It is possible that he may have had a stroke. Survival and recovering from a stroke depends so much on how soon it is treated after it happened. Left untreated or improperly treated can leave the victim dead, moderate to severely paralyzed, unable to talk, walk, feed themselves or do any of the things we take for granted.
Back then a person like this would most likely be classified as crazy, insane, etc because they could not communicate. See Randy Travis the singer before and after he had a massive stroke then imagine how he would have been treated in the 1800's.