1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free! If you aren't ready for that, try posting your question or comment as a guest!

Bayonet Wounds ln The Civil War.

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by jessgettysburg1863, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
    :grant::lee: Hi To All Members,

    l just would like some opinions please on my thread. The late Shelby Foote
    made a comment on Ken Burn's The Civil War Dvd set, while talking about
    the infantry tactics used in the Civil War. He said that there were practically
    no bayonet wounds in the Civil War as they never came into that kind of
    contact. Now l mean no disrespect to Shelby Foote in anyway, as if l had just
    a 10th of his knowledge about the Civil War l would be a happy man. l just
    find it hard to think that there would not of been a great deal of bayonet wounds
    inflicted by both sides. Anyway please l am open to comments and ideas.

    Thanks......................jessgettysburg1863

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. tmh10

    tmh10 Major

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    7,517
    Location:
    Pipestem,WV
    The Civil War Bayonet was nothing more than a sharpened piece of steel that infantrymen were issued. They would simply stick it on the muzzle of their rifles and off they go.
    It's effectiveness was more psychological then physical.
    Seeing a few thousand people running at you with large knives on the end of rifles could have a pretty frighting effect.
    You might come up with an excuse to leave real fast.
    However despite this only about 1% of Civil War casualties were actually a result of a bayonet wound.
    Soldiers used the bayonet more often as an everyday tool around their camp rather than a weapon.
    In fact they usually never used it at all in actual combat.
    Of course there were a few instances where the bayonet made a prominent appearance. Such as during the Battle of Gettysburg when Union General Joshua Chamberlain ordered his men to fix bayonets and then charged down little round top completely routing the confederates there.
    These instances though were few and far between.
    This weapon wasn't particularly popular with the soldiers and even some troops just threw them away. It was one less piece of equipment that they had to worry about carrying. [​IMG]

    http://www.civilwaracademy.com/civil-war-bayonet.html
  4. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,960
    There was some sort of analysis of wounds after Gettyburg IIRC and bayonet wounds were exceedingly rare. I'm not sure how much this is extrapolated to the whole of the war, but bayonet wounds were not common. Fox' Regimental losses claims 0.4% of wounds were due to the bayonet.

    Reading after action reports and participant letters might lead one to believe that the bayonet was frequently used, but that isn't verified by the medical records as I understand it. Even in melee clubbed muskets, officer pistols, sabers, knives and such seem to have been as common or more common than bayonet inflicted injury. Melee combat itself was rare. Once a fight reached that stage many would already have left the field, would flee before actual contact, or surrender rather than become a casualty in a lopsided fight.

    That doesn't mean the bayonet wasn't still an effective psychological weapon. There were a number of occasions early in the war where a bayonet charge caused non-bayonet equipped opposition to skedaddle...but in the ones I'm thinking of I can't recall anyone actually being bayonetted.
    oldpete63 and jessgettysburg1863 like this.
  5. tmh10

    tmh10 Major

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    7,517
    Location:
    Pipestem,WV
    Found another good story on the subject.

    It is a truism that by the time of the Civil War, the bayonet had outlived its usefulness in combat. Yet like many truisms, it tells only part of the story. Certainly the bayonet was not used in the 1860s as it had been before then. Up through the war with Mexico, the last conflict fought with smoothbore muskets, the bayonet's value was as a "shock tactic" to disorganize the defenders and take the ground, but not necessarily to win by killing. Men would often break and run from an attack of gleaming bayonets. Most, if not all, of the casualties would be caused by rifle fire, but in a sense the victory belonged to the bayonets.
    The Civil War started out with just that tactic in mind, but the superior range and accuracy of the rifled musket, developed between the wars, changed everything. The charging line would be stopped in its tracks before it was close enough to use bayonets. It was only at times of desperation, when a unit under heavy attack ran out of ammunition and the options were to turn and run or make a desperate charge with cold steel, as did the 20th Maine at Gettysburg, that a bayonet charge would be ordered.
    [​IMG]
    A 16th century harquebus without its plug bayonet
    The bayonet originated in the 16th century when the dagger used for hand-to-hand fighting was inserted into the muzzle of the harquebus, the first gun fired from the shoulder and its successor, the musket, to form a long lance. This "plug" bayonet had a cross-guard and a straight double-edged pointed blade.
    In the latter part of the seventeenth century, British and French armies shortened the blade and extended and tapered the hilt to fit different calibers so that the handle could be inserted into the mouth of any firearm, eliminating the need for separate units of infantry pikesmen carrying "pikes," or long spears.
    [​IMG]
    Sword bayonet and scabbard
    Toward the end of the 18th century the sword bayonet was replaced by the angular socket, or ring, bayonet, with a sleeve that fit around the barrel and was held in place with a slot and stud. Also called a "spike" bayonet, it was about 14" to 18" long, round or triangular in shape, lighter in weight than a sword bayonet, and did not interfere with firing. Full-length arms, as the Springfield rifle, were equipped with the socket bayonet, which was standard equipment for both sides during the war.
    As terrible as bayonets may seem, few in the Civil War ever died from bayonet wounds received in combat. Gen. John Gordon wrote: "The bristling points and the glitter of bayonets were fearful to look upon as they were leveled in front of a charging line, but they were rarely reddened with blood."
    [​IMG]
    Socket bayonet;
    standard equipment for both sides during the Civil War
    To be effective, the bayonet had to be aimed to reach a vital spot, deep in the body or protected by bone (they were also hard to pull out). While bayonet wounds were frightening and painful, they were generally not as devastating as bullet wounds. The accompanying excerpt from the report of a Confederate surgeon describes the differences.
    During the ten months of Grant's overland campaign, from the Wilderness to Sayler's Creek, only some fifty bayonet wounds were treated surgically at Union army hospitals. In his Regimental Losses, Fox claims that of 250,000 Union wounded treated in hospitals, only 922 (.4 of 1%) were victims of cavalry sabers or bayonets.
    Most Civil War soldiers recognized the practical ineffectiveness of the bayonet. In hand-to-hand combat they preferred to use knives or wield their muskets as clubs. For most of the war, both Yanks and Rebs chose to use their bayonets as entrenching tools, tent pegs, candle holders, roasting spits, or can openers.

    In the years since the Civil War, the bayonet has had many modifications, but has not disappeared as an infantry weapon. One model of rifle had a permanently-attached folding bayonet. During World War I, the British preferred the knife bayonet, the French the spike bayonet, and the Germans a knife bayonet with a saw at the rear to be used for construction. Yet World War I had about the same percentage of bayonet victims as the Civil War.
    [​IMG]
    WWII-era knife bayonet
    By World War II, with the notable exception of the Russians, who carried very long spike bayonets when they attacked German lines, the knife bayonet had become standard issue for most armies. It had been further shortened, and provided with a hand grip as well. Japanese soldiers carried very sharp knife bayonets with a hooked ring that would catch the opponent's blade. For hand-to-hand fighting, they usually held the bayonets in their hands and used them as swords. A common tactic for small attack forces in World War II was to creep up to the enemy line, unleash a shower of hand grenades, then charge with bayonets fixed.
    Rather than say that the Civil War made the bayonet obsolete, it is fairer to say that the tactic of charging with bayonets alone, except in desperate situations, ended with the Civil War, but because of its usefulness in hand-to-hand fighting, the bayonet is still a valued member of the arsenal of military weapons.

    http://clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/articles/means/cold_steele.htm
  6. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
  7. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
    :grant::lee: Hi,

    Many thanks for your post, l will take this on board and it is most appreciated.
    l feel more knowlegable about the subject of bayonets now.

    :smile:Thanks.............................Jess.
  8. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
    Thanks again great information:smile:.................Jess.
  9. tmh10

    tmh10 Major

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    7,517
    Location:
    Pipestem,WV
    Your welcome Jess. I have found Shelby Foote to be a very reliable source and would advise anyone interested in the Civil War to read his books. Ted
    Ray Ball and jessgettysburg1863 like this.
  10. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
    Thanks again Ted, l certainly will.

