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Re: [TalkAntietam] Wounding of Alexander Lawton

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  • Teej
    Steve Wrote: Hello, Forum. If anyone can shed light on the details of Brig Gen Alexander Lawton s disabling wound on the morning of 9/17 I d be grateful. My
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 7, 2011
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      Steve Wrote:


      Hello, Forum.

      If anyone can shed light on the details of Brig Gen Alexander Lawton's disabling wound on the morning of 9/17 I'd be grateful. My understanding is that he was transported afterward to Ferry Hill but I've been unable to track down details on where the wound occurred -- both on his body and on the field. It evidently was so severe that he was unable to return to field command for the duration of the war.

      I'm aware of his appointment to CS QM Gen in 1863 but am mainly curious as to what specifically took him out of action.

      Thanks,

      Can’t help you with where on the field Lawton was injured but maybe this will help with the nature of his medical problem:

      Regards,

      Teej



      ALEXANDER ROBERT LAWTON · Born November 4, 1818, in Beaufort District, South Carolina. He graduated from USMA in 1839 and resigned from the U.S. Army two years later to study law. He moved to Savannah, Georgia; besides practicing the law, he was a railroad president and a member of the Georgia legislature. His commission as brigadier general was confirmed in August 1861. At the Battle of Sharpsburg on September 17, 1862, Lawton was severely wounded in the leg and had to be borne off the field. He was taken to Henry Kyd Douglas's father's home for care and then to Staunton, where his wife joined him. During the first part of October he was moved to Jeremy F. Gilmer's quarters in Richmond. Although the bone was injured, it was not broken, and the wound appeared to heal well. However, he also suffered from nervous prostration and a disordered condition of his stomach and bowels. The large amounts of morphine he required made him nervous and restless, causing his wife to decide that he needed a physician more than a surgeon. In addition, the wound was complicated by a fever that was variously diagnosed as camp fever, typhoid, or intermittent fever because it returned every four days. By the nineteenth of October, the inflammation from Lawton's wound had extended down his leg almost to the ankle. Under chloroform, the area was examined by a probe and a searching needle. It was confirmed that no bones were broken but that the inflammation below the wound was caused by a sinus tract that extended downward. A lance was used at the lowest point to provide a vent for the accumulated pus, and a "tent" or "seton" was inserted to keep it open. Within a few days, after drainage of the area, Lawton improved and suffered mainly from the restlessness and confusion produced by the opiates he was given. All of the family helped with his care, and he ate oysters and beefsteak and drank eggnogs. He continued to have an elevated temperature, which Jeremy F. Gilmer blamed on his diet. In December, Lawton and his wife left Richmond for Savannah. By the end of the month, he still could not use the leg or foot and was on crutches. In May 1863 he thought his health was sufficiently restored to return to duty. He sat in on the examinations at Virginia Military Institute, and his increased efforts to walk produced some lameness. In July he stopped at Rockbridge Bath, Virginia, for the benefit of the hot water on his legs. He was placed in command of the Quartermaster General's Department in the fall of 1863. Following the end of hostilities he returned to Georgia and had a major role in state and national politics. In March 1875, because of illness and duties with the legislature, he was unable to keep up with his correspondence. 1. He died July 2, 1896, at Clifton Springs, New York, and was buried at Savannah in Bonaventure Cemetery.

      ____________________ 1. CSR; OR, vol. 19, pt. 1:147, 923, 956, 968, pt. 2:683-84; A. Porter to J. F. Gilmer, Sept. 27, 1862, Sally (Mrs. A. W. Lawton) to J. F. Gilmer, Oct. 2, 1862, J. F. Gilmer to Mrs. J. F. Gilmer, Oct. 16, 19, 22, Dec. 25, 1862, and Mrs. J. F. Gilmer to J. F. Gilmer, Dec. 31, 1862, all in Jeremy F. Gilmer Papers, SHC; William W. Mackall to wife, Oct. 2, 1862, in W. W. Mackall Papers, SHC; Alexander R. Lawton to Jos. E. Johnston, Mar. 11, 1875, in Joseph E. Johnston Papers, CWM; Douglas, I Rode with Stonewall, 168; Warner, Generals in Gray, 175-76.

      -130-



      Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com

      Publication Information: Book Title: Medical Histories of Confederate Generals. Contributors: Jack D. Welsh - author. Publisher: Kent State University Press. Place of Publication: Kent, OH. Publication Year: 1995. Page Number: 130.



      .



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • cowie_steve
      Thank you, Teej. This is great information and fills in many blanks. I couldn t help but to draw a parallel to Lawton s poor diet of oysters, beefsteak and
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 7, 2011
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        Thank you, Teej.

        This is great information and fills in many blanks. I couldn't help but to draw a parallel to Lawton's poor diet of oysters, beefsteak and eggnog allegedly contributing to his slow recovery, as Elizabeth Pry claimed that Israel Richardson's sweet tooth, while recovering in her home, supposedly led to his demise. But that's an entirely different topic...

