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Pvt. James P. Kegerreis (SP 289), National Museum of Health and Medicine | by medicalmuseum
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Pvt. James P. Kegerreis (SP 289), National Museum of Health and Medicine

Pvt. James P. Kegerreis (SP 289), National Museum of Health and Medicine


Description: Private James P. Kegerreis, Battery B, 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, who suffered a gunshot wound at the battle of Petersburg, Virginia.


History on verso: "Surgeon General’s Office. Army Medical Museum. Photograph No. 289. A Case of Recovery after Excision of the Humerus for Gunshot Injury involving the Trachea, Clavicle and Shoulder Joint. James P. Kegerreis, a private of Battery B, 2d Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, aged nineteen years, a robust healthy man, was wounded at the battle in front of Petersburg, Virginia, June 17, 1864, by a conoidal ball which entered three-fourths of an inch below the thyroid cartilage just to the left of the trachea, passed a little downwards and to the right under the jugular vein, carrying away one of the wings of the trachea, and emerging half an inch above the clavicle, three inches from point of entrance, was deflected in its course by hitting the butt of the musket, and again entered in front of the right clavicle two inches from the acromial end, passing through the surgical neck of the humerus, and emerging near the centre of the deltoid muscle. He was taken to the field hospital and marked for an amputation on the following day, but tearing off the label he crawled away among the “slightly wounded,” and was sent to City Point, where the wound was first dressed, three days after the reception, at which time it was found to be filled with vermin; several pieces of bone were extracted. Air passed through the wound in the trachea, and he spat up considerable blood; this wound, however, did well, and healed in about four weeks. In July, 1864, he was admitted to the Third Division Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia, where a number of spiculae of bone were removed. On January 17, 1865, Surgeon Edwin Bentley, U.S.V., excised the head and three inches of the shaft of the right humerus through an incision five inches in length from acromion through the deltoid muscle. Several abscesses formed in the arm, and one on the side two inches below the axilla and on the posterior boundary of the space, all of which healed readily. He was discharged the service May 29, 1865, the wound of exit being still open. He states that about one year afterwards nine fistulous openings discharged, the arm from shoulder to elbow becoming greatly enlarged and his general health failing rapidly. On December 17, 1867, a sequestrum six inches long was removed by enlarging the orifice through which it pointed. The incision extended from the point of resection to the elbow, the patient being under the influence of nitrous oxide gas. No untoward symptoms occurred. The wounds were all healed on April 1, 1868, and never reopened. The elbow-joint is anchylosed in a semi-flexed position and firm ligamentous union has taken place in the arm, so that the subject is able to lift about 135 pounds with the injured limb. Eleven well marked cicatrices appear on the arm and side. The temperatures of the limb is normal. In October, 1870, Mr. Kegerreis was employed as a clerk in the Pension Office and received a pension of $15 a month. The excised head with a sequestrum of the shaft is numbered 5711, Section I, Army Medical Museum. The specimen and the particulars of the case were contributed by H.W. Sawtelle, M.D. Photographed at the Army Medical Museum. By order of the Surgeon General: George A. Otis, Ass’t Surg, U.S.A., Curators A.M.M."


Date: circa 1870-1880


Photo ID: SP 289


Source Collection: OHA 82: Surgical Photographs


Repositor: National Museum of Health and Medicine, Otis Historical Archives


Rights: No known restrictions upon publication, physical copy retained by National Museum of Health and Medicine. Publication and high resolution image requests should be directed to NMHM (

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Taken on February 22, 2009