Title: Anderson, John

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), 716-717.

Keywords:wounds and complicationsshot woundseffects of missiles and projectiles on bony structuregunshot wound of thigh, upper thirdball penetrated front of limb at inner side of femoral vessels, passed backward and outward, lodged beneath the skintyphoid appearancebullet struck shaft of femur on postero-inner sideautopsy performed

Civil War Washington ID: med.d2e26210

TEI/XML: med.d2e26210.xml

CASE 1056.—Private John Anderson, Co. G, 76th New York, aged 30 years, was wounded at Cold Harbor, June 6, 1864. He was at once conveyed to the depot field hospital of the Fifth Army Corps, and on June 12th was transferred to Stanton Hospital, Washington. Surgeon John A. Lidell, U. S. V., reported: "Was admitted for a gunshot wound of the left thigh in the upper third, inflicted by a conical musket ball, which penetrated the front of the limb at the inner side of the femoral vessels, and, passing backward and outward through the limb, lodged beneath the skin. It was extracted by an incision from behind. When he came to the hospital, six days after the injury, it was thought that the wound was only a flesh one. His general condition was fair, or rather below par at that time. Simple dressings to wound were ordered, and nutrients and stimulants were allowed. Subsequently the wound did well, and he appeared in a fair way to recover for a time. July 1st, it was observed that he was failing in strength and emaciating. Stimulants and the supporting treatment were continued with tinct. ferri muriat. Afterwards he sank into a typhoid condition, the skin becoming warmer than natural, but without sweats, the pulse frequent and feeble, the tongue dry and red, with almost entire loss of appetite. He also became somnolent, and toward the last it was difficult to rouse him. He did not have any chills. He died July 18th. The amount of discharge from the wound was at no time great, but the thigh remained swelled and inflamed all the while. On making an autopsy it was found that the bullet, had struck the shaft of the femur on its postero-inner side, two or three inches below the trochanter, grazing and bruising it. The aperture of exit had healed. There was an abscess about the place of injury of the bone as large as an orange, and pus had also burrowed among the muscles of the thigh. There was a large deposit of new bone about the contused portion of the femur. A longitudinal section was made with a saw. New osseous tissue was also found deposited in the medullary canal. The marrow presented the red inflammatory appearance described by Virchow. There was no thrombosis, nor any lesion whatever of the veins and arteries. The cadaver was considerably emaciated and resembled in its general appearance that produced by typhoid fever. There was no lesion of the intestines or any other of the internal organs. For an account of the autopsy and for much other interesting information concerning this case, the writer¹ is indebted to Assistant Surgeon George A. Mursick, U. S. V."

¹ LIDELL (J. A.), On Contusion and Contused Wounds of Bone, etc., in Am. Jour. Med. Sci., 1865, Vol. L, p. 26.