Title: Briggs, W. J.
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), 33-34.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e1871
CASE 72.—Private W. J. Briggs, Co. A, 102d Pennsylvania, aged 27 years, was wounded at Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. Assistant Surgeon J. C. McKee, U. S. A., in charge of the General Hospital at Pittsburgh, reported the following history: "The ball passed between the tibia and fibula, about the middle of the leg, escaping through the calf opposite the point of entrance. The patient was four days at Falmouth Hospital, seven days at Douglas, Washington, and was then removed to Satterlee, Philadelphia. Seventeen days after his admission to the latter he was furloughed and came to Pittsburgh. The wound had healed at its entrance and was still discharging at its exit, but was considered fit to travel with. He had several slight chills before leaving Philadelphia, and one of a more severe character after his arrival home, followed by hæmorrhage from the posterior wound, which was arrested. The next day he came to the hospital. The wound presented the unmistakable evidence of gangrene. He was isolated, and nitric acid was freely applied to all parts. The disease was found very extensive, involving the greater part of the calf of the leg. Poultices of charcoal and pyroligneous acid, etc., were applied. The constitutional remedies were quinia, muriated tincture of iron, stimulants, beef-tea, etc. The disease was checked, and the patient is (July 31st) recovering rapidly. The interest in this case is the distance the man carried the contagion, the great rapidity and destructiveness of its attack, apparently uninfluenced by the comforts of a good home and the best of food and nursing." The patient remained in the hospital until September 3, 1864, when he was mustered out, his term of service having expired. The Pittsburgh Examining Board certified, in 1873 and 1875, that there was wasting of the gastrocnemius muscle from gangrene, and that the resulting adhesions have impaired the action of that muscle and cause pain in the ankle. The pensioner was paid June 4, 1876.