February 23, 1864

The world is far stranger than we think.

On February 23, 1864, at the First Battle of Dalton in Georgia, Sergeant Niles Angel of Cross, Massachusetts was wounded.

He was in the process of rallying his men when he was struck by numerous bullets, the soft, malleable lead tearing through him. When he was first brought to the field surgeon, it was believed that his left arm was the most grievous of his injuries and that he had lost far too much of it for the limb to be saved.

Still, the surgeon did his best. He cut away as much of the meat as he could, stitched it together when he was done and went in search of further injuries.

The surgeon found them.

More importantly, he found a wound that should have negated the good sergeant’s continued existence.

At least one of the bullets, the surgeon saw, had torn through Sergeant Angel’s heart.

The heart was not merely damaged but destroyed.

Most of that muscle was gone, and what remained was little more than shredded tissue.

Yet Sergeant Angel continued to live.

Lived and thrived.

He was sent home to convalesce, where his grievous injury was kept from everyone except his wife.

Following the conclusion of the war and Sergeant Angel’s mustering out, he worked as a porter for the Boston & Maine Railroad and fathered three children with his wife.

Sergeant Angel died at the age of 57 when a horse stove in the side of his head.

His children only learned of their father’s curious history when their mother died 40 years later, and they read her journal.

When they opened the family mausoleum to intern their mother, the children discovered their father’s tomb was empty and had been for some time.

#CrossMassachusetts #fear #scary #death #secrets #murder #writersofinstagram #history #nightmare #horror

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Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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