Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of John B. Murphy, 1886 July 29.

Volume K, 551-572, 22 p.
Murphy, John B.

Direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Treated the wounded at Desplaines Street Station. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): medical care and wounds (vol.K 552).

Go to Next Witness | Return to Previous Witness | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents
[Image, Volume K, Page 551]

JOHN B. MURPHY, A witness called and sworn on behalf of the people; was examined in chief by Mr. Grinell, and testified as follows:

[Image, Volume K, Page 552]

Q What is your name?

A John B. Murphy.

Q You are a physician and surgeon

A Yes sir.

Q Were you at the Desplaines street station after the massacre at the Haymarket?

A I was.

Q What hour did you arive there?

A About eleven o'clock.

Q What institutions are you connected with in town?

A I am surgeon of the cook county hospital, and connected with Rush medical college.

Q How long have you been practicing, doctor?

A Since 1879.

Q You arrived at DesPlaines street station at what hour in the evening?

A About eleven I think.

Q Of the 4th day of May?

A Yes sir.

Q How long did you remain there

A Until half past three.

Q In the morning?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you examine the officers that were brought in there wounded and injured?

A I examined many of them.

Q Did you also examine them afterwards at the hospital?

A Yes sir, I went directly from the station to the hospital.

Q Which of the officers as to names have been under your special or particular charge and control?

[Image, Volume K, Page 553]

A I shall have to refer to my note book as to that.

Q Were the notes made at the time in reference to these officers?

A Yes sir.

Q Refer to them for the purpose of refreshing your memory?

A I was called from my house by officer Charles Reel, came to me with a cab, and I went to the station. The first man I saw lying on the floor, about six feet from the door, was Officer Shannon. There was a person with him then, as I passed and went on to another man lying a few feet from him on the floor to the right. I looked at some of his wounds, and I found out they were not dangerous, and so I passed on from one officer to another. I think I saw ten on the first floor in that station, just inside the door, Shannon was the worst. From there I went up stairs; and officer Murphy of DesPlaines street station, and Captain Murphy of the fire department assisted me, helped me cut the dressings for the officers up stairs. The first one I dressed up stairs was Barrett. He was complaining most. He was crying very severely. John Barrett was crying and complaining very severely of pain. I will give the list of names.

Q Go on in your own way and we will get to the names later?

A After dressing Barrett whom I found had a very large wound in the side, large enough to admit two fingers right into his liver and he was bleeding severely from the wound, and the blood

[Image, Volume K, Page 554]

rushed out on removing the clot. I found I could put my finger in, and felt his liver moving up and down. I could not reach the piece of shell that caused the injury. It was a lacerated wound not one made with a bullet because it was much larger than that which could be made by a bullet, that is any ordinary pistol bullet. In tamponed the liver with gause to prevent him bleeding to death at the station, and I went on to the next man in that way until I dressed in all between twenty- six and thirty at the station. After completing our work there at the station I had a conversation with Capt. Ward in which he asked me about the hospital, and I said to have the men sent to the hospital, as they could not be taken care of so well at home. So after, when we got through with the dressings at three o'clock Dr. Lee remained at the station to take care of my patients, while I went to the hospital to take care of the portion of them that would then be sent. I told him to send us those that were injured most severely at first. Those were officers Miller, Whitney, Keller, Barrett, Flavin and Reddin. I think those are the principal men that I ordered him to send first.


Q Either of the Hansens?

A Jake Hansen. Jake Hansen was in a separate room from the others and he was pretty much shocked. He was pulseless at the time I first saw him, and he was given large doses of whiskey, and some morphine to stimulate him sufficiently

[Image, Volume K, Page 555]

to get him to the hospital. It looked as though he would die at the station. I will give you a list of the men now and mention their particular wounds.

Q Yes sir, do that, both the gun shot wounds and the others.