        Much obliged,

        Steve
      • G E Mayers
        Steve, One of the mysteries surrounding Dick Richardson s death was the nature of his wounding while trying to get or direct artillery fire on the Confederates
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 7, 2011
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          Steve,

          One of the mysteries surrounding Dick Richardson's death was the nature of
          his wounding while trying to get or direct artillery fire on the
          Confederates in the Sunken Road.... Do you know precisely what the wound was
          that eventually killed him?

          Yr. Obt. Svt.
          G E "Gerry" Mayers

          To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even on one's
          mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the Union, a passport to
          any foreign country, and a benediction from the Almighty God. --Anonymous

          -----Original Message-----
          From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com]On
          Behalf Of cowie_steve
          Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 8:06 PM
          To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Wounding of Alexander Lawton



          Thank you, Teej.

          This is great information and fills in many blanks. I couldn't help but to
          draw a parallel to Lawton's poor diet of oysters, beefsteak and eggnog
          allegedly contributing to his slow recovery, as Elizabeth Pry claimed that
          Israel Richardson's sweet tooth, while recovering in her home, supposedly
          led to his demise. But that's an entirely different topic...

          Much obliged,

          Steve






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • cowie_steve
          Hi, Gerry. Good question as discrepancies abound regarding Richardson s wound. Pierro s Carman describes a ball of spherical case hitting the general; Schildt
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 8, 2011
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            Hi, Gerry.

            Good question as discrepancies abound regarding Richardson's wound. Pierro's Carman describes a ball of spherical case hitting the general; Schildt has a shell fragment hitting Richardson's hip; an undocumented source in my notes places the wound in the ribs; Krick wrote that a piece of shell struck Richardson, "mangling his shoulder." I'd like to hear what others in the forum have found.

            Steve

            --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" <gerry1952@...> wrote:
            >
            > Steve,
            >
            > One of the mysteries surrounding Dick Richardson's death was the nature of
            > his wounding while trying to get or direct artillery fire on the
            > Confederates in the Sunken Road.... Do you know precisely what the wound was
            > that eventually killed him?
            >
            > Yr. Obt. Svt.
            > G E "Gerry" Mayers
            >
            > To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even on one's
            > mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the Union, a passport to
            > any foreign country, and a benediction from the Almighty God. --Anonymous
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com]On
            > Behalf Of cowie_steve
            > Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 8:06 PM
            > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Wounding of Alexander Lawton
            >
            >
            >
            > Thank you, Teej.
            >
            > This is great information and fills in many blanks. I couldn't help but to
            > draw a parallel to Lawton's poor diet of oysters, beefsteak and eggnog
            > allegedly contributing to his slow recovery, as Elizabeth Pry claimed that
            > Israel Richardson's sweet tooth, while recovering in her home, supposedly
            > led to his demise. But that's an entirely different topic...
            >
            > Much obliged,
            >
            > Steve
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • James Buchanan
            Regarding Richardson. Jack C. Mason in his Until Antietam: The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army (Carbondale, Illinois:
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 8, 2011
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              Regarding Richardson.

              Jack C. Mason in his Until Antietam: The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army (Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 2009) has this account:

              "Richardson was struck in the upper part of his left shoulder by a shell fragment, which passed downward, possibly penetrating his left lung, inflicting a severe wound." p. 189

              Once removed to the Pry House, "the doctors tried to remove the fragment of shell that was buried deep within Richardson's chest. His surgeon, Dr. J.H. Taylor, probed seven inches for the metal but was unable to reach it. His fear and the medical opinion was that the fragment had passed into the cavity of the left lung, which must eventually produce his death." p. 192

              "Early on, Richardson suffered from an attack of pneumonia, which seemed to confirm the fact that his lung had been critically damaged and the case would be fatal. When he was able to fight off the pneumonia and show progress in his recovery, the experts began to think there was a chance for his survival." p. 193

              Once past the pneumonia, he appeared to be making progress on his recovery. His sister Marcella wrote, "'Israel improves slowly but surely. The Dr. says he has had continual drawbacks--only slight, but still they keep him weak--and in bed, he has not set up for a week. His pulse is good, sleeps most of the time, has a little more appetite, takes very little medicine. His wound is nearly well; gives him no pain or uneasiness now. ..." pp. 193-194

              "By the end of October, still at the Pry house, Richardson's condition was starting to deteriorate. An infection to the wound had set in, and Dr. Taylor became very concerned. The doctor noted, 'His nervous system is much shocked. So much so that he makes no effort to rally, and has himself given up all hopes for recovery.' Soon it became clear that the infection would be fatal, as Richardson gradually weakened. ... Finally, on the evening of November 3, at half past seven, Major General Israel Bush Richardson succumbed to his wound and died." p. 196.

