Climbing Family Trees: It Was Only A Flesh Wound by W. Wayne Mikell

Climbing Family Trees

More great stories, poems, and helpful hints about genealogy and searching for your family's roots from the twin authors of "Climbing Family Trees: Whispers In The Leaves"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It Was Only A Flesh Wound by W. Wayne Mikell

“It Was Only A Flesh Wound!”
W. Wayne Mikell
Charlotte, Harbor, FL

In my family, the fable was told that four of eight brothers (my great uncles), Allen, Seaborn, William and Mikell, fought for the Confederate Army at the Battle of Olustee, Florida. While advancing against the Union troops and climbing a fence, Allen fell back. One of his brothers grimly said, "Looks like they got Allen," whereupon Allen jumped up and said "Like Hell they did!” The fable continues that the brothers reported that Allen had been hit between the eyes with a rifle ball which only pierced his skin, following up and over his head under the scalp and exiting at the back of his head. They said he went on to gloriously finish the battle.

When I got into family genealogy, I found out that the four brothers had, indeed, been in the Battle of Olustee, and that Allen had, in fact, sustained a head wound. Allen was sent to the hospital, where he recovered from his wound. He didn’t continue to fight gloriously, but it was glorious that he wasn’t’ killed in battle! He returned home, fathered seven children, who in turn blessed him with 16 grandchildren. He died in 1892.

I have come to believe that a lot of the old stories which are passed down through the years have at least some factual basis.

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