    :smile: Jess.
  11. deleson1

    deleson1 Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    michigan
    IIRC, Colonel Jeffords of the 4th Michigan was the only command officer( colonel or above") in the civil war to have been killed from bayonet wounds. He died saving his flag at Gettysburg.
  12. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
    :grant::lee: Hi,

    Many thanks for the post and information.

    jessgettysburg1863 :smile:
  13. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Virginia
    FOX’S REGIMENTAL LOSSES
    CHAPTER VI.
    [excerpt]
    On June 7th, 1863, the colored troops composing the garrison at Milliken's Bend, La., were attacked by Walker's Division numbering 3,000 men. The garrison consisted of three colored regiments: the Ninth Louisiana, Eleventh Louisiana, and First Mississippi. In addition there were 200 men of the 23d Iowa (white) who had been escorting prisoners up the river, and were on their return to the front. The regiments were small, many of the men, and most of the officers, being absent on recruiting service or other duty. When attacked the garrison was driven back to the river, where two gunboats came to their assistance. The troops then made a counter charge, regaining possession of their works and capturing several prisoners. The fighting was desperate in the extreme, many of the combatants on each side falling by bayonet thrusts or blows from clubbed muskets. The loss, as officially stated by the Assistant Secretary of War, who was then at Vicksburg, amounted to:

    Regiment. Killed. Wounded. Total.
    9th Louisiana 62 130 192
    11th Louisiana 30 120 150
    1st Mississippi 3 21 24
    23d Iowa (white) 26 60 86

    With the wounded are included those who were mortally wounded. Captain Miller, of the Ninth Louisiana,(*) states that his regiment had only 300 men engaged, and that the whole force of the garrison was about 600 men.

    [excerpt]

    FOX’S REGIMENTAL LOSSES
    CHAPTER VIII.
    6TH CORPS.
    [excerpt]
    The next battle occurred at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862, in which only a few regiments of the corps were engaged, although all were under a severe artillery fire. But the corps was engaged on the same field, May 3, 1863, in an action which made it famous on account of the brilliant display of dash and daring. When Hooker took the Army to Chancellorsville he left the Sixth Corps in front of Fredericksburg, which was still held by a strong force of the enemy. General Sedgwick, who had succeeded to the corps command, ordered an assault on Marye's Heights, and that strong position which had defied the assaults of the previous battle, was now carried by the Sixth Corps at the point of the bayonet. The divisions of Newton and Howe were the ones engaged; Brooks' (1st) Division was engaged later in the day, at Salem Church. The corps lost in this battle, 485 killed, 2,619 wounded, and 1,485 missing; total 4,589. The missing ones were, for the most part, lost in the action at Salem Church. On the day before this battle, the corps returns showed a strength of 23,730, "present for duty," of whom less than 20,000 were present in action.

    [excerpt]
    Having returned to Virginia, the corps participated, November 7, 1863, at Rappahannock Station in a successful assault on the enemy's intrenchments. In this affair there was another display of that dash and gallantry which was so eminently characteristic of the Sixth Corps.(*) The Sixth Maine and Fifth Wisconsin distinguished themselves particularly in this action, leading the storming party and carrying the works with the bayonet only. It was a brilliant success, resulting not only in a victory, but in the capture of a large number of prisoners, small arms, artillery and battle flags.
    [excerpt]
    In the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania it encountered the hardest contested fighting of its experience. At the Wilderness, the Vermont Brigade--Getty's Division--lost 1,232 men out of the 2,800 effectives that crossed the Rapidan on the previous day. At Spotsylvania, the Jersey Brigade of Wright's Division was engaged in a deadly struggle, the percentage of killed in the Fifteenth New Jersey being equalled in only one instance during the whole war. On May 10th--at Spotsylvania--General Upton led a storming party of twelve picked regiments selected from the Sixth Corps, which carried the Confederate works after a hand-to-hand fight in which bayonet wounds were freely given and received.(*) On May 12th -- Spotsylvania -- the whole corps fought at the "Bloody Angle," where the fighting was the closest and deadliest of any recorded in the history of modern wars. General Sedgwick was killed at Spotsylvania, and General Wright succeeded to the command, General Russell succeeding Wright in the command of the First Division. The casualties of the corps at the Wilderness were, 719 killed, 3,660 wounded, 656 missing; total, 5,035; and at Spotsylvania, 688 killed, 2,820 wounded, 534 missing; total, 4,042.
    [excerpt]
    In December. 1864, the Sixth Corps returned to the Petersburg trenches, built their winter-quarters, and went into position near the Weldon Railroad. On the 2d of April, 1865, occurred the grand, final, and successful assault on the fortifications of Petersburg, in which the corps was assigned a prominent and important part. Then came the hot pursuit of Lee's retreating veterans, during which the corps fought at Sailor's Creek. This, the last battle of the Sixth Corps, was marked by the same features which had so largely characterized all its battles,--dash, hard fighting--some of it with the bayonet,-- victory, and large captures of men, flags, guns, and material.

    FOX’S REGIMENTAL LOSSES
    CHAPTER VIII.
    11TH CORPS.
    [excerpt]
    During the following month, on October 29th, Howard's two divisions were ordered to the support of the Twelfth Corps, in the midnight battle at Wauhatchie, Tenn. Arriving there, Smith's Brigade of Steinwehr's Division charged up a steep hill in the face of the enemy, receiving but not returning the fire, and drove Longstreet's veterans out of their intrenchments, using the bayonet alone. Some of the regiments in this affair suffered a severe loss, but their extraordinary gallantry won extravagant expressions of praise from various generals, high in rank, including General Grant. A part of the Eleventh Corps was also actively engaged at Missionary Ridge, where it cooperated with Sherman's forces on the left After this battle it was ordered to East Tennessee for the relief of Knoxville, a campaign whose hardships and privations exceeded anything within the previous experience of the command.
    [excerpt]
    oldpete63 and jessgettysburg1863 like this.
  14. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
    :grant::lee: Greetings M E Wolf,

    Once again thanks for the post and most importantly the wealth
    of information that you freely supply, great work.

