous processes of the ilium there was no sensation whatever, except a very slight sense of feeling when hard pressure was made upon the genitals. The shock and prostration were very great, and followed the injury immediately, while the system did not respond to the stimulants exhibited. It was found impossible to probe the wound to any extent, and one hour after the infliction of the injury, the patient was removed to Columbian Hospital, Washington. Up to this time no blood had issued from the mouth, nor was there any emphysema. Half an hour after admission, the patient commenced to vomit blood very freely. Although thirst was intense, he ejected the drinks given him almost as soon as swallowed. The vomiting of blood continued until four o'clock P. M., five hours after the injury, when it ceased altogether, although water was thrown up as before. The vomiting was spasmodic, and unaccompanied by pain. About this time some reaction took place, and the patient was comparatively comfortable until a quarter before eight o'clock P. M., when he became slightly convulsed, and expired in a few minutes. There were several respirations observed after the action of the heart had ceased entirely. He was perfectly conscious to the last moment. Necropsy: Ball passed inward and downward, going between the seventh and eighth ribs, through the diaphragm near its attachment upon the left side, thence through a fold of a dependant portion of the great curvature of the stomach, through the mesentery, and entirely through the body of the second lumber vertebra, lodging in the deep muscles of the back. The spinal cord was divided. Both the thoracic and abdominal cavities were filled with bloody serum, while at the bottom of each were coagula of considerable size. With the exception of a few old pleuritic adhesions, the body was perfectly healthy. The pathological specimen is No. 1331, Section I, A. M. M., and was contributed, with a history of the case, by Acting Assistant Surgeon A. H. Crosby.