Title: Gavett, W. A.
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), 591-592.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e22443
CASE 855.—Private W. A. Gavett, Co. K, 141st Pennsylvania, aged 43 years, was wounded in the right ankle during the engagement near Bristoe Station, October 13, 1863, and entered Judiciary Square Hospital, Washington, three days afterwards. Assistant Surgeon A. Ingram, U. S. A., made the following report: "The wound was caused by a minié ball, which entered at the internal malleolus, passed into the ankle joint and lodged. The missile was extracted the next day through the wound of entrance. Partial excision of the ankle joint was performed on February 1, 1864, by Acting Assistant Surgeon J. F. Thompson. An incision two and a half inches in size was made on the outer side of the ankle and several pieces of bone were taken out. Part of the internal malleolus was dissected from the integument and removed through the enlarged wound of entrance, and a portion of the astragalus was taken away with the bone forceps. At the time of the operation the patient's general health was excellent, but considerable inflammation existed around the ankle joint and there was great discharge of pus from the wound. A collection of pus had also formed on the outer side at the point of the internal incision. The patient did well for about a month after the operation, at which time both sides had healed. A day or two afterwards an abscess was detected in front of the joint, which, on being opened, discharged considerable pus. Carious bone could be felt by the probe, indicating the necessity of another operation." The patient was subsequently transferred to Philadelphia, where he was admitted to Summit House and afterwards to Satterlee Hospital. On May 6, 1865, he was discharged from service and pensioned. Examining Surgeon C. M. Turner, of Towanda, Pennsylvania, December 27, 1865, certified to the injury and added: "Of course anchylosis has taken place and the tendons of the foot and toes are in a degree contracted and rigid." On August 16, 1869, he reported that the pensioner "walks with difficulty and has much pain after exercise. The joint is often inflamed, and abscesses form in the integuments, which discharge pus for many days. I do not think the joint is carious," etc. At subsequent dates the same examiner certified to the heel bone being diminished in size, and to the leg being atrophied up to the knee and shortened two inches. Examiner C. F. Paine, of Troy, Pennsylvania, September 22, 1879, reported "fistulous openings, constantly discharging portions of bone. The pensioner is compelled to use a crutch or cane for locomotion." The pensioner was paid June 4, 1880.