|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm
of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 11/22/1898.
This is a campaign year, but there is no politics in the following
which was published a few weeks ago in the Buckhannon Delta:
"In the early days of the war of the rebellion, William B.
of French Creek, W. Va., enlisted as a private soldier in Co. E of the
3rd West Virginia Infantry.
About the first of September, 1861, the above company, with two or
more of the same redgement, were marching down from Glenville, Gilmer
this state, to a point on the Calhoun county line, some ten miles
and when near their destinathion the following order of march was
something over a hundred men were marching compactly in front, and
as many marching in the same way some two or three hundred yards in
rear. About midway between these two moving bodies of troops
the subject of this sketch, with George Philips and Chapman McCoy on
right, when they were fired into from ambush by a party of
A ball evidently from a muzzle loading rifle, corresponding in size
to a 32 calibre pistol bullet, entered Mr. Smallridge's chest at the
point of the scapula on the left side, passing thence directly through
the left lung and into the left ventricle of the heart.
The bullet struck his heart about exactly the center, but the force
was so completely broken that after breaking through the outer wall
said ventricle it was unable to penetrate the opposite wall, so
to the bottom of said cavity and was carried there by the living
for more than thirty-five years.
The shot failed to knock Smallridge down, but it did knock him
blind for a time and he dropped his gun, and as soon as his comrades
the enemy's fire they assisted him to a house near where the head of
column was. Here the regimental surgeon probed and otherwise
his wound and pronounced it fatal. On being told that he must
Mr. Smallridge actually laughed at him, and told them he would do no
After waiting some time for him to die, a thing he persistently
to do, and seeing with what tenacity he clung to life, a detail was
and by it he was sent in a skiff back up the Little Kanawha to
Here George Philips was detailed to nurse him, a thing he faithfully
for three weeks and at the expiration of this time he was so much
as to be able to be brought by private conveyance to Weston, and after
a short rest, on home.
Mr. Smallridge never re-entered the service, but has lived a
to us and operated a farm by us from that time till the 2 ult., when
answered the last roll call.
About three months ago he sent for Dr. G.O. Brown, and confided to
that there had been a good deal of speculation as to the exact
of that bullet, and that the chances were an autopsy would be
to settle the matter.
So the doctor's promise was secured that the vexed question should
settled as soon as might be after his demise.
Then as the last taps were sounded on Saturday the 2nd of October,
Dr. Brown associated himself with Dr. O.B. Beer and the two repaired
Mr. Smallridges residence on the following day and faithfully redeemed
The post mortem revealed the facts precisely as stated above, and
incontestible proof of same, Dr. Brown has that portion of the heart,
the bullet, preserved in alcohol in his office, and the bullet has
been removed from the spot where it has lain all these years, and
it has become firmly imbedded. The annals of surgery are
for a parallel. - Henry Colerider