View Full Version : Pitzers Woods 2008

Marylander in grey
07-08-2008, 06:18 PM
All, 8th July 1863
This is the Action Report on the CMF’s NPS living history at Pitzers Woods Gettysburg National Battlefield.
The Brigade was ordered to the woods along Seminary Ridge on the outskirts of the town of Gettysburg. These woods were identified to us as Pitzers Woods. We arrived around 4 o’clock in the evening. There was heavy fighting to the east, we were ordered to establish a line on the flank and await further orders.
Men of Colonel Utz Battalion foraged enough rations to allow the Staff to eat. We had not for what seemed like days with the hard marching we have done, the Colonel was very great full for the few egg, biscuits and berries.
I requested the Quartermaster bring forward my Medicine Chest, which was delivered, on a mule. I directed my Steward Brian Blue to inventory this and file any requisitions for need supplies, I also directed him to fill the Knapsack with bandages, Spiritus Fermenti, Opiate Sulfate, Spiritus Ammonia, Hemlock elixir, blue mass, and laudanum.
On the morning of July second we were ordered towards the town, we encountered some light resistance from the enemy skirmishers, when in eye shot of our Brigade they with drew with out much fuss.
We proceeded south on Baltimore Street towards Culp’s Hill and Spangler’s Meadow. Along the streets we searched the houses for enemy soldiers. Most of the citizens had barricaded their doors and drawn their shades. At one residence a woman showed her displeasure of our presence by emptying a chamber pot, this fell on an unlucky private who in his haste to protest slipped on the wet street and received a fracture to is right humerus at mid joint.
This wound was set and splinted with some fencing found in an adjacent garden. The patient was sent to the temporary hospital in the Lutheran Seminary.
A residence was found that had an attic window, a Company was ordered to take possession of this house and posisition sharpshooters on the upper floors. Lieutenant Mellor found this house had a tavern in the cellar and as my Aide Station was in an exposed position he requested I make us of the cellars.
The house belonged to a family named Shriver. The women of the house although displeased of our intrusion, graciously assisted us with two barrels and a door for our examination table. They also provided us with several candelabras for illumination.
The cellars were divided into the tavern and a summer kitchen. I chose the kitchen as my theater and we used the tavern as the wards.
This house had a water source in the dwelling, which I found very convient. A Miss Nichole Mclaughlin and a Miss Sara Dell who were in the residence at our arrival served admirably in tending our needs and that of the wounded.
Around 5 o’clock in the evening one of our sharp shooters in the attic Pvt William Edwards received a wound to his left forearm below the mid joint. This man presented in great pain, was triaged and prepared for surgery with the administration of 4 drops of chloroform.
After sedation I used a Nealtons probe to locate and identify the projectile as lead.
I used a director and a scalpel to excise the wound. The patient required 3 more drops of anesthesia to ensure sedation.
I then used my index finger to probe the wound and found the ball lodged between the ulna and the radius. There being no apparent fractures of either bone I used a pair of ball forceps to remove the ball.
Ligatures were applied to both arterial and venous mater, the wound closed and bandaged.
Spiritus Ammonia was applied to revive the patient, Opium Sulfate was administered for pain and the patient was removed to the tavern.
This procedure was repeated for 15 separate tours in 4 hours on Saturday night with our time line stretching over 96 hours with the participants acting as if they were suffering from lack of sleep and hunger.
. This scenario was done in the 1st person throughout the entire evening. Supplies were requested. Messengers were sent looking for Dr. Aycocks where abouts. I fear he has been captured since the enemy overran his Aide station.
Patients were being continuously delivered and the patient operated on as well as the wounds were changed periodically.
I wish to thank the Men of the CMF, PVT William Edwards, Musician David Carpella (aged 12 years), and the friends of the Shrivers House for allowing us to experience this intense Medical Scenario.
Christian Fisher
Surgeon CMF