Title: Wistar, Isaac J.
Source text: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-65.), Part 2, Volume 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1876), 831.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e30618
CASE 1742.—Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac J. Wistar, 71st Pennsylvania, was wounded at Ball's Bluff, October 21, 1861. In his History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1870, Vol. III, page 790, Mr. Samuel P. Bates reports that: "Lieutenant-Colonel Wistar was twice severely wounded, but kept his place until he was completely disabled by a third wound." The first two injuries were shot flesh wounds of the thigh and of the neck, the third a shot fracture of the right elbow. The case is referred to by Surgeon A. B. Crosby, U. S. V. (Appendix to First Part Med. and Surg. Hist. of the War, p. 11), in his report of the wounded at Ball's Bluff, and by Surgeon J. A. Lidell, in the same volume of documents, p. 13. There was little inflammatory reaction for a fortnight, but grave trouble ensued. However, the patient recovered with an anchylosed joint,, and, in August, 1862, returned to duty as colonel. At Antietam he received a shot perforation of the left arm, near the elbow, but not implicating the bone. (See Bates, l. c., p. 794.) Promoted to be brigadier-general, November 29, 1862, this officer served until honorably mustered out, September 15, 1864. In November, 1875, Dr. George C. Harlan, of Philadelphia, had the kindness to make the following notes of the injury to the right elbow: "The ball seems to have shattered the external condyle of the right humerus and the head of the radius, and to have chipped the olecranon in passing out. There was no resection, but the wound was opened about three weeks after the injury and some pieces of bone were extracted. Present condition: The wounds of entrance and of exit are united by a broad cicatrix. The elbow is firmly anchylosed at a right angle. The forearm is well developed. The hand is in excellent position and its functions are perfect except that slight limitation of flexion interferes with the handling of small objects. The other elbow is in good condition, never having received any injury, but there is an adherent cicatrix on the inner side of the arm, at about its middle, and some numbness of the little, ring, and middle fingers of the left hand. There was occasional pain in the right elbow for two years, after which it became constant, and was at times very intense. There were no signs of inflammatory action in the joint—the pain was of a neuralgic character, and extended over the whole arm and forearm. This lasted about two years, when it gradually subsided, and, of late, the General has suffered only occasionally and slightly" This officer's name is borne on the Pension List as last paid June 4, 1875.