A I will specify the wounds as I go on. There was Charles Fink, No 154 Gangamon street had three shell wounds in the legs. The missile which caused the wound in the calf of the leg passed in about three inches and lay under the skin on the opposite side. It passed in from the left to the right, and lay under the skin on this side. I cut in here and opened it and put in a drainage tube. The peculiarity of the shell wounds in this case is that they make but a small opening as a rule on the outside, but inside they tear the soft parts terribly. In the case of a wound that would not more than admit a lead pelcil on the outside, after the skin was open, you would find an opening on the inside in which you could move your finger around very readily all through the wound. Fink had in all three wounds. The next is A. C. Keller. He was struck by a piece of shell on the left side, hitting his eight rib.

It passed directly into the eight rib. It struck the rib which glanced it off, and it shot under the skin six inches at an angle of twenty degrees, about six inches, and lodged just over the heart on the left side. In opening that, I first opened the skin and dressed the wound, I supposed it had entered the chest, because he was very much shocked and frightened.

[Image, Volume K, Page 556]

After opening the wound I made a test at the point it struck the rib, and found it did not enter and then I dressed it up by making an opening in all of seven inches and a half, an incision to find where the shell was. It was important in shell wounds, different from wounds with a bullet to get out the shell-- it was very important.

Mr. Foster: It is not necessary that you should tell the importance of it.

Mr. GRINNELL: It is right to state the nature of these wounds, what the officers did for the purpose of removing these missels.

Mr. FOSTER: What he saw, what he did and what took palce, I do not intend to object to. But we don't want him to take up the time of the court in telling bout the character of different wounds except as they apply to different persons.

THE COURT: In surgery, a mere discription of the wound don't tell us much as to the gravity of the wound-- that is in many cases. It is a subject about which we are not informed and must have therefore the statements of men who are informed, in order to know whether the wound is a serious or dangerous one or not; and if a shell wound differs from a bullet wound in its character and effect in the necessity of getting the shell out, why should it not be told.

Mr. FOSTER: Because it hasn't anything to do with the case. He says that a shell will make a little hole on the outside sometimes the size of a lead pencil, but on putting your finger

[Image, Volume K, Page 557]

in you can move your finger all around?

That is all right-- he is giving a description where an incision was made seven inches long, and he starts out to say that in cases of shell wounds it is more important to remove the missiles than it is to remove bullets.

THE COURT: I think it is admissible.

Mr. FOSTER: The whole testimony in our view of the case has nothing to do with the killing of Mr. Degan.

THE COURT: It is a part of that whole subject as to what hapened.

Defendnats' counsel then and there excepted to the ruling of the court.

The stenographer read the last few words of the witness's answer.


A It is important because the shells take in large pieces of cloth and other material, and this is very dangerous because it favors blood poison much more than bullet wounds, because it does not take in cloth as a rule-- cloth of the clothing.

The next is Joseph Norman 612 walnut street.

The shell perforated the foot, and he had one fractured finger taking off a portion of his finger between the first and second joint.

Officer Michael Sheean of 162 Barbour street-- I saw this man the following morning at about eleven o'clock and examined him. He had a wound in his back just below the ninth rib.

[Image, Volume K, Page 558]

It passed in and passed forward, and the bullet lay midway between the umbilicus and the cartilage here in the abdomen.

Q That was a bullet wound?

A That was a bullet wound. I didn't know it was a bullet wound until I cut down and found the bullet. Then he was much distended, His abdomen was bloody. He was collapsed and complaining of pain. On opening the wound I found it passed clear through him. I enlarged the opening and let out about two quarts of blood from the abdomen and put in a large drainage tube to allow this blood to escape from the abdomen, to go out through the drainage tube. He continued to suffer from pain, and his distension got greater and greater. He got perotinitis and died I think on the 7th day of perotinitis. I would say I was at the autopsy, and found that the ball passed through the upper portion of the kidney and through the stomach, through the bowel and out through the wall of the abdomen.

