Death: Apr. 25, 1865.
Residing in Glastonbury, Connecticut at the time of enlistment. Enlisted on December 7, 1864 as a Private in the 14th Connecticut Infantry, Company D, at the age of 22. Wounded in abdomen on March 25, 1865 at Hatcher's Run, Virginia. Hospitalized on March 30, 1865 at Stanton Hospital, Washington DC. Died at Washington DC of wounds received.
Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia.
Dennis Driscoll, Glastonbury, private, enlisted December 7, 1864, mustered in December 7, 1864; wounded March 25, 1865, Hatcher's Run, Va. ; died April 25, 1865.
Art. XIY. Case of Gunshot Wound through the Pelvis. By P. Webster Prentiss, A. M., M. D., of Washington, D. C.
Private Dennis Driscoll, Co. D., 14th Connecticut Volunteers. aged 22 years, American. Good constitution. Wounded at battle of Hatcher's Run, Virginia, March 25, 1865, by Minnie ball.
Wound of entrance : Anterior aspect of upper third of right thigh, six and a half inches below anterior superior spinous process of ileum ; ball passing upwards and inwards into the pelvis, near the obturator foramen, over the urethra, to the left of the bladder, and out of the pelvis at or near the greater sacro-sciatic notch of the left side, striking in its course the ramus of the pubis and spine of the ischium, but missing the pelvic viscera, and finally lodging in the muscular substance of the glutseus maximus, just over the pyriformis muscle.
Previous to admission into the hospital, the only inconvenience complained of on the part of the patient was pain and tenderness in the hypogastric region, and a persistent inclination to evacuate the bowels. The shock of wound was inconsiderable.
When received into the hospital, on the 30th of March, the external wound appeared healthy ; the discharge free, of dark, bloody pus, exhaling a decided fecal odour. The functions of the bladder were normal ; the patient hopeful ; pulse good, at about 90. The ball was discovered in the glutseus maximus of the left side, over the position of the greater sacrosciatic notch ; the place being pointed out by the patient himself from the pain, though it was not yet sufficiently distinct to justify an incision. The pelvic irritation and tenesmus continuing, a simple injection of warm water and Castile soap was administered, giving temporary relief. Cold water dressing was ordered for the wound.
During the week following, there was but little change in the patient. Irritation of the rectum and peritoneum supervened, when the bowels began to get costive, which was again relieved by the injection. The discharge assumed more the character of laudable pus, but still preserved its fecal
The same state of things continued up to the 15th of April, the ball becoming more and more evident each day, the tumefaction around it increasing until the irritation was beginning to affect the general system. The appetite, which had at no time been very good, was getting worse, and the patient growing restless. A consultation was held, and it was determined to cut for the ball, which was done by Surg. B. B. Wilson, in charge of the hospital, by means of a vertical incision through the glutseus maximus, about an inch to the left of the sacroiliac synchondrosis, extending from the posterior superior spinous process of the ileum downwards four inches. The muscle, at this point, was torn and bathed in pus. The ball, which had been distinctly felt previous to the incision, was not found in the muscle, but had evidently fallen back into the pelvis through the sacro-ischiatic notch an accident, the possibility of which had not been overlooked. On introducing the finger into the opening, the internal face of the spinous process of the ischium was found denuded of periosteum and roughened. A small fragment of bone, probably from the process, was removed from the substance of the glutseus maximus.
Exploration being made by means of Nekton's probe, the ball was discovered at a distance of about seven inches from the orifice, and several ineffectual attempts made to grasp it with forceps ; but it eluded their jaws, and finally disappeared again within the cavity. Subsequent search with probe, discovered necrosed bone at the opposite side of the pelvis where the ball entered, and very soon a fragment was brought out by the forceps, which was evidently from the symphysis of the pubes, having attached a portion of articular cartilage. Further search for the ball proved fruitless, and the patient was removed to his bed, stimulus ordered, and left for the night. Chloroform was the anaesthetic used, and the operation was borne well.
On the morning of April 16th, the ball was found in bed, having worked its own way out during the night. The urine was high colored and loaded with mucus ; pain and tenderness extended over the whole abdomen ; inflammation of the bladder and peritonitis were developed. Solutions of morphia and sweet spirit of nitre were administered, and partial relief obtained ; stimulants and nutritious diet were continued.
The patient continued to do well under this treatment, the inflammation subsiding considerably, until April 20th, when a hard chill came on, followed by profuse perspiration ; the pulse increased to one hundred and thirty, and was weak; the countenance assumed an anxious expression and icterode appearance ; the patient grew restless and uneasy, and the mind wandering ; pyaemia had set in. The stimulus was increased, and beef essence ordered.
On the 23d of April, the condition of things remained much the same symptoms increased in intensity ; pulse one hundred and sixty ; retching and vomiting, in addition to other symptoms, treated with morphia. One pint of brandy was taken daily in the form of "eggnog ;" the beef essence still continued. Inflammation of the bladder and peritoneum still continued, and the patient continued to sink, and died at 2 o'clock P. M., April 25th involuntary evacuations occurring towards the last.
He lived thirty-one days after receiving the wound, and ten days after the operation.
Authors note. There was also a report on the Autopsy, but I left it out.