Title: Pomroy, H. W.
Source text: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-65.), Part 3, Volume 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1883), 379.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e15454
CASE 566.—Private H. W. Pomroy, Co. F, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery, aged 36 years, was wounded at Laurel Hill, May 19, 1864, and entered Mount Pleasant Hospital, Washington, three days afterwards. Assistant Surgeon H. Allen, U. S. A., reported: "The wound was apparently through the knee joint. A conoidal ball entered at the inner border of the right patella and made its exit posteriorly at the external central part of the popliteal space, on a line with the inferior border of the condyles. The progress of the case has been imperfectly recorded. All that can be ascertained is to the effect that the patient was bed-ridden for eight weeks; that in the third week two pieces of bone were removed from the posterior wound, and in the fifth week two others were taken out; also that he suffered greatly, and according to his account had marked rigors. The patient came under my notice in January, 1865, when presenting himself for discharge. At this time the appearance of the limb was as follows: The entire extremity was rigid, the knee joint permanently anchylosed, and the region of the joint much swollen: all original contour of the outline was destroyed, and the integuments were semi-œdematous up to the hip joint. The skin was of a dead purplish red color and extremely sensitive, especially around the knee joint. The surgeons at the field hospital were desirous of amputating the limb, but the patient refused to give his consent, and the case was then treated conservatively. The patient was discharged from service January 26, 1865, and asserted, prior to his departure for his home, that should the limb continue to be so excessively painful he would have it amputated. Thus it is shown that, should conservative treatment be successful in this class of cases, the limb resultant of months of suffering is apt to be worse than useless." Examiner R. K. Jones, of Bangor, October 8, 1866, certified: "The wound is healed and he retains the power of flexing the leg slowly and feebly to an angle of 135°. He walked with crutches till the fall of 1865. He now walks with one cane, flexing the body on the left thigh and swinging with much effort the right limb forward—not flexing the knee. The foot and leg swell much after use and are now œdematous. The outside of the leg and foot are numb. He suffers much from pain after use," etc. Subsequent examiners substantially show the same disabling effects, and the Bangor Board in September, 1876, described the exit wound as very tender, and stated that a solid substance like a buckshot or a spicula of bone could be felt under the cicatrix. The pensioner was paid June 4, 1879.