Confederate Private James Monroe Harris Company D 37th VA Infantry

Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
6,318
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
#1
One of my wife's 2 x great-grandfathers. Wounded and captured July 3, 1863 Right leg amputated on the battlefield by Union surgeons.



P193216.gif

James Monroe Harris

Residence was not listed; 23 years old.

Enlisted on 5/20/1861 at Estillville, VA as a Private.

On 5/20/1861 he mustered into "D" Co. VA 37th Infantry
He Re-enlisted on 2/18/1862
(date and method of discharge not given)


He was listed as:
* Received pay 2/18/1862 Camp Mason, NC
* On rolls 12/15/1862 (place not stated)
* POW 7/3/1863 Gettysburg, PA
* Wounded 7/3/1863 Gettysburg, PA (Severely wounded in right leg, amputated)
* Hospitalized 7/8/1863 Chester, PA
* Transferred 10/4/1863 Hammond Gnl Hospl, Point Lookout, MD
* Transferred 3/6/1864 City Point, VA (For exchang

- The Virginia Regimental Histories Series
- The Medical and Surgical History of the Civil War
 

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#2
One of my wife's 2 x great-grandfathers. Wounded and captured July 3, 1863 Right leg amputated on the battlefield by Union surgeons.



P193216.gif

James Monroe Harris

Residence was not listed; 23 years old.

Enlisted on 5/20/1861 at Estillville, VA as a Private.

On 5/20/1861 he mustered into "D" Co. VA 37th Infantry
He Re-enlisted on 2/18/1862
(date and method of discharge not given)


He was listed as:
* Received pay 2/18/1862 Camp Mason, NC
* On rolls 12/15/1862 (place not stated)
* POW 7/3/1863 Gettysburg, PA
* Wounded 7/3/1863 Gettysburg, PA (Severely wounded in right leg, amputated)
* Hospitalized 7/8/1863 Chester, PA
* Transferred 10/4/1863 Hammond Gnl Hospl, Point Lookout, MD
* Transferred 3/6/1864 City Point, VA (For exchang

- The Virginia Regimental Histories Series
- The Medical and Surgical History of the Civil War
Now this is one tough man! You must be SO proud!
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
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#5
According to his CSR, Harris' leg was amputated by a Surgeon Butler, C.S.A., on July 3. This would be Assistant Surgeon Mathew M. “Matt” Butler of the 37th Virginia, who probably performed the operation at a field hospital relatively close to the front, but on the east side of Rock Creek.
 

lelliott19

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#6
According to his CSR, Harris' leg was amputated by a Surgeon Butler, C.S.A., on July 3. This would be Assistant Surgeon Mathew M. “Matt” Butler of the 37th Virginia, who probably performed the operation at a field hospital relatively close to the front, but on the east side of Rock Creek.
Probably one reason he lived to be an old man.....if the wound occurred on July 3 and the operation was done on July 3, there was much less chance of infection. Folks talk about civil war surgeons being "butchers" and amputating too quickly, but they tend to forget or disregard the dangers of postponing amputation. The conditions just did not allow for a "wait and see" approach. Much better chance of a positive outcome if it was done quickly.
 
Joined
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Messages
6,318
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
#7
Probably one reason he lived to be an old man.....if the wound occurred on July 3 and the operation was done on July 3, there was much less chance of infection. Folks talk about civil war surgeons being "butchers" and amputating too quickly, but they tend to forget or disregard the dangers of postponing amputation. The conditions just did not allow for a "wait and see" approach. Much better chance of a positive outcome if it was done quickly.
James was a typical s.w.Virginia farmer. Family stories of him say he took pride in doing everything other men with two legs could do. I believe his brother, John was also wounded at Gettysburg and never returned to the army. Another family tale I've never been able to confirm, says another brother Daniel in the 48th Virginia was killed at Gettysburg. A fourth brother, Martin in the 48th was wounded at Chancellorsville, after recuperating at home he joined the 25th Virginia Cavalry, a local unit.
 

Yankeedave

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
4,757
Location
Colorado
#8
A thru and thru leg wound probably wouldn't cause an amputation. It's when the bone is fragmented. Today they would put a halo and pins, something a cast won't fix.
The amputation tended to be quick. The skin was cut thru then peeled back. The muscle cut back from and down the bone. Lastly the infamous bone saw as the previous cuts were done with scalpels. Finally the skin was pulled back over the stump and knotted off like a sausage end. Took more time to write this than they took to amputate.
 



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