The most extraordinary case of surviving apparently mortal wounds that has ever come under my observation is that of John W. Vance
, company B, Seventy-second regiment of Indiana
mounted infantry, commanded by Colonel Miller
Early in April I made a brief report of the case from Murfreesboro
; but at that time I had no idea of the severity of the wounds.
The demoniacal malignity that could have induced any one bearing the human form to have inflicted such wounds under the circumstances, seems almost beyond conception.
While the regiment to which young Vance
belonged was scouting near Taylorsville, Tennessee
, he and a companion were taken prisoners.
During the next twenty-four hours their captors treated them kindly.
They neither saw nor heard any thing to lead them to suspect that any different treatment was in store for them till they came within a mile or two of Lebanon
Here the rebels wished to be free from the care of their prisoners.
They therefore tied them to a tree.
A Captain French
, of the rebel army, objected to the plan of leaving them thus pinioned, and at once coolly and calmly drew his revolver and fired three shots through the head of each as they were pinioned to the trees.
His companion was at once despatched; but as Vance
was unfastened he fell forward on his face, and another of the rebel band, named Cartwright
, fired the fourth shot through the victim's head.
assures me that he did not at any time lose his consciousness.
He heard all they said and knew all they did. Here he lay twenty-six hours, during the fourth and fifth of April, when he was discovered by some of our troops and brought into camp, and his wounds dressed by a surgeon of one of the Ohio
Nothing was done for him till thirty-two hours after he was wounded.
These are the facts.
Now for the nature of the wounds:
They were inflicted by the large revolver used by our cavalry, and the cold-blooded murderers fired within a yard of the prisoned victim's head.
The first shot took effect about an inch back and below the right cheek-bone, and came out on the opposite side, about the same distance from the left cheekbone.
The second ball entered about an inch and a half below, and a little nearer the ear than the first, and passing through in the same line as the first, breaking the jaws and loosening the teeth.
The third entered the neck just below and in a line vertical to the lower tip of the ear. This lodged in the opposite side of the neck, from whence the surgeon removed it.
The fourth--the one that had been inflicted by Cartwright
, after he had been thrown on his face — entered back of his ear, about the centre of combativeness, and escaped through his left eye, completely des. troying it.
And yet John W. Vance
lives and looks well and hearty.
He is an intelligent, fine-looking young man, just arrived at his majority.
I sat half an hour on the adjoining cot, and conversed with him and examined his wounds while he was eating his dinner; and he ate with the relish of a man who loves life and desires to prolong it. The loss of his left eye will be his only real disfigurement.
But how it was possible for four leaden messengers
of death to pass through the parts they did without proving mortal, is a marvellous problem.
But such are the facts, and they are of sufficient importance to be perpetuated.--Cimcinnati Gazette