              On Jul 8, 2011, at 7:48 AM, cowie_steve wrote:

              > Hi, Gerry.
              >
              > Good question as discrepancies abound regarding Richardson's wound. Pierro's Carman describes a ball of spherical case hitting the general; Schildt has a shell fragment hitting Richardson's hip; an undocumented source in my notes places the wound in the ribs; Krick wrote that a piece of shell struck Richardson, "mangling his shoulder." I'd like to hear what others in the forum have found.
              >
              > Steve
              >
              > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" <gerry1952@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Steve,
              > >
              > > One of the mysteries surrounding Dick Richardson's death was the nature of
              > > his wounding while trying to get or direct artillery fire on the
              > > Confederates in the Sunken Road.... Do you know precisely what the wound was
              > > that eventually killed him?
              > >
              > > Yr. Obt. Svt.
              > > G E "Gerry" Mayers
              > >
              > > To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even on one's
              > > mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the Union, a passport to
              > > any foreign country, and a benediction from the Almighty God. --Anonymous
              > >
              > > -----Original Message-----
              > > From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com]On
              > > Behalf Of cowie_steve
              > > Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 8:06 PM
              > > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
              > > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Wounding of Alexander Lawton
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Thank you, Teej.
              > >
              > > This is great information and fills in many blanks. I couldn't help but to
              > > draw a parallel to Lawton's poor diet of oysters, beefsteak and eggnog
              > > allegedly contributing to his slow recovery, as Elizabeth Pry claimed that
              > > Israel Richardson's sweet tooth, while recovering in her home, supposedly
              > > led to his demise. But that's an entirely different topic...
              > >
              > > Much obliged,
              > >
              > > Steve
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
              >



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • G E Mayers
              James; Apparently we did not know there was such a book. Thank you very much for basically putting an end to the discrepancies. So it appears, IIRC;, Krick was
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 8, 2011
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                James;

                Apparently we did not know there was such a book. Thank you very
                much for basically putting an end to the discrepancies. So it
                appears, IIRC;, Krick was right!

                Yr. Obt. Svt.
                G E "Gerry" Mayers

                To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
                on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
                Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
                the Almighty God. --Anonymous

                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                > [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
                > James Buchanan
                > Sent: Friday, July 08, 2011 8:23 AM
                > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Wounding of "Greasy
                > Dick" Richardson was
                > A R Lawton Wounding
                >
                >
                > Regarding Richardson.
                >
                > Jack C. Mason in his Until Antietam: The Life and
                > Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S.
                > Army (Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois
                > University Press, 2009) has this account:
                >
                > "Richardson was struck in the upper part of his left
                > shoulder by a shell fragment, which passed downward,
                > possibly penetrating his left lung, inflicting a
                > severe wound." p. 189
                >
                > Once removed to the Pry House, "the doctors tried to
                > remove the fragment of shell that was buried deep
                > within Richardson's chest. His surgeon, Dr. J.H.
                > Taylor, probed seven inches for the metal but was
                > unable to reach it. His fear and the medical opinion
                > was that the fragment had passed into the cavity of
                > the left lung, which must eventually produce his death." p. 192
                >
                > "Early on, Richardson suffered from an attack of
                > pneumonia, which seemed to confirm the fact that his
                > lung had been critically damaged and the case would be
                > fatal. When he was able to fight off the pneumonia and
                > show progress in his recovery, the experts began to
                > think there was a chance for his survival." p. 193
                >
                > Once past the pneumonia, he appeared to be making
                > progress on his recovery. His sister Marcella wrote,
                > "'Israel improves slowly but surely. The Dr. says he
                > has had continual drawbacks--only slight, but still
                > they keep him weak--and in bed, he has not set up for
                > a week. His pulse is good, sleeps most of the time,
                > has a little more appetite, takes very little
                > medicine. His wound is nearly well; gives him no pain
                > or uneasiness now. ..." pp. 193-194
                >
                > "By the end of October, still at the Pry house,
                > Richardson's condition was starting to deteriorate. An
                > infection to the wound had set in, and Dr. Taylor
                > became very concerned. The doctor noted, 'His nervous
                > system is much shocked. So much so that he makes no
                > effort to rally, and has himself given up all hopes
                > for recovery.' Soon it became clear that the infection
                > would be fatal, as Richardson gradually weakened. ...
                > Finally, on the evening of November 3, at half past
                > seven, Major General Israel Bush Richardson succumbed
                > to his wound and died." p. 196.
                >
                > On Jul 8, 2011, at 7:48 AM, cowie_steve wrote:
                >
                > > Hi, Gerry.
                > >
                > > Good question as discrepancies abound regarding
                > Richardson's wound. Pierro's Carman describes a ball
                > of spherical case hitting the general; Schildt has a
                > shell fragment hitting Richardson's hip; an
                > undocumented source in my notes places the wound in
                > the ribs; Krick wrote that a piece of shell struck
                > Richardson, "mangling his shoulder." I'd like to hear
                > what others in the forum have found.
                > >
                > > Steve
                > >
                >
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