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Future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes survives a near-fatal wound at Ball's Bluff

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., detail
10/21/1861
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a twenty-year old junior officer of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry when he was struck twice by rifle fire half way up the steep slope at Ball's Bluff.  The first round was spent and merely winded him, the second passed through his chest, perforating a lung and missing his heart by a quarter of an inch.  Almost left for dead, he recovered to return to action where he was wounded once more at Antietam.  Again, he survived to become a famous associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  He died in 1932.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Silas Bent, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (New York: The Vanguard Press. 1932), 73 

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