    :smile: Jess.
  15. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Virginia
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume I
    CCI. Extract from a Narrative of his Services in the Medical Staff.
    By Assistant Surgeon J. C. G. HAPPERSETT, U. S. Army.
    After the evacuation of Corinth, Mississippi, on May 29, 1862, the 1st United States Infantry was encamped near the town on a hill. There they suffered from diarrhœa, until after moving the encampment to a grove on the west of the town. When the outer line of fortifications was completed they occupied them until the line was abandoned and a new one erected nearer the town. They occupied these works at the battle of Corinth, October 3 and 4, 1862. The enemy greatly outnumbered our army in this battle, having over forty thousand men, while the army of General Rosecrans was between twenty-six and twenty-seven thousand men. After using the heavy guns as long as they could, they resorted to their muskets, using the bayonet. They lost nine men killed and six wounded, including one officer wounded. Four of the wounded remained in the camp and Were treated in a hospital tent until they recovered. Colonel Mower, formerly a captain in the regiment, was badly wounded, and was also treated in our camp at his request. The general hospital for the reception of the wounded during the battle of the 3d, was in a dangerous and exposed position, but was moved early on the morning of the 4th to a place of comparative safety. A large number of hospital tents were erected, and everything necessary for the comfort and convenience of the wounded was provided. I saw several amputations, but no resections. Chloroform was the anaesthetic usually employed. Ambulances, attended by hospital stewards and nurses, brought the wounded from the field. The Confederate wounded who fell into our hands were frightfully torn and mangled, owing to the short range of the heavy artillery fire to which they were exposed. The Confederate army was supplied with almost every kind of firearm: the Enfield and Minié, the common rifle with round ball, old muskets and shot guns. The Federal wounded were sent by railroad to Jackson, Tennessee, and to hospitals in the north. The total number killed in this engagement was three hundred and fifteen, and of wounded, one thousand eight hundred and twelve.
    ---------------
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume I
    LXVI. Extract from a Narrative of his Services in the Medical Staff,
    from April 24th, 1861, to June 17th, 1863.
    By Assistant Surgeon H. E. BROWN, U. S. Army.
    [excerpt]
    On May 31st, occurred the battle of the Seven Pines. The second and third brigades of General Hooker's division were ordered, at four in the afternoon, to reinforce General Casey and General Couch, and marched for that purpose to the battlefield, arriving just at dusk. The third brigade was ordered to the trenches, and our brigade bivouacked for the night within a quarter of a mile. At 6 A. M. on Juno 1st, the enemy renewed the attack, and the third brigade being ordered to the right to the line of the railroad, the second brigade, comprising the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th Excelsior regiments, were ordered to advance, to repel the attack. The enemy were posted in the woods, at the edge of a ravine, about a mile in advance of where the attack had been made on General Casey the previous day. Our troops had to advance across an open field fronting these woods, which they did in gallant style, firing one volley, and then charging in line of battle into the woods, and driving the enemy before them. After this, severe artillery firing was heard throughout the day, until towards evening, when a reconnais-sauce proved that the enemy had retired towards Richmond. The next morning, Monday, an advance was ordered, and the division, marching on the old Williamsburg turnpike, advanced to within six miles of Richmond, without meeting any signs of the enemy, except the countless slain and wounded of the two previous days, which lay scattered thickly in every direction. At this point, they were met by an order from headquarters, directing them to fall back and occupy a camp at that locality known as the Seven Pines. At the commencement of this engagement, the general depot for wounded of the division was established at a house directly in the rear of the field, where the action commenced on Sunday. To this depot, all the medical officers reported, and Surgeon T. Sire, medical director, from time to time, detailed such to go on the field and assist in removing the wounded as were needed, retaining the others as operating surgeons and assistants. The wounded were brought in at first on stretchers, but afterwards, as the tide of battle receded, in ambulances. The want of a properly instructed ambulance corps was severely felt here, as well as at all subsequent engagements which came under my notice. The regular hospital attendants were needed as cooks and assistants at the general depot, and the bands of the various regiments proved utterly worthless in bringing off the wounded, behaving with the utmost cowardice, and required more persons to watch and see that they did their duty than their services were worth. As a natural consequence of this, whenever a man fell out of the ranks wounded, four, and sometimes six of his comrades, would fall out for the purpose of carrying him away, thus seriously depleting the ranks, and affording opportunity to the skulkers and cowards to sneak away. The supplies for the wounded were abundant, and the arrangements were excellent. A fine well on the spot furnished water, an outhouse was converted into a kitchen and supply store, and a competent man was placed in charge. Soup, coffee, and crackers were ready at all hours for such as needed them. The medical stores of our regiment furnished a sufficiency of whiskey and other stimulants, and I believe this was the case with the other regiments. The only articles deficient were chloroform and ether; and this, I think, was not due to any neglect, but to the fact of the unusually large number of wounded, we having to attend not only to those of our own division, but to all of those wounded in the battle of May 31st, the ground of which was occupied by the enemy until Saturday afternoon. Nearly all of our men brought in were wounded with the conoidal or minié ball; I saw but one by cannon or round balls. There was one case of bayonet wound, and this man had two wounds from gunshot and five bayonet wounds; and these last, he asserted, he received while lying on the field, after, being wounded. The rebels captured by us were wounded with the bayonet, with round ball and buckshot, and with the conoidal ball, and some few had shell wounds, the conoidal ball, however, preponderating. The wounded, immediately after being attended to, were placed in ambulances and removed to Savage's Station, to be sent thence, by railroad, to the White House, for transportation north. So far as I saw, the operations were chiefly primary amputations, the excisions being hut few in number. Chloroform was chiefly employed, or chloric ether, and I neither saw nor heard of any deaths from either. On Monday, June 2d, the enemy having been driven from the battlefield, the general depot was moved two miles further in front, and many of the wounded who had lain forty-eight hours on the field were hero attended to. These poor unfortunates were in a most pitiable condition, weak and faint from less of blood and want of food, and nearly dead of the horrible thirst which their wounds and the hot sun had produced; while, to add to their misery, maggots appeared in large numbers in their wounds. These men were tenderly cared for, as far as our means would allow, and forwarded, like the rest, to the White House. Until June 25th, I was engaged with the dally duties of the regiment, encamped on the battlefield of May 31st, and, in conjunction with the other regiments of the division, picketed the left of the line. A more horrible place for a camp could not be conceived. Over three thousand dead had been buried there; the ground was covered with the remains of clothing and commissary stores. Dead horses, which had been but insufficiently buried or burnt, filled the air with a noxious effluvium, and the only water was that obtained from the surface, or by digging down a few feet, and this infiltrated with the decaying animal matter of the battlefield. The duties of the men were very laborious, enough to break down a strong man under the most favorable circumstances. Under this combination of circumstances, therefore, it is not to be wondered that sickness broke out in the command. So far as my observation went, it took chiefly the form of a low typhoid diarrhœa or dysentery, which did not yield in the least to the ordinary remedies for such diseases. The prescription which I found of meet value was a powder composed of five grains of the mercury and chalk of the pharmacopaeia, six grains of Dover's powder, and two grains of sulphate of quinia, administered several times a day, according to circumstances. Avoidance of exposure to the sun was a very necessary precaution. Under this treatment, most of the cases recovered in from three to five days. Intermittent fever at one time threatened to be a serious evil, but a liberal administration of quinia dissolved in whiskey, to the whole command, checked its progress. During this period, the average number of sick was one hundred and twenty in a regiment but two hundred and fifty strong.
    [excerpt]
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Contents
    ON SPECIAL WOUNDS AND INJURIES OF THE HEAD.
    CHAPTER I. WOUNDS AND INJURIES OF THE HEAD.
    SECTION I. Incised and Punctured Wounds 1
    PLATE I. Sabre wounds of the Head opp. 4
    Incised fractures of the Cranium 16
    PLATE II. Sabre fracture of the vault of the Cranium opp. 23
    Punctured wounds of the Head 30
    Bayonet and sword thrusts through Cranium 32

    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Contents
    CHAPTER II. WOUNDS AND INJURIES OF THE FACE.
    SECTION I. Incised and Punctured Wounds 321
    Sabre wounds of the Face 322
    Bayonet wounds of the Face 323
    Table IX. Results of sixty-four Miscellaneous fractures of the bones of the Face 324
    Table X. Results of two hundred and seventy-one lacerations, etc., of the Face

    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Contents
    CHAPTER V. WOUNDS AND INJURIES OF THE CHEST.
    SECTION I. Incised Wounds, Contusions, and Miscellaneous Injuries 466
    Sabre wounds of the Chest,--nine cases 466
    Bayonet wounds of the Chest,--twenty-nine cases 467
    Punctured and Incised wounds of the Chest by various weapons 470
    Miscellaneous injuries of the Chest 471
    Table XXI. Statement of two hundred and ninety-six cases of this division

    ================================
    continued
    jessgettysburg1863 likes this.
  16. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Virginia
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    On Special Wounds And Injuries.
    Chapter I.--Wounds And Injuries Of The Head.
    PUNCTURED WOUNDS OF THE HEAD.--The experience acquired in the late war confirms the common impression that punctured wounds of the integuments of the cranium, or perforations of the cranial bones by bayonet or lance, or sword thrusts, are rare in modern times. On the infrequent occasions on which they are used offensively, these weapons are commonly directed against the chest or abdomen of an adversary. The majority of punctured wounds of the scalp or skull met with in military practice at the present day, result from accidents, or are inflicted in private quarrels, or by sentinels.

