War Injuries

The following [WARNING] anatomically explicit and graphic document resulted in the money that my 3rd great-grandfather, Thomas Wilson, would use to move his family from Canandaiga, New York, to a farm he purchased in central Michigan. He built a farm that supported his son, his grandson, and his great-granddaughter who was also my grandmother. The farm was sold, and his descendants moved to the largest town east.

ACT JULY 14, 1862
Brief in case of Thomas Wilson, A Priv[ate] of Company L, 24 Regiment, N[ew] Y[ork] Cav[alr]y
Post Office Address of Applicant:
Gypsum, Ontario Co, NY
Enlisted Jany 18, 1864, Discharged July 14, 1865
Declaration and Identification in Due Form
1 Rolls say wounded July 9/[18]64
2 Capt while in service certifies to gen of right thigh, received in the trenches before Petersburg from a shot by the enemy July 9/64

3 Dr Chapin, July 19/67 finds gsn of right thigh splintering the bone, passing across pubis of right side and out through cellular tissue and substance of penis at the root. Urine passed through the opening. The consists of injury of muscles inserted at the pubis rotating the leg and inability to retain urine more than one or two hours. Too much lameness to allow work of more than half a day.

Admitted M[ar]ch 11, 1867 to a Pension of 4.00 per month, commencing July 14th, 1865.

[Thomas Wilson’s Civil War military records, author’s personal files, received from NARA, Oct 2011.]

Honestly, I could have lived without knowing that about my forefather’s reproductive parts, but the description certainly demonstrates the terrible wounds Civil War soldiers had to endure if they were lucky enough not to die on the battlefield. Imagine the number of soldier’s that came through hospitals with similar injuries.

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