Thursday, November 20, 2014

Colonel John G. Chambers.

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John G. Chambers.

Birth: 1827.
Death: July 15, 1864.

Fathrt: John Chambers.

Wife: Hannah J. Wilson Chambers.
Married October 3, 1852.

Children: William S. Chambers, Charles H. Chambers.

Burial: Unknown..

Massachusetts Twenty-Third Infantry, Regimental History.

Lt. Col. Chambers was in command of the regiment.  One of the diarists records that, during this early time,  he was walking up and down behind the line, clapping his hands, and evidently enjoying the fun.

Lt. Isaac H. Edgett, his acting-adjutant, reports, "when Col. Chambers was hit, we were standing very close together, and he fell against me, forcing me down on the right knee—his body falling across my left. I laid him on the ground, and was proceeding to ascertain the nature of his wound, when he rose to his knees and said 'I guess they have fetched me this time.  Go and find Brewster (Major), and tell him to take command, but don't let anybody else know that I am hit.' He then got upon his feet and, clutching his left breast with both hands, started for the rear. I learned afterwards, that he went only a short.distance when he fell again, was picked up and carried away on a stretcher."  Even then he refused to lie down, but went away, sitting cross-legged on the stretcher, and, with compressed
lips, repressing any sign of the pain he suffered.

John G. Chambers Biography.

John G. Chambers, sou of John and Belinda (Woods) Chambers, was born at Chelsea, Mass., 15 Sept., 1828. At the age of fifteen, he went to work, at first in a printing office at Cambridge, and, after a little, in the office of the Boston Journal. In the spring of 1846 he enlisted, in Co. 'E,' Capt. Crowninshiold, of the Massachusetts Regiment, for service in Mexico, and served through the war. One of his comrades recollects him as "genial comrade and gallant, soldier."

After that war, he was at work, as compositor for the Journal, as reporter for the Atlas, or, as collecting clerk for the Courier. In the spring of 1861, he went out, with the 5th M. V. M. as 1st Lt. in Co. 'E,' and, after a time, was appointed Adjutant.

Author. The following information was put together from, The medical and surgical history of the war of the rebellion, Volume 1.,pt.2 .  I found although Colonel Chambers died of his wounds, it was the oversight of the surgeons which was the biggest cause of his death.

Lieutenant Colonel John G. Chambers, 23rd., Massachusetts Volunteers, Age 37 years was wounded near Fort Darling, on May 16, 1864, by a musket ball.  The missile shattered his watch before entering the walls of the thorax, some parts of the machinery of the watch were driven in with the projectile.  After being wounded the stretcher bearers with great difficulty, hastily carried him from the field.,

He was taken to the landing at Bermuda Hundred, where his friend Surgeon G. Derby, U. S. A., placed him on the evening of the day battle, on one of hospital transports for Fort Monroe.When he reached Fort Monroe  no wound of the stomach was suspected not for a considerable time.  His case was regarded as a cheat wound the ball first striking and disintegrating his watch and entering the chest below the left nipple.

Colonel Chambers was a man of small stature, thin and slender, active and resolve, but with greater strength of will then vigor of body

On a previous occasion at Quaker Bridge, north Carolina, July 6, 1863, he received a shell wound over the left clavicle, and although he was not severely hurt the immediate nervous depression was very marked.

On arriving at Fort Monroe Colonel Chambers entered the Chesapeake Hospital on May 18, 1864, and was put under the care of Assistant Surgeon R. Clellan U. S. A., who on June 9, 1864, extracted the ball.

June 30, 1864, a fistulous opening exists connecting the inferior oritice with the cavity of the stomach, with discharges of partially digested food.  "Orifice of entrance completely cicatrized."  Death came July 15, , 1864, from exhaustion.

From a later report.

When Colonel Chambers, who was then in command of his regiment, went into action, he had in his left breast pocket of his coat a large watch and an comb. His coat was buttoned tightly for the attack of the enemy which was resisting was made at an early hour.  When he was removed from the field, it was found that the ball by which he was wounded had struck and destroyed the watch and had broken to many pieces the iron comb.

It was supposed that the fragments of the watch and comb had been lost when his coat was first opened  An examination made by the ward surgeon failed to determine the presence of any foreign body in the chest; all detached pieces of bone were removed.  The hospital being at the time over crowed with wounded, my attention was not called to the case until June 9th..

When he was opened up it was found that many pieces of the watch was in the cavity of the stomach, after a careful  examination and washing of the cavity the wound was closed.

He was gaining his strength, the wound had closed to nearly its whole.  In early July his health began to fail.  A few days before his death being present as he swallowed some brandy, he exclaimed; "Doctor; it smarts my wound;" and upon examination, the odor of brandy was found upon the dressing.  All fluids taken into the stomach, a small portion was immediately present at the wound.  His exhaustion became more profound, and on July 15th, he died calmly of exhaustion.

The autopsy determined the fact that a prong of iron comb had escaped detection at the time of the operation; that its sharp point had become embedded in the bottom of the cavity and by its means a gastric fistula was established.

Author. You may be wondering about this talk about the stomach when he was struck in the chest.  When the ball had struck the watch the ball had flattened out and upon entering  the chest the flattened ball push everything with it, the ball traveled backwards and downwards and entered the cavity of the stomach.

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