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Gilliam Seabrook

Medical Report on SGT Edward G. Gilliam, 11th Virginia Infantry, Wounded Drury's Bluff Virginia.

Sergeant Edward G. Gilliam, Co. C, 11th Virginia, aged 24 years, was wounded in the engagement at Drury's Bluff, Virginia, May 16, 1864, by a rifle ball, which, entering the upper portion of the right thigh in front, fractured the neck of the femur, and lodged. He was conveyed the same day to Richmond and admitted into Chimborazo Hospital. There was eversion of the limb, but no shortening. On placing the finger upon the seat of fracture and rotating the thigh it was observed that the trochanter major moved with the shaft. There appeared to be but little comminution, and there was no escape of synovial fluid. The parts were but little tumefied. The limb was comfortably adjusted on pillows. The patient complained of severe pain in the thigh, especially along its inner aspect, and had frequent twitchings of the muscles. The pulse was 80, the tongue clean, the appetite poor. Half an ounce of whiskey was directed every fourth hour, and a nourishing diet, with one-third of a grain of morphine given at bedtime. During the latter part of May there was severe local pain, with rapid emaciation, and a bed-sore formed over the sacrum. On June 15th the limb was swung in a Smith s anterior splint. The patient s appetite soon began to improve, the pulse about 96. On June 27th he yet suffered severe pain in the hip and along the inner part of the thigh. On July 1st synovial fluid in large amount issued from the wound, after which the pain subsided. His appetite continued to improve, and he now slept well at night. One or two small spiculae of bone were eliminated in the discharges. On July 10th he was stronger and had no pain ; the bed-sore was healing; the discharge from the wound was small in quantity, and the oedema was disappearing. For several days, about July 20th, he suffered pain at the knee, and the splint was removed. On July 30th the bed-sore was healed and his health was greatly improved; but any movement of the hip joint continued to create severe pain. By August 10th he had become stout and fleshy and could suffer the limb to be moved, and August 22d it could be moved freely without producing pain. At this date a small spicula of bone was removed. There was only a slight discharge from the wound. On September 5th he was able to raise the limb a short distance from the bed, and September 14th he sat up in a chair. There was limited motion of the hip joint. He was furloughed for sixty days on September 20, 1864. The case is reported by Surgeon E. M. Seabrook, C. S. A.

SOURCE: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. Volume 2, Part 3.

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