Monday, April 11, 2016

A Near Miss with a ramrod on the fly--1812

Lydia Bacon accompanied General William Hull's army on its march from Urbana, Ohio to Detroit in 1812. Her husband, Josiah Bacon, was a lieutenant in the 4th United States Regiment of Infantry and its quartermaster. She recalled a frightening experience with an accidental musket discharge while camping in the Ohio wilderness:

As I was sitting at the door of our tent, enjoying the beautiful twilight and musing upon absent friends, I heard the report of a gun and felt the wind of something passing close to my ear. Presently an officer came up with a ramrod in his hand, which he said had just fallen on his tea-table, where he was taking supper with his family outside of his tent. This is what I felt as it whizzed past my ear. But what an escape! Had it gone one inch nearer, it would have penetrated my head, and inevitable death would have been the consequence. This happened through the carelessness of a militia man, who in discharging his gun, forgot to elevate it, or to remove the ramrod.