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REMARKABLE WOUNDS AND "HAIR-
By D'Auvergne's Campaigns in Flanders, 1693, appears that at the battle of Landen, King William III. had some narrow escapes, for it is stated—
"The king narrowly missed three musquet shots, one through his periwig, which made him deaf for a while; another through the sleeve of his coat, which did no harm; the third carried off the knot of his scarf, and left a small contusion on his side."
King Charles XII., after signalizing himself in a famous battle, received no wound, but in the evening, as he was changing his dress, found a ball lodged in his black cravat.
Lieutenant-General Carpenter and the division under General Stanhope were taken prisoners by the French and Spanish forces at Brihuega, in the mountains of Castile, on the 7th December, 1710; on this occasion he was wounded by a musket ball, which, having broken part of his jaw, lodged itself under the root of his tongue, where it remained several months before it could be extracted, during which period his life was in danger, and the pain, it is needless to add, was great. He was ancestor to the Earls of Tyrconnel, and died Baron Carpenter of Killaghy, in the county of Kilkenny, on the 10th of February, 1732,
aged seventy-five, having survived his remarkable wound twenty-one years.
Captain Murray of the 42nd Regiment was wounded at Martinique, in 1762, by a musket ball, which entered his left side, under the lower rib, passed up through the left lobe of the lungs (as was ascertained after his death), crossed his chest, and, mounting up to his right shoulder, lodged under the scapula. His case being considered desperate, the only object of the surgeons was to make his situation as easy as possible for the few hours they supposed he had to live; but, to the great surprise of all, he was on his legs in a few weeks, and, before he reached England, was quite recovered, or, at least, his health and appetite were restored. He was never afterwards, however, able to lie down; and during the thirty-two years of his subsequent life, he slept in an upright posture, supported in his bed by pillows. He died in 1794, a Lieut.General, Colonel of the Seventy-second regiment, and representative in Parliament for the county of Perth.
The following example, which occurred during the night of the 17th of September, 1781, is recorded in the "History of the Siege of Gibraltar," by Colonel John Drinkwater, and shows that whilst there's life there's hope. The incident is thus related, and has reference to the present Seventy-first, then numbered SeventyThird, regiment:-" A shell, during the above attack, fell in an embrasure opposite the King's lines, bombproof, killed one of the Seventy-third, and wounded another of the same corps. The case of the latter was singular, and will serve to enforce the maxim, that, even in the most dangerous cases, we should never despair of
a recovery whilst life remains. This unfortunate man was knocked down by the wind of the shell, which. instantly bursting, killed his companion, and mangled him in a most dreadful manner. His head was terribly fractured, his left arm broken in two places, one of his legs shattered, the skin and muscles torn off part of his right hand, the middle finger broken to pieces, and his whole body most severely bruised, and marked with gunpowder. He presented so horrid an object to the surgeons, that they had not the smallest hopes of saving his life, and were at a loss what part to attend to first. He was that evening trepanned, a few days afterwards his leg was amputated, and other wounds and fractures dressed. Being possessed of a most excellent constitution, Nature performed wonders in his favour, and in eleven weeks the cure was completely effected. His name was Donald Ross, and he long continued to enjoy his Sovereign's bounty, in a pension of ninepence a-day for life.”
William Masters, Esq., who died in March, 1799, was a colonel under the old Duke of Cumberland, and in one of the engagements was shot through the lungs by a musket ball, which entirely cured him of a violent asthma. The Duke used to say, when any of his officers laboured under that disorder, that they must get shot through the lungs, like Masters.
Samuel Evans, a private in the grenadier company of the Second Foot, was carried off amongst the wounded at Corunna. He arrived in England, and died in the military hospital at Plymouth, on the 30th of January, 1809. On a post mortem examination being made, it was discovered that he had been shot through the heart, and yet had survived sixteen days.