    PUNCTURED SCALP WOUNDS.--Only eighteen cases of this nature are recorded. Nine were, inflicted by sentinels, or received in broils or attempts to desert. Nine were received in action.
    ARMSTRONG, EBENEZER, Private, Co. K, 86th Illinois Infantry. Bayonet wound of the scalp. Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 27th, 1864. Returned to duty.
    BALL, PATRICK, Private, Co. H, 49th Pennsylvania Volunteers, aged 37 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. Wilderness, Virginia, May 8th, 1864. Admitted to Emory Hospital, Washington, May 13th. Returned to duty May 16th, 1864.
    BLAKE, THOMAS, Private, Co. B, 9th New Hampshire Volunteers. Bayonet wound of the scalp, in an attempt to desert. Admitted to post hospital at Albany, New York, December 26th. Deserted, December 30th, 1863.
    CALL, JOHN W., Private, Co. D, 8th Regiment, 1st Army Corps, aged 24 years. Bayonet wound of occipital region and of left eyebrow. May 23d, 1865. Admitted to post hospital at Camp Stoneman, May 25th. Returned to duty June 7th, 1865.
    DAVIS, JOHN, Private, Co. G, 2d Maine Volunteers, aged 21 years. Bayonet wound of the right temporal region. Falls Church, Virginia, July 18th, 1861. Patient remained unconscious for eight days. Was returned to duty in October, 1861. On June 27th, 1862, constitutional symptoms were manifested, and he was admitted to Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, and again returned to duty. On November 18th, 1862, he was admitted to Eckington Hospital, Washington, and discharged the service December 23d, 1852, for partial imbecility and such symptoms as dizziness, Faintness, and sensitiveness to pressure over the seat. of the wound. He was pensioned at four dollars per month, and on September 13th, 1867, his pension was increased to six dollars per month. The pension examiner at Bangor, Maine, Dr. Jones, reported, February 15th, 1867, that dizziness had increased and was constant, and that the pensioner often fell, and became unconscious. He drew his pension on March 4th, 1869, lint his condition at that time is not reported.
    (*) The total number of incised wounds returned during the four years of the war on the monthly reports of white troops in the United States service, was twenty-one thousand four hundred and forty-four (21,444,) with one hundred and ninety-six (196) deaths; but there is no means of determining how many of these were injuries of the head.
    DUNMORE, GEORGE, Private. Co. E, 4th New Hampshire Volunteers, aged 22 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 5th, 1864. Admitted to knight Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, June 19th. Deserted, June 25th, 1864.

    FOX, JOSEPH, Sergeant, Co. G, 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Bayonet wound of the scalp. August 25th, 1864. Admitted to Lincoln Hospital, Washington, August 36th. Returned to duty September 21st, 1864.
    KOSCHICO, GULTILL, Private, Co. C, 13th Connecticut Volunteers. Bayonet wound of the scalp. March 25th, 1864. Admitted to University Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 26th. Returned to duty July 1st, 1864.
    LAHEY, ANDREW, Private, Co. C,, 10th Tennessee Volunteers. Bayonet wound of the scalp. May 4th, 1864. Admitted to Hospital No. 2, Nashville, Tennessee, May 6th. Died from inflammation of the brain, May 6th, 1864.
    LENTEMAR, FREDERICK, Corporal, 4th Ohio Battery, aged 27 years, received a punctured wound of the scalp on March 10th, 1865, and was received into Hospital No. o, at Nashville, Tennessee, on the following day. He recovered, under simple dressings, and was returned to duty March 18th, 1865.
    McCARTY, GEORGE, Private. Co. G, 23d Pennsylvania Volunteers, aged 18 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 2d, 1864. Admitted to South Street Hospital, Philadelphia, June 13th. Returned to duty July 10th, 1864.
    McDONALD, JOSEPH W., Private, Co. D, 75th Illinois Volunteers, aged 35 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. Columbus, Georgia, November 24th, 1864. Admitted to Hospital No. 5, Quincy, Illinois, December 8th. Returned to duty February 7th, 1865.
    McGINPSEY HUGH W., Sergeant, Co. E. 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers, aged 22 years. Bayonet wound of the occipital and parietal regions. October 6th, 1864. Admitted to hospital at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the same day. Returned to duty February 25th, 1865.
    McGOVERN, PHILLIP, Private, Co. B, 158th New York Volunteers, aged 25 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. March 28th, 1864. Admitted to hospital, Beaufort, South Carolina, March 28th. Returned to duty April 27th, 1864.
    MEADE, MICHAEL, Private, Co. B, 60th New York Volunteers, aged 22 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. Chickamauga, Georgia, September 20th, 1863. Admitted to Hospital No. 1, Louisville, Kentucky, February 17th. Returned to duty February 22d, 1854.
    TOMONEY, EDWARD F., Private, 100th Pennsylvania Volunteers, aged 38 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. Petersburg, Virginia, April 2d, 1865. Admitted to Slough Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia, April 27th. Deserted May 15th, 1865.
    TURNERY, JAMES, Private, Co. K, 105th Pennsylvania Volunteers, received a bayonet wound of the side of the scalp at Fair Oaks, Virginia, May 31st, 1862. He was sent to the rear and admitted to the Hospital at Mills Creek, on June 4th, 1862. The patient died on June 13th, 1862. The particulars of the treatment are not recorded. The case is reported by Surgeon A. P. Heichhold, 105th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
    WARNER, GEORGE, Private, Co. I, 1st Veteran Reserve Corps, aged 21 years. Bayonet wound of the scalp. March 25th, 1865. Admitted to hospital at Elmira, New York, April 4th. Returned to duty.

    Of the eighteen patients with punctured scalp wounds, eleven were returned to duty; three deserted; one was discharged for disability; and two died. Punctured wounds of the scalp, when made by a weapon directed perpendicularly to the skull, are necessarily slight in depth; when made obliquely, the point of the weapon soon penetrates from within outwards, on account of the convexity of the cranial vault. They are occasionally complicated by erysipelas, burrowing of pus under the occipit-frontalis aponeurosis, or by haemorrhage; but are commonly trivial in extent and importance. When uncomplicated, the treatment consists in shaving the surrounding scalp and keeping the wound covered with a compress saturated with cold water or some resolvent lotion. The complications which existed in the two fatal cases above noted are not reported in detail.

    PUNCTURED FRACTURES OF THE CRANIUM--Only six examples of punctured fractures of the skull, by sharp-pointed weapons, have been reported. Five of these were inflicted by the bayonet, and one by a sword.

    ALLEN, D. K., Private, Co. F, 50th Ohio Volunteers, aged 20 years, received a punctured bayonet wound of the scalp, with fracture and depression of the left parietal bone, at Franklin, Tennessee, November 30th, 1864. Admitted to Dennison Hospital Cincinnati, Ohio, January 18th, 1865, from Madison Hospital, Indiana. Temporary insensibility, paralysis of right arm, and aphonia, followed the injury. A portion of the bone, one and a half inches in length and three-fourths of an inch in breadth, was removed. The wound healed, the scalp adhering to the dura mater. Furloughed March 16th, 1865, and never returned to hospital. He was examined by Surgeon John C. Hupp, at Wheeling, West Virginia, July, 1865. There was a depressed cicatrix over the solution of continuity of the skull. The aperture in the parietal seemed to be about an inch in length, by three-fourths of an inch in breadth. The patient's speech was interrupted and stammering. There was defective sensation in the right hand, and numbness over a tract extending from the seat of the wound to the left side of the bone. Exercise of body or mind occasioned pain in the cicatrix and left temporal region. Any jolting, or stooping, effort in lifting, or any sudden or loud noise produced a sensation as of straining of the brain substance through the aperture. The patient described this sensation as very painful. In March, 1869, this pensioner resided at Bridgeport, Belmont county, Ohio, and the examining surgeon of the Pension Bureau reported that he was totally and permanently disabled, and required cautious and watchful care by night and day.

    BUCKLEY, JOHN B., Corporal, Co. D, 62d Pennsylvania Volunteers, aged 24 years, received a bayonet wound of the forehead, through the right superciliary ridge, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3d, 1863. It was found, on examination, that the weapon had penetrated the frontal sinus, and passed horizontally backwards into the brain. The patient was transferred to Washington, and was admitted to Finley Hospital on the 9th, in a perfectly conscious condition, with a natural pulse and freedom from febrile excitement. Acting Assistant Surgeon Lewis Heard passed a bougie along the track of the wound into the right anterior lobe of the brain the distance of four inches, without force, and without the least pain to the patient. The perforation in the skull barely admitted the point of the index finger. There were found a few small fragments of bone still hanging at the inner edge of the orifice. There was no haemorrhage. Perfect quietness was strictly enjoined, a saline laxative was ordered, and cold water dressings were applied. The diet was light. On May 14th, he continued conscious and comparatively comfortable, complaining of but little pain in the head. Temporizing treatment was continued. For the next two days signs of mental disturbance were noticeable, and partial loss of vision, with optical illusions. He complained of headache, and a febrile movement arose, with intense thirst. The bowels were kept open by Epsom salts. Pus and disorganized brain tissue were discharged from the wound. At noon, on the 16th, he moved his arms about tremulously, catching at imaginary objects, arousing, occasionally, from the stupor into which he had fallen, complaining of increased pain in the head, and then talking incoherently. The skin was of natural temperature, and the pulse at 80. On May 17th, the patient had passed a quiet night. The pulse was at 125; there was greater tremulousness of the arms, with increased stupor, and vision was nearly extinct. The patient had great thirst, but no appetite. The discharge of pus and disorganized brain substance continued. Slight convulsions occurred in the afternoon, and the patient sank gradually, and died at six o'clock P. M., thirteen days after the reception of the injury. At the post mortem examination, made fourteen hours after death, the sinuses and the dura mater were found to be highly engorged with blood. The right hemisphere of the brain was sliced off, and over the right lateral ventricle a slight prominence was observed, which, on being punctured, gave exit to a quantity of pus. The wound penetrated through the anterior lobe of the brain under the right edge of the corpus callosum, opened the right lateral ventricle, and extended hack to the posterior crus of the fornix, which seemed to have sustained injury. The two lateral and third ventricles were filled with pus, and pus was also found in the fourth ventricle, and beneath the cerebellum around the medulla oblongata. Acting Assistant Surgeon Lewis Heard reported the case.(*)

