Title: Kearney, John

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), 474.

Keywords:wounds and injuries of the chestgunshot wounds of the chestnon-penetrating injuries of bonesbroncho-pneumoniabullet lodged in lower portion of sternumbullet removed by simple incision

Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e1918320

TEI/XML: med.d1e1918320.xml

CASE.—Private John Kearney, Co. G, 69th New York Volunteers, was wounded at Malvern Hill, July 1st, 1862, a bullet striking his chest, about two inches to the left of the median line, at the fourth rib, and lodging in the lower portion of the body of the sternum. Various efforts were made to remove it by counter openings, but in vain, and, after nine months in general hospitals in Washington and New York, he was discharged, as unfit for service. The wound had healed to a certain extent, and he went to work at his trade of shipwright. He reënlisted in February, 1864, the wound, at the time of examination, presenting the ordinary appearances of old gunshot wounds. He was immediately sent to Riker's Island, New York Harbor, where he underwent a great deal of unnecessary exposure to the elements, and also to other deleterious influences for which that depot was, at one time, notorious. The wound broke out afresh, the surrounding parts became swollen, red, and painful, and an attack of broncho-pneumonia was superadded. An examination, by Nélaton's probe, indicated the nature and position of the bullet, the existence of which had been previously doubted or denied. It was removed, without difficulty, by simple incision. No spiculæ of carious bone were found loose, though the sternum exhibited a depression corresponding, in some measure, to the size of the bullet. About an ounce of fœtid pus was discharged from the surrounding tissues. The missile was contributed to the Army Medical Museum, with the foregoing account, by Surgeon William O'Meagher, 69th New York Volunteers. It is shown in the adjoining wood-cut. Not a pensioner.

FIG. 208.—A flattened conoidal musket ball successfully removed from the sternum. Spec. 4558, Sect. I, A. M. M.