A Penny In His Pocket Saved The Life Of This Soldier During The Civil War

Tony Craddock - - illustrative purposes only

There have been multiple cases in which everyday objects have saved people’s lives from bullets. It could be a pocket watch, a flask, or even an iPhone.

For one man, a penny in his pocket stopped a bullet from penetrating his chest in what would likely have been a fatal wound.

During the Civil War in 1864, Lieutenant Lothrop Wight was in the midst of battle when he was struck by Confederate gunfire. At the time, he was 23 years old and was aboard a ship along the James River in Virginia.

When the Civil War began in the spring of 1861, thousands of men across the northern states were enlisted to fight for the Union, including Lothrop Wight.

He was a Second Lieutenant in the 16th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry from Framingham, Massachusetts.

However, his time in the army was cut short after he got into a conflict with his commanding officer, Captain Henry Lawson.

Wight filed charges against Lawson and accused him of negligence. But, Wight was blamed for insubordination and received a dishonorable discharge in November 1861.

He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving aboard the USS Wachusett and USS Vanderbilt. In July 1864, he was on the USS Mendota, patrolling the James River near Richmond, when a Confederate bullet hit him in the chest.

Luckily, the bullet ricocheted off a small copper penny in the breast pocket of his uniform, saving him from harm. After the war, Wight became a florist in the town of Wellesley.

Tony Craddock – – illustrative purposes only

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