    G. THOMAS, Private, Co. B, 90th Ohio Volunteers, was admitted, on November 27th, 1863, to Hospital No. 1, Nashville, Tennessee, with a bayonet wound behind the left parietal eminence, inflicted by a sentinel. For several days the patient was in a state of stupor, and was obstinately constipated. Both of these conditions were removed by the use of powerful purgative medicines. Meanwhile the cicatrization of the wound progressed rapidly, and on December 8th it had nearly closed. On this day the patient complained, for the first time, of severe headache. A probe, passed through the small orifice of the wound, indicated denuded and detached bone at its base. A T-shaped incision was made, and several fragments of dead bone were extracted. On the 11th there was somnolence and cephalalgia, and increased stupor, with a slight intolerance of light and sound; the pulse was full and slow, forty-eight beats per minute. The scalp was tumid; the wound gaped, and was filled with fungous granulations. The incisions in the scalp were extended, and some of the loose bits of bone were removed. An ice bladder was applied to the head, and purgatives, with purgative enemata, were administered. On the 12th, the patient had some little appetite. The pulse was 44 and feeble. There had been no alvine evacuations, notwithstanding repeated doses of calomel and rhubarb, Epsom salt, podophyllin, with terebinthinate enemata. In the forenoon, pills containing half a drop of croton oil were ordered to be given every hour until the bowels mowed. On the 13th, the patient was freely purged. A fungus began to protrude from the wound. On the 14th, the headache was slight but constant, the skin cool, the pulse 42 and feeble. The cerebral hernia, tense and elastic, and indolent on pressure, still covered by the meninges, was steadily increasing in size. He was ordered half an ounce of wine every hour, with beef tea. On the 15th, the membranes covering the hernia sloughed, and the fungus appeared with a dark red granulated surface, not sensitive to the touch, nor bleeding readily. When the patient, in his restless sleep, rolled over upon the fungous growth, he would awake with a start. For the next two days he took wine in gradually augmented doses. His pulse became more feeble, and rose to 90 pulsations. Respirations 13, sighing. On December 19th, the whole fungous mass sloughed away. There was delirium and subsultus tenddinum. The other symptoms were unchanged. Death took place on December 23d, 1863. At the autopsy, an abscess of the left hemisphere, and diffused arachnitis, were observed. The bayonet had penetrated an inch or more into the cerebrum. The calvaria was forwarded to the Army Medical Museum by Assistant Surgeon C. J. Kipp, U. S. Volunteers, with the foregoing notes of the case. It is represented in the adjacent wood-cut, (FIG. 9.) It shows a perforation of the left parietal behind the protuberance. The opening is egg-shaped; but the edges suggest its original triangular outline. The edges are rounded, and the texture of the bone near the solution of continuity is porous, particular on the inner table. A slight fissure exists in the outer table.

    H-------, JOHN, Private of the Hospital Guards at the Lovell General Hospital, Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island, aged 25 years, was confined four hours on the night of February 28th, 1863; as a punishment for bringing spirits into the camp and attempting to run the guard. When released from his cell by order of the officer of the guard, he rushed upon the hitter and struck him in the knee, whereupon the sergeant drew his sword, and, stepping back a pace, put himself in guard, holding the gripe of his sword firmly against the right hip, with the point slightly elevated. While in this position the prisoner again rushed upon the sergeant; but the ground being uneven, and the grass covered with a heavy frost, the assailant slipped and fell on the point of the sword, and then heavily forwards on the ground. When taken up he was insensible, and breathed heavily. On washing from his face the blood, which had flowed copiously from a slight wound in the right nostril, the officer of the day, an acting assistant surgeon, who was immediately summoned, detected no other injury than the trivial incision of the right ala of the nose. The man had been drinking freely, and, under the supposition that he was suffering only from the stupefying effects of liquor, increased by the fall upon his head, the surgeon remanded him to the guard-house, where he laid in a state of stupor until the following morning, when he was removed to one of the wards of the hospital. He was found to be still unconscious, and breathed stertorously, and moaned occasionally. The pulse was full and slow. The eyelids were closed, showing, when forcibly opened, the pupils dilated and immovable. The remedies usually employed in cases of apoplexy were directed, but consciousness could not be restored, and the patient died on the succeeding morning, March 2d, 1863, thirty-one hours after the reception of the injury. An autopsy was made nine and a half hours after death. Rigor mortis well pronounced. No external mark of violence was perceptible, except a wound five-eighths of an inch in length and one-eighth of an inch in depth on the external edge of the right nostril. The nostril was filled with coagulated blood. There was no sign of fracture of the nasal bones. On removing the calvarium, the blood vessels of the membranes of the brain were found to be engorged, and upon reflecting the membranes, the convolutions over the whole of the right hemisphere were found to be covered with extravasated blood. This extravasation extended along the whole of the base of the right side, and, to a slight degree, on the left, covering the whole surface of the cerebellum, increasing at the base and towards the medulla oblongata. The brain was then removed, and the posterior clinoid process of the sphenoid was found to be fractured transversely, and the middle and lower part of the superior turbinated bone was pierced. A small indentation, corresponding with the point of the sword, was found in the right clinoid process. The lungs were considerably engorged, but healthy and crepitant throughout. There was a slight adhesion found at the apex of the posterior part of the left lung. A portion of the sphenoid bone was removed to exhibit this very rare and interesting fracture. Unfortunately it was somewhat injured during maceration, but still gives a good illustration of this unusual form of injury. The portion of the sword which inflicted the injury was filed off, and was found to fit exactly the perforations of the ethmoid and sphenoid bones. The sword had penetrated about four inches from the nasal spine. The history of the case was carefully compiled by Acting Assistant Surgeon E. Seyffarth, and the specimen, represented in the accompanying wood-cut, (Fig. 10,) was forwarded by Surgeon L. A. Edwards, U. S. A., in charge of Lovell Hospital, to the Surgeon General.

    Saunder, G. W., Private, Co. D, 7th North Carolina Regiment, received at the battle of Gaines's Mill, June 26th, 1862, a bayonet thrust in the forehead, which probably penetrated the frontal bone. He was conveyed to Richmond, and admitted, on June 27th, into Ward No. 3 of Chimborazo Hospital. He died on July 5th, 1862. Surgeon E. H. Smith, C. S. A., reports the case.

    WOODBRIDGE, WILLIAM T., Musician, Co. F, 15th Indiana Volunteers, received on October 15th, 1863, a punctured wound of the skull from a bayonet thrust, which perforated the left parietal bone near its posterior superior angle. Two days after the injury he was received into the City Hospital at Indianapolis, Indiana, suffering with convulsions, and symptoms of meningitis and inflammation of the brain. On October 21st, several small fragments of bone were extracted; but the symptoms were not alleviated, and the patient died on October 27th, 1863, from abscess of the brain. Acting Assistant Surgeon J. M. Kitchen reports the case.

    Of the six patients with punctured fractures of the cranium, one survived, though permanently disabled; and five died, with extravasation of blood in one case, cerebral hernia in one, encephalitis in one, and abscess of the brain in two cases.

