Title: Lawrence, Charles

Source text: Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes, United States Army, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861–65.), Part 1, Volume 2 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1870), 279.

Keywords:wounds and injuries of the headtrephining after gunshot fractures of the skullrecovery with disabilitygiddiness and vertigoball struck frontal bone above superciliary ridge, and lodgedfrontal bone depressed

Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e16928

TEI/XML: med.d1e16928.xml

CASE.—Private Charles L——, Co. B, 55th New York Volunteers, aged 30 years, was wounded at the battle of Malvern Hill, Virginia, July 1st, 1862, by a conoidal ball, which struck the right frontal bone about an inch above the right superciliary ridge, and lodged. He was conveyed to Washington, and admitted into the Judiciary Square Hospital on the 4th. On the 10th, he complained of constant headache and nausea; the right eye was injected, but the tongue, pulse, and bowels were normal. A portion of the frontal bone was depressed, and the pulsations of the brain could be seen fluctuating up and down the fissures of the fracture. It being feared that the depressed portions might irritate the dura mater and give rise to inflammation, and in view also of the constant headache, the skull was trephined on the 11th by Acting Assistant Surgeon David W. Cheever, and two large pieces and some splinters of depressed bone were removed. At one point the dura mater had a depression as if made by the passage of the ball; otherwise it looked uninflamed and healthy, but there was some effusion of blood. Water dressings and low diet were ordered. On the second day after the operation, pain was felt as the head was moved about, but no fever existed. There was considerable discharge of laudable pus. The brain was still seen pulsating on the 15th, but not so plainly as before. On the 20th, his condition was every way favorable; the pulse quiet, tongue clean, skin cool, appetite good, no pain in head, the wound closing, and granulations seen over the dura mater. He recovered, and was discharged from the service January 4th, 1863. A communication from the Commissioner of Pensions, dated January 2d, 1868, states that Lawrence is a pensioner, and that his disability is rated at one-half and temporary. The pathological specimen is No. 261, Sect. I, A. M. M. The disk and fragments of cranium removed by the trephine embrace one-fourth square inch in surface. The specimen and history were contributed by Acting Assistant Surgeon D. W. Cheever. Pension Examiner P. Stewart, of Peekskill, reports that the patient suffers from giddiness and vertigo.