BLODGETT, William H. Pvt. Co. B, 5th Minnesota Infantry Residence not listed; 21 years old. Enlisted on 10 Feb 1862 at Chatfield, Fillmore Co., Minnesota as a Private. On 10 Feb 1862 he mustered into Co. B, 5th Minnesota Infantry. Wounded 18 Aug 1862 at Redwood, Minnesota. He was discharged on 24 Oct 1863 (place not stated). Other information: Born in Wisconsin. No Dates.
Burial: Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, Santa Clara County, California.
CASE 283. Private W. H. Blodgett, Co. B, 5th Minnesota, aged 18 years, of good habits and strong constitution, was shot by Sioux Indians early in the afternoon of August 18, 1862. After the reception of the wound he walked a distance of twelve miles, to Fort Ridgely, arriving about two o clock A. M., and was admitted into the post hospital. The ball had entered between the first and second floating ribs, eight and one-fourth inches from the linea alba and two inches perpendicularly above the anterior superior spinous process of the left ilium, making an antero-posterior passage through the body six inches long, and escaping near the inferior articular process of the first lumbar vertebra on the same side ; the missile had evidently lacerated the descending colon, near the sigmoid flexure, both in entering and escaping from the body.
During the first two days some fetid gas escaped from the bowels; but after the slough had separated the discharges of faecal matter from both orifices became continuous and very copious, so much so, that the patient had to be put in a separate room and his bedding changed. On the fifth day, a very large number of small living worms (trichorcatns dispar) appeared on each of the wounds from inside the lacerated bowels. These entozoa disappeared after a few fomentations with a dilute solution of chloride of zinc.
The treatment consisted in a strictly liquid and mucilaginous diet, cleanliness, the wearing of a large flannel bandage around the body, an occasional mild cathartic, if needed, and, once, an opiate to stop a slight diarrhoea. The inflammatory symptoms from tin-bowels were light, and lasted but a short time. The wounds were dressed with lint and simple cerate, the edges being occasion ally touched with lunar caustic. As the wounds closed the discharge of faecal matter ceased, and, in four weeks, consisted only of a little mucous matter.
By October 1st, the posterior wound had entirely, the anterior nearly, healed ; the abnormal faecal discharge had entirely ceased. The soldier was able to eat the usual food without any inconvenience, and had regained his strength. Stooping and raising up quickly produced a sensation of heaviness in the abdomen. He was discharged from service October 24, 1862. Acting Assistant Surgeon Alfred Muller reports the case.
A communication from Pension Examiner E. J Kinmsbury, dated June 22, 1867, states that the wound has produced a stricture of the bowels to a certain extent ; also chronic gastro-enteritis and chronic constipation. He is totally disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor. Blodgett was last paid December 4, 1872, his condition remaining unchanged.