    The very intractable and fatal nature of such injuries is well known. The diagnosis is commonly difficult, the small dimensions of the external wound forbidding satisfactory exploration. If the external table only is punctured, it is true that there is not much more danger than in a wound of the soft parts; and recoveries take place when both tables are pierced, if there is no extravasation of blood, or wound of the membranes or the brain by the weapon, or by depressed splinters of the vitreous table. But when the puncture is small and narrow, it is very difficult to determine its depth. The information obtained by the probe is unsatisfactory, and its use is not unattended by danger. When the brain is wounded, symptoms of cerebral mischief are frequently delayed until extravasation or the pent-up products of inflammation produce pressure. Thus the surgeon is restrained from interference until a period when interference is likely to be of little benefit.
    [excerpt]
    jessgettysburg1863 likes this.
  17. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Virginia
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    On Special Wounds And Injuries.
    Chapter I.--Wounds And Injuries Of The Head.
    Section III --Recapitulation And General Observations (Skull injuries)
    TABLE VII.
    Nature and Results of Twelve Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighty Injuries of the Head from all Causes, as reported during the War.
    A CASE. D DUTY.
    B DEATHS. E RESULT.
    C DISCHARGES.

    INJURIES. A B C D E
    Incised Wounds of the Scalp, Sabre 282 6 68 208
    Incised Fractures of the Cranium, Sabre 49 13 12 24
    Incised Wounds of Scalp 28 1 10 17
    Punctured Wounds of the Scalp, Bayonet 18 2 4 12
    Punctured Fractures of the Cranium, Bayonet 6 5 1
    Contusions and Lacerations of the Scalp 331 21 309 1
    Concussions from blows, falls, railway accidents, etc. 72 14 43 13 2
    Fractures of Skull from similar causes 105 57 28 17 3
    Gunshot Wounds of the Scalp 7,739 162 1,176 3,689 2,712
    Gunshot Contusions of the Bones of the Skull 328 55 173 100
    Gunshot Fractures of the Outer Table (?) 138 10 66 62
    Gunshot Fractures of the Inner Table 20 19 1
    Linear Fissures caused by Gunshot 19 7 12
    Gunshot Fractures without known Depression 2,911 1,826 651 309 125
    Depressed Gunshot Fractures of the Skull 364 129 190 42 3
    Penetrating Gunshot Fractures 486 402 65 19
    Perforating Gunshot Fractures 73 56 17
    Smash 9 9
    Centre-coup (?) 2 1 1
    Aggregates 12,980 2,774 2,539 4,821 2,846
    jessgettysburg1863 likes this.
  18. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3,447
    Location:
    Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia

    :grant::lee: Thanks again & as usual great work.

    :smile: Jess.
  19. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Virginia
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Chapter II. -- Wounds And Injuries Of The Face.
    Section I.--Incised Wounds, Contusions, And Miscellaneous Injuries.

    [excerpt]
    BAYONET WOUNDS.--Twenty-seven cases of bayonet wounds of the face were reported. Eleven returned to duty, eleven were discharged, and one died, and four of the wounded were not accounted for:
    [excerpt]

    GAYCORN, JOHN, Private, Co.--, Vermont Volunteers. Lee's Mills. April 16th, 1862. Bayonet wound of face, accidentally. Returned to duty.

    WHITTAKER, MATTHEW, Private, Co. F, 32d Ohio. Bayonet wound. McDowell, May 8th, 1862. (McDowell, VA)

    MORAN, THOMAS, Private, Co. F, 13th Missouri. Bayonet wound of face. Fair Oaks, May 31st, 1862.

    [excerpt]
    =============
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Chapter II. -- Wounds And Injuries Of The Face.
    Section II. -- Gunshot Wounds.

    [excerpt]
    CASE.--Private John Baker, Co. I, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves, aged 19 years, was wounded at the battle of Charles City Cross Roads, Virginia, June 30th, 1862, by a conoidal ball, which entered at the left angle of the mouth, fractured the upper jaw, cut the tongue half in two, arid emerged at the angle of the right lower jaw, fracturing it and displacing the teeth. He received also a bayonet wound in the lower part of the back, which penetrated the left thigh. He was admitted into the Satterlee Hospital, Philadelphia, on July 26th, 1862. On the same day, Acting Assistant Surgeon Edward A. Smith removed several pieces of loose bone. Cold water dressings were applied, and the jaw was kept closed. Fluid diet was ordered. As the bone became loosened it was removed from the inside until almost the entire right side of the inferior maxilla became detached. Then the outer wound healed, the .jaw became gradually stiffened until February 3d, 1863, at which time he was able to chew food of some consistence, and suffered but little. He had neuralgic pains at times, and some deterioration of the facial angle; his health was good. He was discharged the service on April 14th, 1863. The case is reported by the operator. On November 17th, 1869, Pension Examiner S. Logan reports that Baker's leg is paralyzed and atrophied, resulting from the bayonet wound, and that his disability is permanent.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Chapter III. -- Wounds And Injuries Of The Neck.
    Section I.--Incised And Punctured Wounds, And Miscellaneous Injuries.

    BAYONET WOUNDS.--Three slight cases and one that was fatal were reported. In the latter, the great vessels of the neck were perforated:
    HASSETT, B. J., Bugler, Co. F, 121st New York Volunteers, aged 19 years. Bayonet wound of right side of neck; slight. Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis hospitals. Returned to duty on August 16th, 1864.

    MOORE, JAMES, Corporal, Co. D, 38th Ohio Volunteers, aged 24 years. Bayonet wound of neck. Jonesboro', Georgia, September 1st, 1864. Nashville, Cincinnati. Mustered out on June 21st, 1865.

    DUSTIN, ELBRIDGE, Private, Co. B, 9th New Hampshire. Bayonet wound of neck. Jackson, Mississippi, July 13th, 1863. Surprised on picket and brought into hospital dead.(*)

    LITTLE, JOHN N., Sergeant, Co. I, 2d West Virginia Volunteers. Bayonet wound of neck, posterior to pharynx, April 18th, 1865. Discharged on June 21st, 1865.

    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Chapter V.--Wounds And Injuries Of The Chest.
    Section I.--Incised Wounds, Contusions, And Miscellaneous Injuries.
    BAYONET WOUNDS.--There were twenty-nine cases of this group reported. Nine proved fatal, six were discharged, twelve were returned to duty, and in two cases the results could not be ascertained. If there was no error in diagnosis, the abstracts of the two following cases furnish examples of punctured wounds of both lungs, when life was prolonged for two and seven days after the reception of the injury:

    CASE.--Private Nicholas Schenecker, Co. E, 35th Massachusetts Volunteers, aged 25 years, was wounded at Petersburg, Virginia, September 30th, 1864, by a bayonet, which entered the left side, between the second and third ribs, penetrated the lungs, and emerged anteriorly near the sternum. He was treated in the field, and, on October 5th, was transferred to Finley Hospital, Washington. Simple dressing were applied to the wound. Death occurred on October 7th, 1864. The case is reported by Surgeon G. L. Pancoast, U. S. V.

    RAY, WILLIAM, Private, Co. E, 1st Washington Territory Volunteers. Perforating bayonet wound of both lungs, December 3d, 1865. The weapon entered anteriorly to the lower portion of the left lung, penetrating the diaphragm, passing upward and backward, making its exit through the right lung posteriorly. Died, December 5th, 1865. The case is reported by Assistant Surgeon Clinton Wagner, U. S. A.


    In the four following cases, bayonet stabs in the chest were followed by fatal inflammation of the lung:

    Phillips, Crawford, Private, Co. A, 44th Georgia. Bayonet wound of right chest and arm, and gunshot wound of neck. Wilderness, Virginia, May 9th, 1864. He was admitted to Douglas Hospital, Washington; transferred to Lincoln Hospital, May 14th, and died on May 29th, 1864.

    CROMNEY, OWEN, Private, Co. K, 2d Connecticut Volunteers, aged 19 years. Bayonet entered above outer third of left clavicle and passed downward. Cold Harbor, June 3d, 1864. Treated in 3d division hospital, Alexandria. Lung affected, cough, and slight expectoration. Died on July 29th, 1864. The case is reported by Surgeon Edwin Bentley, U. S. V.

    FRAZER, EDWARD, Private, Co. G, 64th United States Colored Troops. Bayonet wound in right side; the weapon entered the pleural cavity one inch below the mamma. May 28th, 1864. Treated in hospital at Natchez, Mississippi. Died on June 2d, 1864, of inflammation of the pleura extending to the lung. The case is reported by Assistant Surgeon W. H. Miles, 63d U. S. C. T.

