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Federal (USV)

Private

Horace Wall

(? - 1862)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 63rd New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Age 31 at enlistment. Mustered in as private, Company H, on October 19, 1861.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in action - side and thigh - on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He died of his wounds on October 17, 1862, in a hospital, at Frederick, Md.

The MSHWR says

Private Morris Ward, Co. H, 63d New York Volunteers, aged 32 years, received two gunshot wounds at Antietam, Maryland, September 17, 1862. One ball entered the back between the eighth and ninth ribs, left side, half-way between the angle and the junction with the costal cartilage, and lodged; the other entered two inches posterior of anterior superior spinous process of the ilium of left side and lodged in the gluteal muscles. He was at once conveyed to the field hospital of the Second Corps, where water dressings were applied.

On September 30th, he was transferred to the hospital at Frederick, Maryland. Previous to admission, the patient did not complain of cough or pain in the chest.

On October 5th, a ball could be distinctly felt beneath the nipple, but as the patient was quite weak from profuse suppuration from the wound in the gluteal region, the removal of the ball by excision was deferred.

October 8th, burrowing of pus among the gluteal muscles and accumulation of gas. An incision was made an inch above the folds of the nates; but little evacuation of pus. Poultice ordered. On the 12th, another incision was made just below the crest of the ilium and a seton passed through the wound of entrance. The patient seemed much prostrated, but had no cough or expectoration. Tonics and stimulants administered.

On the night of the 13th, he expectorated a small quantity of blood, and, on the next day, complained of pain in the chest where the ball had lodged. On examining the chest, a tumor was found to extend from the left nipple downward and inward for two inches, and of the same dimensions in breadth. On applying the ear to the tumor, a sound was heard resembling the passage of air, with a small quantity of liquid, through a slight opening. Tumor tympanic on percussion; respiration but slightly embarrassed, but patient very restless.

The tumor continued to increase, and the patient failed rapidly, notwithstanding the free administration of stimulants; death occurred on the morning of October 17, 1862. Necropsy: Rigor mortis well marked. Body considerably emaciated. On laying open the wound on the posterior portion of the chest, the ninth rib was found fractured at that point. On dissecting up the skin over the tumor, some extravasation of blood was found underneath. No opening where the ball could have entered the chest could be found, and it seemed probable that it had passed externally, glancing on the ninth rib, yet no external track was visible. The pericardium over the apex of the heart was adherent to the ribs. Recent pleuritic adhesions on both sides, and left lung adherent to ribs for a large space, where the ball was found underneath. Missile had ulcerated through the intercostal muscle into the lung and was found resting against the diaphragm at the bottom of a large abscess which contained air and pus. Pieces of clothing and bone were also discovered in the diaphragm. The pathological specimen, showing a wet preparation of a portion of the left lung adherent to sections of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs, is represented in the wood-cut (Fig. 235), and was contributed, with a history of the case, by Acting Assistant Surgeon Alfred North. (It must be understood that the ball entered posteriorly between the eighth and ninth ribs, on a level with the sixth rib anteriorly. The description of its course is not very clear. If it did not fracture the rib, whence came the bits of bone found imbedded in the diaphragm?).

References & notes

Basic information from McLernon1. His medical details and the illustration here from the Medical and Surgical History2. His name is also borne as Morris Ward. His name appears as Maurice Ward in the casualty list. His name appears in a Roll of Honor for Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, Md., Area O, southern corner of cemetery, as Morris Ward (October 18). Horace Wall is buried in Antietam National Cemetery, as Morris Ward (Maurice October 19), in Section: New York Grave Number 274.

Death

10/17/1862 Frederick, MD; burial in Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD

Notes

1   McLernon, Robert, Casualty List, 63rd New York Volunteer Infantry, Meagher's Irish Brigade, Antietam, Maryland; September 17, 1862, Springfield (Va): R. McLernon, 2001  [AotW citation 2439]

2   Barnes, Joseph K., and US Army, Office of the Surgeon General, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 6 books, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1870, Part I, Volume II. (1st Surgical volume), pg. 493  [AotW citation 14700]