Officer Arthur Connelly 318 Huron street. I dressed this man at the station. He had a compound fracture of the fibula. The shell struck him about two inches below the knee, tore away a piece of bone of the fibula, and perforated the tibia, and lodged in or about the middle of the large bone of the leg, a short distance below the knee. At the operation we enlarged the opening and took out the pieces of injured bone, and a piece of shell, which was left at his house.

Q What is the condition of that man"?

A That man is now able to be around, but is quite lame.

[Image, Volume K, Page 559]

There is a hole yet down in that bone because it takes a considerable time to fill. He had besides this wound, which was his most severe one, he had several others-- I don't know how many.

Q Bullet wounds??

A Shell wounds all.

Officer Lawrence Murphy of Desplaines street station 317 1-2 Fulton street residence. He had in all I think fifteen shell wounds, all shell wounds. One was here in the neck, entering a little to the left of the trachea, and passing and lodged in one of the musscles here, just at the base of the skull. It passed right by the carotid artery. I could see it pulsate. Then there were three or four wounds in the arms. In his left foot the shell struck right at about that point, cut the foot, the right off here (indicating).

And then when it struck the bone of the great toe, it was slanted down and the shell, lodged at the base of the great toe, just back of the base of the great toe and left his foot hanging by a piece of skin. This piece of shell weighed about an ounce and a half. It was still there and this is a piece of shell which I divided and gave a part of to Prof. Patton and two portions of it to Prof. Walter F. Haynes of Rush Medical College. The foot had to be amputated about two inches further back from where the injury was. He had a piece two inches square taken out of the anterior surface of his leg. He had two perforating wounds in the left thigh,

[Image, Volume K, Page 560]

and a number in the right-- I have forgotten how many in the right thigh.

Q What is the name of that last officer?

A Lawrence Murphy.

Officer Ed Barrett Lake street station, residence Ohio street. He had two shell wounds of the leg, both in the neighborhood of the knee joint, turning out large pieces of flesh and leaving ragged wounds on the surface.

Officer J. H. King of Desplaines street station was struck by a piece of shell here-- it went through (indicating)

Q In the chin?

A In the chin was struck by a piece of shell in the chin. It passed up and went through his upper lip. Another piece took away about an inch of his lower jawbone-- carried it completely away; so that his face is very much turned to one side, and his bone is short. He had one other slight wound besides that.

Q Pistol shot or shell?

A On account of the amount of tearing it looked like a shell wound. The missile was not there.

Officer J. H. Brady, of Desplaines street, had several flesh wounds in the legs, both in the thigh and legs. How many I don't remember.

Q What caused them?

A There were some pieces of shell taken out of them. Whether they were all shell wounds

[Image, Volume K, Page 561]

or not I don't know. Except in those wounds where we found the shell absolutely there, we did not call shell wounds, because it was not positive.

Tim Flavin was struck with a piece of shell four inches above the ankle joint, tearing away a portion of the large bone, and farcturing the small bone, tearing all of the soft parts but a few pieces of skin, and leaving his leg hanging. He had two bullets wounds just below the shoulder joint in the right arm, cutting the artery so that it had to be ligated.

Q A bullet wound, I understand you to say?

A I will take that back. He had a wound in his arm, the missile was not there.

Q What were the indications?

A It was a ragged wound, a shell wound. It looked like a shell wound. He had two wounds in the back, both of which passed into the --- one into the abdomen, and one into the lung; because there was a rattling in the lung at the time which indicated that it had been injured by the shell. Those were shell wounds. He had an amputation. He had to be amputated the second day afterwards, about three inches above the knee. There was a litigation of his brachial artery, and a drainage of the wounds in the back. He had besides a large piece torn out of his right hip.

[Image, Volume K, Page 562]

He died on the fourth day I think-- fourth or fifth. I am not positive of the day.