    DELANY, MICHAEL, Color Sergeant, 27th Illinois, was wounded at Marietta, Georgia, June 14th, 1864, by a conoidal ball, which fractured the right arm and jaw. He also received a bayonet penetrating wound of the chest. He was sent to Ackworth, Georgia, on June 28th, and thence to Chattanooga on June 30th. He died on July 11th, 1864. Surgeon Francis Salter, U. S. V., reports the case.

    In the three succeeding fatal cases, death resulted promptly from lesions of the large vessels of the thorax:

    JEFFORDS, HARRISON H., Colonel, 4th Michigan Volunteers. Bayonet thrust through chest. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3d, 1863. Died on July 3d, 1863.

    MITCHELL, LOUIS F., 1st Minnesota. Two bayonet wounds through chest. Edward's Ferry, October 21st, 1861. Died on the stone day. The case is reported by Surgeon D. W. Hand, U. S. V.

    CASE.--Private B. H----, Co. A, Cobb's Georgia Legion, a prisoner of war at Newport News, Virginia, received a penetrating bayonet wound of the chest, May 7th, 1865. Acting Assistant Surgeon William H. Helm, who reports the case, states: "At half past ten o'clock P. M., May 7th, I was sent for to see a prisoner who had been wounded by a sentinel. I found him lying on his left side, with his knees drawn pretty well up, and his body bent forward. He complained considerably of pain in any position and begged for some morphia. On examination, I found a triangular-shaped opening on the posterior portion of the thorax, two inches below the inferior angle of the scapula and four inches to the right of the spine. On examination with the probe, I found that the probe ran down beneath the skin for two or three inches, but was unable to detect any opening into the thorax. Pulse good but slightly accelerated. Respiration very little if at all affected. Expression of countenance slightly uneasy. There was a very slight oozing from the wound. After a consultation, it was concluded that it was a non-penetrating wound of the chest. The wound was covered by a piece of dry lint fastened by adhesive plaster. A grain of morphia was given him, with directions to give him half a grain in an hour if he was not relieved. Toward morning he became delirious and died about sunrise, without the ward-master having sent for any of the surgeons. Necropsy: On tracing the path of the bayonet it was found to have gone downward and to the left, some two inches beneath the skin, when it entered the ninth intercostal space. Upon opening the thorax nearly its entire cavity was found filled with clots and semi-fluid blood, of a dark-red hue. The opening in the ninth intercostal space was' found and the further course of the bayonet was traced, where it had torn through the muscles to the outer and right edge of the ntervertebral disk, between the ninth and tenth dorsal vertebrae. The lungs were found to be uninjured. The pericardium contained a clot of bright-red hue, about the size of a large hen's egg, and several ounces of bloody serum. A small triangular spot was seen on the posterior portion of the base of the left ventricle. The probe sank into the triangular spot by its own weight merely, and, on opening the left ventricle, it was found to be a penetrating wound of the heart. The opposite surface of the ventricle was entirely uninjured. The vena cava ascendens was probably pierced by the bayonet, though it was impossible to find the opening, owing to the dense fibrous clots Surrounding the vessels, and pervading the cellular tissue. This supposition accounts for the large venous haemorrhage and is entirely probable, as the vena cava ascendens was in the course of the bayonet."

    Of the six men discharged for disability on account of bayonet wounds of the chest, only one is a pensioner.(1) The other five had wounds that probably seriously implicated the external soft parts only:

    CASE.--Corporal Thomas Powers, Co. G, 2d United States Infantry, aged 40 years, was stabbed by a bayonet in the hands of a refractory prisoner on December 2d, 1862. The bayonet entered one-half inch to the right of the median line of the chest, immediately next to the middle of the xiphoid cartilage, penetrated four inches in a direction downward and outward, entering the chest over the costal cartilages of the eighth, ninth, and tenth ribs. On receipt of the injury there was prostration, vomiting for two days, difficulty of breathing, incapacity to draw a long breath, total absence of movement of ribs of lower part of right chest, and decubitus on injured side; no respiration heard on lower part of right chest; puerile respiration above and over the whole of the left chest, mixed, however, in some parts of the left chest, with mucous sounds of bronchitis. Gentle stimulants and essence of beef were given. On December 5th, the vomiting had ceased. He was transferred to Stanton Hospital, Washington, on December 11th; at that time, the wound was closed and the orifice of it covered over by a small, dark-colored, triangular-shaped scab. He complained much of darting pains and stitches in the right side. He exhibited dyspnœa and increased frequency of the respiratory movements. At times, the dyspnœa was so great as to compel him to sit up in bed. There was a moderate amount of effusion in cavity of right pleura, with friction sounds higher up on the same side. He was directed to keep quiet in bed, to be supported by a nourishing diet, to take fluid extract of cinchona, combined with iodide of potassium, and, with a view to still further promote absorption and combat the traumatic pleurisy, to have a succession of blisters applied to his right chest. About Christmas, he had a severe exacerbation of all his symptoms, which was combated by the application of wet and dry cups. A fresh pleurisy was lighted up in the early part of January, 1863, which was treated in the same way. Under the tonic and supporting plan of treatment, he mended slowly in spite of the relapses, and by January 25th, was able to sit up most of the time. He was discharged from service, at his own request, on February 2d, 1863. He was still very feeble and wan, had dyspnœa, and percussion showed that the pleuritic effusion, although diminished in quantity, still remained, but the dyspnœa appeared to be much greater than could be accounted for satisfactorily by the amount of the effusion. Examining Surgeon Frank S. Porter reports, October 30th, 1867: The bayonet entered the chest on the median line, at the lower end of the sternum, and, ranging downward and backward, wounded the diaphragm and liver. The result is enlargement of the left lobe of the liver, severe cough, bloody purulent expectoration, haemorrhage of the bowels, with great emaciation. Disability total.

    COSGROVE, JESSE D., 1st Maryland. Bayonet wound of chest. Gettysburg, July, 1863. Discharged from service. Not a pensioner.
    EDDIE, SAMUEL E., Private, Co. D, 37th Massachusetts Volunteers, aged 42 years. Perforating bayonet wound of chest. Treated in Harewood Hospital, Washington. Discharged from service on June 12th, 1865. Not a pensioner.
    HANLY, TIMOTHY, Private, Co. E, 52d New York Volunteers, aged 35 years. Perforating bayonet wound of chest. White Oak Swamp, Virginia, June 30th, 1862. Treated in Frederick and Philadelphia hospitals. Bloody expectoration for two weeks. Discharged from service on September 27th, 1862. Not a pensioner.
    KIRKER, IRA, Private, Co. F, 140th Pennsylvania Volunteers, aged 21 years. Bayonet wound of right breast. Spottsylvania, Virginia. May 12th, 1864. Treated in Harewood Hospital, Washington. Discharged from service. Not a pensioner.
    MOHAWK, S., Corporal, Co. C, 7th Maine aged 28 years. Bayonet wound of left breast. Wilderness, Virginia, May 6th, 1864. Treated in Emery and Lincoln Hospitals, Washington. Discharged from service. Not a pensioner.

    The termination of the two following Confederate cases could not be traced; but it may be hoped, from the condition of the patients when last reported, that they could ultimately have been counted in the list of recoveries:

    CASE.--Private William Tinkler, Co. G, 3d Battalion, South Carolina Infantry, was wounded in a bayonet charge at Spottsylvania, May 8th, 1864. He was conveyed to a Confederate hospital an hour after the reception of the injury. On examination, two apertures were discovered, one a triangular, ragged opening in the back, about one-half inch to the right of the tenth dorsal vertebra, and the other a small puncture, three inches below the right nipple, near the angle of the ninth rib. The patient stated that while in a stooping posture he was transfixed by a bayonet, and he asserted positively that he distinctly felt the withdrawal of the weapon. When admitted to hospital, his face was pallid and anxious and nostrils distended. Skin cool, pulse weak, but somewhat excited, breathing difficult and labored. There was slight oozing of blood from the posterior orifice, which was contracted, and bloody expectoration similar to that occurring in gunshot injuries of the lungs. These symptoms, conjoined with the direction of the wound, led to the belief that the right lung was transfixed. May 9th: Patient expectorates bloody mucus, complains of pain in right lung; has but little cough. Shock has passed off and he is tranquil. May 12th: Bloody expectoration ceased, lint pain still continues. May 13th, posterior wound is healed over by scabbing. On May 16th, the patient was doing finely. There was some acceleration of the circulation and dyspnœa, but no physical symptoms of lung disease. He was sent to general hospital, May 17th, in fine spirits.

