Title: Sweeney, Philip
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), 74-75.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e4082
CASE 151.—Private Philip Sweeney, Co. C, 3d New York, was wounded in the affair at Big Bethel, June 10, 1861, by a conoidal musket ball, which shattered the trochanters of the right femur. He was admitted to Hygeia Hospital, Fort Monroe, on June 13th, and was treated by Surgeon R. B. Bontecou, U. S. V., by moderate extension and dilatation of the wound by sponge tents in order to facilitate the extraction of primary sequestræ, of which many were removed. Suppuration and exfoliation persisted until March, 1862. In April there were two severe attacks of erysipelas, involving the entire limb, which greatly reduced the patient, but he quickly rallied, and in May was able to run a race on crutches with his wounded companions. He was transferred to Albany in June, 1862; but his name does not appear upon the hospital reports until March, 1863, when he was admitted to the Ladies Home, in New York City, where a number of necrosed fragments were removed. On May 25, 1863, he was discharged, being able to walk without a crutch and the limb being but slightly shortened. He soon afterwards engaged himself as a laborer at an iron foundry in Troy, New York, where he has since worked without intermission. On July 20, 1866, he was examined by Brevet-Colonel R. B. Bontecou, who found him in perfect health, the injured limb a trifle shortened, and the knee rather stiff, owing to the destruction of connective tissue about the extensor muscles of the thigh during the suppuration following the erysipelatous attacks, and, doubtless, the formation of adhesions. The knee joint was in good condition and had sufficient motion to allow a firm, good gait. In a letter dated November 23, 1868, Dr. Bontecou states that Sweeney is at work at Troy in a spike factory, and was able to sit at and run a machine. His knee was stiff from agglutination of the sheath of the extensor muscles of the thigh, otherwise the limb was useful. The Albany Examining Board, Drs. W. Craig, R. B. Bontecou, and C. H. Porter, record, in September, 1873: "Gunshot wound through the trochanters, fracturing the femur at the neck, leaving adhesions of all the muscles of the thigh from deep-seated sloughing, the result of erysipelas, making knee joint stiff in the extended posture." In September, 1875, Examining Surgeon R. B. Bontecou certified that "adhesions have rendered the knee immovable and the limb comparatively useless."