Officer Jacob Hansen, Desplaines station residence 137S . Morgan street. I saw him first in his separate room at the station. He was very much collapsed. He had a shell wound in the right thigh about two inches and a half long, tearing the thigh open. It passed through and cut the vein. It tore that for about an equal distance and a shell wound fracture of the tibia of the opposite side, passing through the bone of the tibia, and striking the fibula in the opposite side, that is in the left leg, entering from the left. The wound was laid open the shell was removed, and the vein ligated. It was told him at the time.

Q Perhaps they don't know the use of your expressions.

A The vessel was tied to prevent him from bleeding.

The second day after it was evident that he would loose his leg. He was told of the fact. On the third day it was black to about three inches below the knee. On the fourth day it was amputated about six inches below the hip.

Q That is Jacob Hansen?

A Officer Jacob Hansen. He had besides that a large wound three inches deep at the right hip joint, a little above, and another one in the anterior surface of the right thigh. At the end of three weeks his blood vessel burst and we amputated more had to be laid open. Again he bled very profusely.

[Image, Volume K, Page 563]

He was pulseless at the time I saw him. He was in care of an attendant, but he had lost so much blood before they could control it that more had to be laid open again and the vessel ligated. Two weeks later, it burst again. It was ligated, the vessel was tied two inches higher. His pulse at that time was 180 during the operation and artificial respiration had to be kept up to keep him alive on the table. About two weeks later he got another hemorhage. Then he was very much exhausted, and we could not give him ether as he was pulseless; and I had to tie the vessel in the wound and hold it with the forceps all night to keep him from bleeding, and tried to keep him alive while we gave him whiskey, and kept up his respirations The following morning he was some what better. There was a doctor staid by his side with me for the four days following. At the end of the fourth day I made an incision into his abdomen and ligated his external illiac.

Q What is that.

A It is a large vessel that leads from the main trunk down. It divides into two branches,. The external and internal. The external illiac is the vesel that goes into the thigh, and after it passed a ceratin ligament commenced to burst the ligament, which is frequently the case. These blood vessels kept bursting from time to time, as they had to be tied higher and higher until I got to the external illiac, which was ligated on the 29th of last June. Since that he has gradulally improved until now he is able to sit up a little.

[Image, Volume K, Page 564]

Q That is Jacob Hansen?

A Officer Jacob Hansen.

Officer John Doyle of Desplaines street station had several wounds about the legs in the neighborhood of the knee joint; one taking away a large portion of flesh, and another perforating, going clear through.

Thomas Brophy had a number of wounds in the legs. How many I don't remember.

Officer John Barrett was taken at my direction from the station to the hospital. I saw him the first patient after I arrived at the hospital-- the first one that I paid attention to. He had a large hole in his liver. I removed the gauze that I put in at the station to see if I could do anything more to stop the hemorhage, as I thought it was dangerous to leave the gauze there. I found a piece of shell in his liver, which I removed, and I tamponed the liver again. Besides that he had a compound comminuted fracture of his elbow joint, that is a piece of his elbow jount was entierly torn away. The internal condile was torn way by the shell, leaving the elbow joint open. The heel bone, I have forgotten whether it was the left or right for about two inches was carried right off, torn right off, and left a piece or flap of the skin in it place. He was semi, unconcious from the time he entered the hospital. He was constantly moaning. He became bloody on the next day, very much pulseless and collapsed, and died on the 6th.

Officer Michael OBrien, No. 495 5th avenue. I saw him at the station

[Image, Volume K, Page 565]

shortly after entering. He was standing up leaning against the wall. He says: "I am shot in the leg. Wont you dress me first?" Afterwards I looked at the openings, and he saw himself that they were not so severe, but on having him removed to his house and examining him there, I found that one of them passed almost entirely through his thigh. I found it a little under the skin on the opposite side. It looked like a small wound as the majority of those shell wounds did, on the outside, but inside it made a large opening in the thigh where I could put my finger in.

Q You mean outside, the place of entrance?

A The place of entrance-- that is the entrance through the skin.

Mr. Salomon: Q Was that a shell wound?

