Logansport, IN

The Most Remarkable Survivor of the American Civil War

Moon Walker

American Civil War Forum

Have you ever seen anyone get shot in the forehead and survive?

Me neither.

Well, over 100 years ago, Jacob C. Miller a confederate soldier got shot during the American civil war and walked around with a forehead wound for 35 years. So what's the story behind it? Here it is.

Jacob C. Miller was a native of Logansport, Indiana who served in Company K of the 9th Indiana Infantry during the American Civil War(1861-1865). On Sept. 19, 1863, while they were fighting during the battle of Chickamauga, a musket ball(bullet) pierced him on the forehead between the eyes.

Miller fell backend everyone thought he was dead. When it was time to retreat, the captain said:

“It’s no use to remove poor Miller, for he is dead.”

So they left him behind and retreated. Still being alive, Jacob C. Miller struggled and got to his feet. When he got up, he found that his left eye was out of place. He bandaged the eye as best as he could with a bandana and crawled over the battlefield over the dead and made his way to a field hospital.

Since he didn't want to be taken as a Confederate prisoner, Jacob Miller decided to move as far away as he could from the Confederate line. On his way to his side, he was helped by a man on horseback who took him to Chattanooga, TN where his injuries were attended to.

Back at his camp, Miller's captain had reported him as dead. His name was enlisted in the newspaper as among the dead and his family lost all hope of seeing him.

Two months later, Private Jacob C. Miller returned home. Once in Logansport, Indiana, doctors Graham Fitch and Henry Coleman successfully removed about one-third of the bullet. Seventeen years after he was wounded, a bullet dropped out of his wound and 31 years after two pieces of lead fell out.

Jacob C. Miller was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry in the charge of the “volunteer storming party” in 1863. He lived for another 54 years with an open wound on his forehead. The wound never healed but luckily, the bullet didn't do damage to his brain.

Many years later, Jacob Miller gave an interview on his story, and he explained everything in detail. When asked about how he could explain in so much detail, he said;

“Some ask how it is I can describe so minutely my getting wounded and getting off the battlefield after so many years. My answer is I have an everyday reminder of it in my wound & constant pain in the head, never free of it while not asleep. The whole scene is imprinted on my brain as with a steel engraving.”

Jacob C. Miller died on January 13th, 1917 at the age of 88.




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Jack is a freelance writer and editor who loves to inspire others with his words and also share interesting stories to the world.

New York City, NY

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