Title: Hensel, Samuel
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), 75-76.
Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e4199
CASE 153.—Private Samuel Hensel, Co. H, 114th Pennsylvania, aged 31 years, was wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3, 1863, by a musket ball, which entered the central portion of the left buttock. The soldier was conveyed by steamer to Washington, where, on May 8th, he was received into Armory Square Hospital. The wound was probed daily in search of the missile, which, at the end of two weeks, presented itself at the point of entrance and was extracted by the patient. He states that it was a round ball, but was flattened on one side, and had, in this surface, a clean cut filled with osseous matter. The treatment consisted of rest, position, and the application of cold-water dressings. On June 16th the patient was transferred to McKim's Mansion Hospital, in Baltimore. About the middle of July the nurse, while dressing the wound, discovered in it a foreign substance, which, upon removal, proved to be a portion of the haversack. The patient was soon afterwards transferred to Mower Hospital, Philadelphia. Early in September a spicula of bone, nearly two inches in length by one in width in its central portion, was extracted from the wound. Flaxseed poultices were applied. Subsequently ten other pieces, varying in size from one-fourth to one inch in length, were eliminated. The wound soon closed and the patient was able to get about on crutches. On September 24th he was transferred to McClellan Hospital, Philadelphia, where, on May 13, 1864, he was discharged from service "because of a compound fracture of the left thigh, upper third, incapacitating him for duty." Pension Examining Surgeon H. L. Hodge, of Philadelphia, reported, May 26, 1864: "On account of a gunshot fracture, probably of the os innominatum (left), there is a luxation of the head of the femur, which destroys the usefulness of the whole limb." On November 1, 1866, an apparatus was fitted to the disabled limb by Gemrig, of Philadelphia. Examining Surgeon James Cummiskey reported, April 6, 1867: "Was wounded by a ball entering the left buttock and lodging for a time in the left groin, fracturing the head of the femur badly, and resulting in shortening of the limb about three and a half inches and much wasting and feebleness of the limb. He is obliged to wear constantly an iron instrument to support the limb in walking. He suffers much pain at night." In a communication to this office dated Philadelphia, February 13, 1868, Mr. Hensel states that he is unable to walk without the use of the apparatus and a cane, but by the aid of these he can walk from a half to three-quarters of a mile, being obliged, however, to rest for two or three minutes once or twice by the way on account of pain and weakness in the limb. The Philadelphia Examining Board, Drs. H. E. Goodman, T. C. Rich, and James Collins, reported, September 4, 1875: "Has had a ball enter the left buttock, which was extracted from the wound of entrance. Has lost bone from head of femur, and the limb is nearly three and a half inches shortened. He has to wear a support with a high heel and sole shoe. Motion of hip joint limited to one-eighth degree. Spine curved from short limb."