A A shell wound. Officer Nicholas Shannon -- I counted in all on him eighteen wounds. They were principally in his side and back, and a number of wounds were in his neck, none in his face; and they ranged all the way from his neck to his heels. There were two at his ankle jount of his left foot. We had him under ether two hours and a half to take out the pieces of shell from the different parts of his body. My recollection of it is that we took out in all nine pieces of shell. He had eighteen wounds, and we took out nine pieces of shell. He is still confined to bed, and recently within the last week I assisted Dr. Lee in removing portion of the bone of the leg where it was broken loose with the shell-- that is of the tibia and also a portion of the fibula.

MR. GRINELL: Where were those wounds?

[Image, Volume K, Page 566]

A I think they were all the way from his neck to his heels

Q What is his present condition?

A His present condition is, he is confined to bed. I think he will recover.

Q He had an amputation?

A No sir, not an amputatuon. We put in a large number of drainage tubes, and he did not require an amputation.

Peter Butterly of Lake street station.

Q (interrupting) Do you know how many places on the body of Shannon you drained?

A We drained every wound, eighteen drainage tubes. We took out about nine pieces of shell-- I think that is my recollection of it. We counted nine pieces.

Pepter Buttlerly, Lake street station. There was a wound in his arm three inches long. Some one took the shell out at the station before I saw him. The other wounds were in his legs. There was one at the anterior surface of the legs carrying away probably an inch square out of the anterior portion of his leg. There were two perforating wounds which went almost through his leg, which had drainage tubes, and there was a large burn in which it did not tear the flesh away but the shell burned a large surface, probably two inches long and an inch across.

Officer Terrell, 228 S. Lincoln street. I saw him the following day, and he had a shell wound in the right thigh or leg, I have forgotten which.

[Image, Volume K, Page 567]

Officer Thomas Reddin. I saw him first at the station. I found out that he had a very bad fracture of the leg three inches below the knee, in which a large portion of the bone was entirely carried away. He had besides that several wounds below that in the leg, and in the opposite leg, in the other leg, in his right leg, and a compound wound, that is, a wound opening the joint of the right elbow. He was taken to the hospital. He was put on the table and examined and it was concluded to try and save his leg, although a large portion of the bone was carried away. It was drained. The drainage tubes were also put in some wounds he had in his back and is his elbow joint. He went on until I think it was ten days or two weeks. He died on the 16th. the night of the 16th

Q From Shell wounds?

A We found a piece of shell at the entry in the leg, also at the elbow.

Patrick Hartford, Desplaines street station. A Piece of shell passed into his ankle joint, laying the joint open, and it was removed, and a drainage tube put in the ankle joint-- it was the right ankle joint. A portion of his left foot was carried way, from the base of the great toe, carrying off the two toes. The missile was not there in this case. It cut them and allowed them to hang and passed out. It was not even found in his shoe. The ankle joint was drained; and it is a short time since he left the hospital. He will

[Image, Volume K, Page 568]


Charles E. Whitney. A piece of shell struck him a little to the left of the median line between the second and third ribs just at the base, just over the base of his heart. It passed in a direction from the left to right, passing behind, tearing off a piece of the breast bone, and passing in behind the breast bone. In probbing the wound the base of the heart, that is the vessels at the base of his heart could be distinctly felt beating against the finger. It was on the night of the injury or the morning after that I first dressed him and put in the draingage tubes. I did not find the shell, but a week after, a piece of shell with a large piece of cloth came out of the wound. It is draining yet, and he is now in a somewhat critical condition from the injury done to the vessels at the base of his heart. He is having at present symptoms of the developement of anuerism.

Q That is heart diseases?

A No sir, it is disease of the vessels. Anurism is where the wall of a vessel is weakened either from diseases or from injury, and gradually dilates. After it is dilated to a certain extent it bursts, just the same as a hose does. At present he has the symptoms of a developing anuerism and at whatever time that should burst it would kill him, if it goes on to that extent. He is at present under treatment. There is a drainage tube in there about an inch and a half in length.