    Percival, G., Corporal, Co. F, 5th South Carolina Battery. Perforating bayonet wound of chest. Spottsylvania, Virginia, May 8th, 1864. Treated in Confederate hospital. Dyspnœa and bloody expectoration. Doing well.

    continued









    jessgettysburg1863 likes this.
  20. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Virginia
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Chapter V.--Wounds And Injuries Of The Chest.
    Section I.--Incised Wounds, Contusions, And Miscellaneous Injuries.
    continued

    Of twelve men returned to duty or exchanged, one was afterwards pensioned. In three cases, the pleural cavity was believed to have been opened. The remaining cases were, probably, superficial flesh-wounds.
    BRADY, OWEN, Private, Co. E, 1st Connecticut Artillery. Bayonet wound of thorax, September 20th, 1863. Treated in 3d division hospital, Alexandria. Returned to duty on September 28th, 1863. Not a pensioner.
    CONROY, JAMES C., Private, Co. G, 16th United States Infantry. Penetrating bayonet wound, right breast, August 30th, 1865. Treated in Cumberland Hospital, Nashville. Returned to duty on October 14th, 1865. Not a pensioner.
    DORSEY, RUSH, Private, Co. E, 17th West Virginia Volunteers, aged 21 years. Bayonet wound, inferior angle of scapula. Cavity of chest not opened. Grafton, September 26th, 1864. Treated in hospital at Grafton. Returned to duty on October 2d, 1864. Not a pensioner.
    GARRETT, J. W., Corporal, Co. E, 50th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Bayonet wound of left side, April 13th, 1863. Treated in St. Aloysius Hospital, Washington. Returned to duty on October 22d, 1863. Not a pensioner.
    HUBER, JACOB, Private, Co. H, 13th Indiana Volunteers, aged 29 years. Perforating bayonet wound of chest. Fort Darling, May 20th, 1864. Treated in hospital at Point Lookout, Maryland. Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps on April 12th, 1865. Not a pensioner.
    JOHNSON, JOHN, Private, Co. K, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Bayonet wound of lung, June 17th, 1863. Treated in 1st division hospital, Annapolis. Returned to duty on July 7th, 1863. Not a pensioner.
    MOORE, W. J., Private, Co. C, 15th New York Engineers, aged 24 years. Bayonet wound of breast, May 6th, 1864. Treated in 3d division hospital, Alexandria. Returned to duty on August 29th, 1864. Not a pensioner.
    MURRAY, GEORGE, Private, Co. B, 39th United Slates Colored Troops, aged 24 years. Bayonet wound of left breast. Petersburg, July 30th, 1864. Treated in Summit House Hospital, Philadelphia. Returned to duty on September 27th, 1864. Not a pensioner.
    O'CONNOR, TIMOTHY, Private, Co. G, 138th New York Volunteers, aged 35 years. Bayonet wound of chest. September 10th, 1864. Treated in Mansfield Hospital, Morehead City, North Carolina. Returned to duty on March 27th, 1865. Not a pensioner.
    SMITH, GRIFFITH, Drummer, Co. D, 168th New York. Bayonet wound of right breast. Treated in Douglas Hospital, Washington. Returned to duty on August 22d, 1863. His name does not appear on the Pension Records.
    SQUIRES, T. G., Private, Co. L, 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Bayonet wound of left side, and gunshot wound of shoulder. Stoney Creek, June 29th, 1864. Treated in 1st division hospital, Annapolis. Returned to duty on November 16th, 1865. Examining Surgeon Martin Rizer, of Brookville, Pa., reported, May 1st, 1866, that there was "nearly entire loss of motion in right arm from gunshot wound of right shoulder, entering just below the articulation, fracturing the spine of the scapula, passing out near the spine. Bayonet wound of right side, fracturing eighth rib. Reams's Station, June 20th, 1864. Disability one-half and permanent."
    CASE.--Private James H. W. Vick, Co. G, 8th Louisiana Regiment, aged 19 years, received a bayonet thrust in the left chest at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, on November 7th, 1863. He was sent to Washington, and admitted to Armory Square Hospital on November 9th. The left lung was penetrated one inch below the nipple, and the wound was three-fourths of an inch long. Bloody expectoration, November 8th, 9th, 10th,--less on 11th. Simple dressings were applied. The patient was transferred to the Old Capitol Prison on November 12th, 1863, for exchange, having completely recovered. A colored drawing of the recent wound was made by Hospital Steward W. Schultze. It is No. 79 of the Surgical Series of Drawings, S. G. O.
    jessgettysburg1863 likes this.
  21. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Virginia
    Medical/Surgical History--Part I, Volume II
    Chapter V.--Wounds And Injuries Of The Chest.
    Section IV.--Mortality, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment.
    TABLE XXIV.
    Numerical Statement of Twenty Thousand Six Hundred and Seven Cases of Wounds and Injuries of the Chest reported during the War.
    A Cases. D Duty.
    B Died. E Undetermined.
    C Discharged. F Ratio of Mortality.

    CHARACTER OF WOUND. A B C D E F
    Sabre Wounds 9 1 4 4 11.1
    Bayonet Wounds 29 9 6 12 2 33.3
    Incised Wounds 27 8 5 14 29.6
    Punctured Wounds 6 4 1 1 66.6
    Contusions 225 5 15 205 2.2
    Simple and Compound Fracturesof Ribs, not gunshot 47 4 9 25 9 10.5
    Gunshot Flesh Wounds 11,549 113 1,790 8,988 658 1.0
    Gunshot Penetrating Wounds 8,715 5,260 1,939 1,204 312 62.5
    Totals 20,607 5,404 3,769 10,453 981 27.5

    It might be supposed that, with so large a body of facts determined with reasonable accuracy, and the total number of wounded being known approximatively, it would be easy to compute the relative frequency of wounds of the chest and of those received in other regions of the body. But it must be considered, that the complete statistics of the battlefield are never ascertained. In engagements of magnitude, the number of killed in action is rarely determined with precision, for both victors and vanquished report many "missing," whose fate is unknown. The exact information we possess of the character of the wounds of those known to have been killed, is comparatively small. Doubtless, a large proportion, perhaps the largest proportion, of speedily mortal wounds, are attended by lesions of the lungs or great vessels. The men fall and die, more or less rapidly, from syncope or asphyxia; but all precise knowledge of the nature of their injuries is lost.

    If it is attempted to frame estimates from the number of wounded coming under treatment only, other difficulties arise. Several wounds in the same individual are common, and the same ball traverses frequently several organs or regions. Therefore, approximations only are attainable. The figures in TABLE XXIV are taken from lists including the names and descriptions of injuries of two hundred and fifty-three thousand one hundred and forty-two (253,142) wounded men.(*) Hence, it may be roughly stated that the proportion of wounds of the chest to the whole number received in field or siege operations was about one in twelve.

    (*) When the lists have been exhaustively compared and verified, it is estimated that this aggregate will he augmented to about two hundred and seventy thousand (270,000) cases of wounded men reported by name.

    For the last year of the War, nearly complete numerical returns of all the wounded in action, in the Union Army, exclusive of those killed in battle, are available. In the following statement (TABLE XXV) is set forth the relative proportion of wounds of the thoracic walls and cavity to the total number of wounds, excluding only a few reports in which the flesh and penetrating wounds were not distinguished. The Confederate wounded that came under our care, are not included in this return. It will be seen that the mean proportion of all chest wounds (7,173) to the aggregate of wounds of all regions (105,540) is a little less than one in fifteen. The highest ratio is for the open field fighting of the Army of the Shenandoah (9.38 per cent., or about one in ten) ; the lowest for the force besieging Mobile by regular approaches (3.83 per cent., or one in twenty-six nearly) . The ratio is explained by the unusual predominance of the proportion of head injuries among these entrenched troops.
    jessgettysburg1863 likes this.

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page