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Video: The soldier who lived 30 years with a bullet in his forehead
2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 22:42
Jacob Miller is an example of unyielding soldiery. Even a musket bullet, which hit right in the head, could not stop him.
At the beginning of the 20th century, American journalists, without any irony, called the old man Jacob Miller one of the most prominent soldiers of the Civil War. At the same time, Miller was not a general and did not perform unthinkable feats - he, like hundreds of thousands of other soldiers, managed to return home after the war, but he was the only one who continued to live with a bullet in his head.
A gaping wound in his forehead, from which even tens of years after the injury, a lost piece of lead could fall out, worried Jacob pretty much, but despite this, he did not complain about his fate and even boasted of a good pension.
I was left to die
At the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, Jacob Miller was barely 20 years old - he quickly joined the Republicans and joined the ranks of the 9th Indiana Infantry Regiment. In September 1863, Miller was unlucky enough to be in the Battle of Chickamauga: this battle was one of the bloodiest - the second after Gettysburg - in the history of the Civil War, and in this confrontation, the Confederates won perhaps their most important victory. In this battle, about 16 thousand northerners died. Among this mountain of corpses, Jacob Miller was to be found, to whom a bullet, aptly fired from a musket, hit right in the head.
By a lucky coincidence, the bullet stopped literally in some millimeters from the brain. “After I was hit, my company withdrew from its positions, and I was left to die. After a while, I came to my senses and found that I was in the rear of the Confederates, - said Jacob Miller himself in an interview with The Joilet Daily News.
However, the gallant soldier of the Republican army was not going to surrender: Jacob, leaning on his gun, like a staff, hobbled parallel to the battle line, trying to get out of the battlefield. According to him, he was covered in blood so badly that the soldiers who got in his way could not distinguish which army he belonged to.
Road to Chattanooga
Miller wandered, unable to find his fellow soldiers. The resulting wound, of course, made itself felt: Jacob's head was so swollen that he could not open his eyes on his own - he had to lift his eyelids with his hands. Completely exhausted, the wounded soldier simply collapsed on the side of the road, leaving his fate to chance.
Jacob was very lucky: Republican orderlies passed by, put him on a stretcher and carried him to the hospital. However, the surgeons who examined Miller's wound concluded that it was completely pointless to operate on him: they considered that the soldier would soon die anyway, and decided not to cause him unnecessary suffering by removing the bullet from his head.
Miller was transferred from one hospital to another for several months, but not a single surgeon agreed to carry out a complex operation to remove a bullet from the head. It took him almost a year to return home and find a suitable doctor. A musket bullet was nevertheless taken out of his head, after that Miller never returned to the front - until the end of the war he was in different hospitals.
Subsequently, Jacob told reporters that the fragments in his head still remained even after the operation. “17 years after my injury, a piece of buckshot fell out of the wound on my head. And after 31 years, two pieces of lead fell out. Sometimes I am asked how I can describe in such detail my injury and departure from the battlefield after so many years. My answer is this: I have a daily reminder of this - a deep wound and constant pain in the head that only subside during sleep. This story is imprinted in my brain like an engraving,”he said.
Despite all the hardships, Jacob did not think to complain about his life. He enthusiastically told that the government treats him well, it even appointed him a pension: every month he received $ 40. After being wounded, Jacob Miller lived for more than half a century. He died at his home in Indiana at the age of 78.
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