[Image, Volume K, Page 569]

Officer Bernard Murphy had a large wound in his forehead. The shell struck him there at an angle, struck the bone, passed through and came out here (indicating). It was a lacerated wound. For that reason I call it a shell wound, in which I put a drainage tube. He also had three, I believe wounds in his thigh. He is about now.

Officer Mc Nulty, who is yet in a critical condition, is at the hospital. I saw him the morning after. I saw him at the station first and saw him the morning after at the hospital and examined his wounds. Both of the pieces of shell passed into the popliteal space, right in proximity to the large popliteal vessel that is there. One passed into the knee joint, and on the 4th day his knee joint became very much swollen. It filled with matter so that we had to open up the knee joint to let the matter out, and put in, in all, seven drainage tubes through his knee joint. He had a hemorhage on the eveving of the 4th, a very profuse hemorhage and was collapsed. The next day he rallied a little. He got delerious and was wildly deliriously for three weeks from the shock. He got so frightened at the hemorhage that he was delerious from that moment. He was perfectly rational before, a little nervous-- but from the moment he began to bleed he got delirious. He is now just able to sit up at the hospital. He has been in a very critical condition for the greater part of the time.

Q What did you say his name was?

A Mr. McNulty.

[Image, Volume K, Page 570]

Mr. SALOMON: Q What is his given name?

A I have not got it.

Officer Smith got a shell wound. The shell struck him at the tip of the right collar bone, passed along the collar bone and lodged here at the base of the neck. It was removed from there at the hospital.

Lieut. Stanton I saw first at the hospital. He was taken directly to the hospital. He received one wound on the right side of the chest, passing into the rib, and then passing off to the backwards instead of forwards. Whether it entered the chest or not I don't know. We didn't find the missile in this case. He had besides three wounds in his leg, two perforating and one smaller one, passing downwards in which we put three drainage tubes. He had another one higher up in the leg in the front, carrying away a large portion of ths skin. He had another in the forearm and still another in the arm about three inches below the shoulder.

Mr. GRINELL; Q The right arm?

A The right arm.

Q A shell wound?

A I don't know. I perforated the skin, in the uper portion of the arm.

Michael Horn had two bullets wounds in the thigh. Mc Cormick of 474 Erie street had one perforating wound of the arm, small.

Officer Miller, one of those injured most severely, and complaining most at the station was shot in the left side just below the axilla, the ball passed down through the body, a bullet, and lodged in his right side just above the hip bone.

[Image, Volume K, Page 571]

He was very low when I saw him. He asked me if he could live. I told him I didn't know. He wanted me to send for his folks. I told him about an operation he said "I will die any way". I told him I thought he would, so he didn't consent to an operation; and I didn't urge him, because I didn't consider it favorable. He suffered probably more than any man from pain for a short period of time. His agony was terrible. The perforation of the chest allowed the air to enter in so that his right lung collapsed. He had only one lung to breath with. It made his breathing very difficult, and his bowels being torn by the ball, distended his abdomen so that he could not breath with his diaphragm. His suffering was terrible, the most of any man that was wounded for the time. The ball was taken out here just above the hip bone. There was no drainage of the peritoneal cavity.

Officer Simon McMahone had I believe three wounds of the legs? Two pieces of shell were removed from him at the hospital. Officer Weinecke was struck in the neck by a missile. It passed up and struck the base of the skull and fractured the external plate, and it glanced off in some direction so it could not be found. It fractured the base of the skull. That is all.

Q How many pieces of the missiles which you have taken, shells you have taken from the different officers have you given to Prof. Patton and Haynes?

A I divided the piece I took out of Lawrence Murphy's foot into three portions.

[Image, Volume K, Page 572]

One I gave to Patten and two to Haynes.

Mr. SALOMON: Did I understand you to say that the last officer wounded was wounded with a shell?

A I didn't say. I didn't find it.

Cross examination waived.

Return to Top of this Witness
Go to Next Witness | Return to Previous Witness | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents