Civil War Soldiers Unusual Wounds

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Jacob C. Miller.jpg



Union Sergeant Jacob C. Miller, Enlisted on 8/13/1862 at Elgin, Kane Co.,Illinois as a Private into "G" Co. Illinois 113th Infantry. He was 22 years old. He was awarded the Medal Of Honor for action on 5/22/1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Four months later, September 19, 1863 at Chickamauga, he was quite literally, shot between the eyes and left for dead behind Confederate lines. Regaining conciseness, and being determined not to be taken prisoner, he made it back to Union lines, so covered with blood that Rebels he met didn't recognize he was a Yank. His own Captain failed to recognize him. The Daily News of Joliet, Illinois on Wednesday June 14, 1911 featured a story entitled:
Jacob Miller, A War Scarred Hero:
“Since September 19, 1863, he has lived with an open bullet wound in his forehead. For a number of years the bullet remained in his head but piece by piece it fell out till now. It is thought none of it remains in the wound. During the time was in the head it at times would produce a stupor, which sometimes would last two weeks, it being usually when he caught cold & produced more of a pressure on the brain. At other times delirium would seize him & he would imagine himself again on picket duty & would tramp back & forth on his beat, a stick on his shoulder for a musket, a pitiful object of the sacrifice for freedom. As these pieces of lead gradually loosened & fell out he regained his usual health & is now at the age of 78 years, one of the most, if not the most remarkable survivor of the Civil War.” Jacob lived another six years, dying on 1/13/1917 in Omaha, Nebraska.


Confederate Private Alfred Newton Proffit of Wilkes County, NC. enlisted Aug 22,1862 into Co.D 18th NC Infantry. He's present and on the rolls until he's listed absent & wounded May-June 1864. He survived many battles and was present at Appomattox. He was slightly wounded several times and received a head wound in the Wilderness May 9, 1864. He suffered from severe headaches for several years following the war. Oral family history says one day he sneezed and a small portion of a shell dislodged from his sinus cavity. The shell portion is reportedly still in the possession of his descendants. Alfred lived till 1929 and had 31 grandchildren. He was the only one of four brothers to survive the war. The classic book "Four Brothers in Gray" tells their story and has been recently reprinted and republished.

A young Alfred Newton Proffit.jpg


Alfred Newton Proffit.jpg
 

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Tom Elmore

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Here are a couple from The Medical and Surgical History of the War:

Private T. Lindsay, Company F, 69th Pennsylvania: April 1866, an irregularly shaped ball, coated with a phosphosphatic deposit, was removed from the bladder. This concretion and nucleus weighed 768 grains ... The operation was successful.

Corporal Albion L. Jackson, Company I, 13th Massachusetts: Wounded by conoidal ball in neck. A hard substance could be felt beneath the jaw. He returned to his regiment. Nearly four months after being wounded he was awakened by something in his throat, and spit out a flattened conoidal lead bullet.
 

Reb

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Here are a couple from The Medical and Surgical History of the War:

Private T. Lindsay, Company F, 69th Pennsylvania: April 1866, an irregularly shaped ball, coated with a phosphosphatic deposit, was removed from the bladder. This concretion and nucleus weighed 768 grains ... The operation was successful.

Corporal Albion L. Jackson, Company I, 13th Massachusetts: Wounded by conoidal ball in neck. A hard substance could be felt beneath the jaw. He returned to his regiment. Nearly four months after being wounded he was awakened by something in his throat, and spit out a flattened conoidal lead bullet.
On a side note..... I worked in the prison system for 23 years. One day an inmate approached me and handed me a bullet. He said it fell out of his buttocks while playing softball. He said he had been shot years earlier.
 

DaveBrt

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The neighbor (a Stroud, though I don't have his first name at hand) of my ancestor was in a Georgia regiment that fought in Devil's Den. His pension application says that he was shot in the space between his head and his right shoulder, the bullet going from top to bottom and exiting his right hip. He claimed he had been in constant, severe pain ever since the wound. The muscles in his back recovered from his wound, but kept him twisted back to the right rear so badly that he could not see to the left of straight ahead. He said he could only sleep on his left side and was unable to lay flat on either chest or back. He lived until after 1900.
 

Waterloo50

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The neighbor (a Stroud, though I don't have his first name at hand) of my ancestor was in a Georgia regiment that fought in Devil's Den. His pension application says that he was shot in the space between his head and his right shoulder, the bullet going from top to bottom and exiting his right hip. He claimed he had been in constant, severe pain ever since the wound. The muscles in his back recovered from his wound, but kept him twisted back to the right rear so badly that he could not see to the left of straight ahead. He said he could only sleep on his left side and was unable to lay flat on either chest or back. He lived until after 1900.
I'm thinking that he must have been in the prone position when he was shot, he was extremely lucky to survive a wound like that, great news that he survived until 1900.:thumbsup:
 

Reb

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I'm thinking that he must have been in the prone position when he was shot, was extremely lucky, great news that he survived until 1900.:thumbsup:
Referring to his luck..... I read an account of a rebel soldier who had been shot in the head. The bullet tore a furrow into the top of his head but missed his skull. He said a fellow soldier remarked how lucky he was because if it had been an inch lower it would have killed him. He replied..... "I'm lucky"? "An inch higher and he would have missed me".
 

Miles Krisman

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A Curious set of wounds

--A soldier, of powerful, brawny frame, belonging to the North Carolina, so badly cut up at the late battle of Winchester, is lying at the Seminary Hospital, in that town. He received a Minnie bullet in both thighs, from opposite directions. A ball entered the arm near the elbow, and went crashing through thews and muscle up to the shoulder, and out at the clavicle. Another entered just above the small of the back. The surgeons endeavored in vain to find it. Several days afterwards it passed from the bowels. The ball is preserved by Dr. Chapel, and is but little flattened. The question is, how did that ball get into the intestinal canals, and pass thence without causing death. All the army surgeons say there is no parallel case on record. The men eats heartily, has excellent digestion, and has been living nearly four weeks, and has every prospect of getting well of all his wounds. His skin has a healthy appearance, his eye is clear, and he talks cheerfully.-- N. Y. Core.

The Richmond Daily Dispatch: Saturday morning...July 12, 1862
 

Northern Light

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A most interesting thread. It amazes me how the human body is able to deal with such wounds and heal itself.
 


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