Captain Alexander Myatt and the Lost Minnie Ball.

The Richland Beacon News, September 17, 1898, Page 2


Federal Bullet Removed From Capt. Myatt’s Head.

                Last June, thirty-five years ago, during the siege of Vicksburg, Capt. Alex Myatt received a Federal Minnie ball in his right eye.  From that time on until last week the bullet has remained in his head despite the efforts of eminent physicians to locate and remove it.  The bullet is now out, and the Captain is a correspondly [sic] happy man, as he has at times suffered excruciatingly.

Early last week Capt. Myatt went to Dr. C.B. Johnston to have him pull out the stump of what he supposed was a tooth in his right upper jaw, and which was giving him a great deal of pain.  The doctor made several attempts, but as it did not pull like a tooth he concluded that it was the long lost bullet, and so informed the Captain.  The latter at once asked that a physician be called, and Dr. Brewer was sent for.  Later on Dr. R.W. Faulk was called in, and he was present at nearly all the subsequent operations.

The question was then, how to get the bullet out.  The Captain would not allow anesthetics to be used.  Then Dr. Johnston started in with his dental drill, and after five sittings the bullet was so cut that it easily came through the opening that it had made for itself.  This was on Saturday evening.  The operations were attended with a great deal of pain, and that together with the tediousness of the operation, necessitated the length of time consumed.

The diagnosis of the case showed that the bullet after entering had turned down at right angles and came under the eye into the antrum himore.  Thence it had gradually worked its way down to the jaw.  Dr. Calderwood of this city, Dr. Stone, of New Orleans, and quite a number of other physicians, had diagnosed the case and all decided that the bullet was in the back of the head and that it could not be removed.  It remained for Doctor Johnston to find the long lost bullet an to remove it.

Capt. Myatt was a member of the Thirty-first Louisiana regiment, and was in Vicksburg at the time of the siege.  He was standing behind the breastworks when hit.  The bullet came through the earth works before hitting him, and thus a great deal of its force was lost.  He was sent to the hospital where he remained until July 13th, when he came home.  While in the hospital after the surrender, he was attended by some of the best surgeons in the Federal army, all of whom asserted that the ball had gone too far into the back of the head to be got out.

While the captain has suffered very much, he has attended to his mercantile and planting interests in which he has been most successful.  He says that he now feels like a new man and is prepared to go into the concerns of life with renewed activity. – Monroe News.

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