Videos ()
The American Civil War: Paintings on the Battlefront and Home Front


Corporal Israel Spotts, Company G, 200th Pennsylvania Volunteers

Reed Brockway Bontecou (American, 1824–1907)

April–May 1865
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 18.9 x 13.1 cm (7 7/16 x 5 3/16 in.), oval Mount: 29.8 x 24.3 cm (11 3/4 x 9 9/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Stanley B. Burns, M.D. and The Burns Archive, 1992
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Dr. Bontecou’s patient history for Corporal Spotts explains that nearing the end of his treatment, the wounded soldier deserted from the hospital. Presumably he believed he was healthy enough to head for home after three years of hard service. Spotts died four months later, on September 20, 1865.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Printed on label affixed to mount, verso: "ISRAEL SPOTTS.
    Gunshot wound of back. Recovery.
    ISRAEL SPOTTS, corp'l, Co. G, 200th Pa. Vols., aged 24, was admitted to Harewood U. S. A. Gen'l Hospital, April 5th, 1865, suffering from gunshot wound of back, dorsal region, ball entered the chest opposite the fourth dorsal vertebrae, between the spine and scapula. Wounded, March 25th, 1865, at the battle of Petersburgh, Va. On admission, the condition of injured parts and constitutional state of patient were good ; did very well for awhile, wound healing kindly, but towards the early part of the month of May the chest became enormously distended with effusion, harassing cough, anxiety of countenance, oppressed breathing and symptoms of empyema. An operation being necessary to relieve the patient paracentesis thoracis was performed by Surg. R. B. Bontecou, U. S. Vols., May 9th, 1865, by freely opening the chest at right posterior and lateral aspect, between eighth and ninth ribs, and about six pints of sanious pus removed, no anaesthetic used ; the patient felt at once relieved, did remarkably well after the operation ; was doing well and in tolerably good condition when he deserted from this hospital, May 28th, 1865. Treatment in this case was simple dressings, anodynes and supporting throughout."

  • Provenance

    Stanley B. Burns/The Burns Archive