After the Battle at Fort Donelson, the 78th Ohio was ordered to southern Tennessee as part of Colonel Charles Whittlesey’s 3rd Brigade. As they were traveling by steamer, Tom Armstrong admitted to George Porter that he had not been feeling well and was diagnosed with the often fatal Consumption or, more formally, Phthisis Pulmonales. Today, we know it as Tuberculosis, with the following symptoms…
· No appetite and resultant weight loss
· Coughing for several weeks, oftentimes with blood
· Pain while breathing or coughing
· High temperature and night perspiration, but with chills
· Subsequent weariness
Armstrong displayed many of these symptoms which when evaluated by medical personnel resulted in his discharge. George Porter and the rest of the officers of the 78th never expected to see him again.