Title: Clow, Henry 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), 87.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e31598
CASE 266.—Corporal Henry J. Clow, Co. B. 108th New York, aged 19 years, was wounded in the right hypochondriac region at Morton's Ford, February 6, 1864. He was admitted, on the next day, into the field hospital of the 3d division of the Second Corps, under the charge of Assistant Surgeon Samuel T. Miller, 12th New Jersey, who furnished the following details of the case in a letter to Surgeon J. H. Brinton, U. S. V.: "Upon examination, I found that a conical ball had entered the right side at the external edge of the rectus muscle, about four inches from the umbilicus, and a little above; its exit was in the back, about three inches from the spine, and two inches above the crest of the right innominatum. In its course, the missile wounded the ascending colon to a fearful extent so much so, that for twenty-one days the whole contents of his bowels passed through the anterior and posterior opening. On the twenty-second day he had a natural evacuation through the regular channel, and from this time has had scarcely an unfavorable symptom. March 22d, both the anterior and posterior wounds have healed up; his stools are natural, and there is a fair prospect of a speedy recovery. What is most singular about this is, that he never had any peritoneal inflammation, and, except the escape of the fæces, no unfavorable symptoms at all. His treatment consisted simply in a liquid diet and whiskey." On March 24th, Clow was transferred to Alexandria and admitted to the Prince Street hospital, where Surgeon T. Rush Spencer, U. S. V., records the case as "gunshot wound of the right side," but does not indicate that any treatment was necessary. On June 29th, he was transferred to Mower Hospital, Philadelphia, and was returned to duty on July 11th. Assistant Surgeon George M. McGill, U. S. A., in a report to Medical Director McParlin of an inspection of the Fifth and Second Corps hospitals, dated September 7, 1864, refers to this case as follows: "The wound finally closed May 9th; a fæcal discharge was maintained thirty-one days. At the present date, when he works he feels weak. Walking causes lancinating pains in the side, in the vicinity of the wound, and in the small of his back. When he coughs the cicatrices introvert; he describes a constant abnormal feeling as that of a tight plaster drawing in his side." It would appear that the man was not fit for field service, as he is spoken of by Dr. McGill as being "an attendant" at the Second Corps hospital, and, on October 26th, he is registered as being admitted on account of an "old wound." On November 26, 1864, he was transferred to Lincoln Hospital, Washington, and was discharged from service January 30, 1865, for physical disability, Assistant Surgeon J. C. McKee, U. S. A., noting on the monthly report that there was "lameness of the right leg." Pension Examiner H. F. Montgomery examined the man on March 1, 1865, and states that "the ball entered at the anterior end of the right lower rib, passed through the abdomen, wounding the colon, and emerged on a line with the top of the ilium and three inches to the right of the spine. Fæcal matter passed out of the wound for thirty-one days. The wounds are healed; but adhesions along the track of the ball render motions of the body painful. In time these adhesions will be elongated. Disability total; will probably diminish." Pension Examiner DeWitt C. Wade, of Oakland County, Michigan, reports, March 9, 1870: "Gunshot wound through both thighs, with fracture of left femur. Several pieces of bone have been removed. Gunshot wound through abdomen, antero-posteriorly, on right side, wounding the ascending colon, and for a time causing a fistulous opening; wounds now all healed. The left limb is much weakened. The abdominal muscles and viscera are debilitated in their action, and he is obliged to wear a wide belt to sustain those organs. The action of the wounded psoas magnus is imperfect, and hence constrained action of right thigh. Rate total and permanent; he should have received the same since his discharge. No vicious habits." The fracture of the femur is not recorded in any of the army reports.