Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Every Bullet Hole Has a Story

David and Helen Sandfort of St. Charles, Missouri, have a bullet hole in the frame of their front door. They didn't know how it got there until David's brother did some digging at the Missouri State Archives.

On the night of June 10, 1862, two members of the State Militia Cavalry were returning home to St. Charles accompanied by four armed soldiers. After drinking at a tavern for a couple of hours, they passed by the house in question—then owned by Daniel Griffith.

As they approached the Griffith home, riding on the spot near where the north service road exists today, two of the Griffiths' dogs ran towards the soldiers, barking. Several shots rang out — it's still not certain who fired — but at least one bullet went through the right side of the front door frame, whizzed through the hallway, tore through the back door, hit a back porch post, glanced off a brick wall and fell to the ground.
The homeowner was not pleased, and—bullet in hand—filed a grievance with the battalion commander. The men were arrested and their statements taken.
The stories varied: Some denied firing their guns, one said he thought he heard two guns firing, another said he had fired his gun but so did the others.

"I was not drunk," Pvt. Hermann Koehne wrote. "I was drunk," Pvt. Franz Steinmann wrote. "I never was drunk when a soldier and this was the first time." [Link]

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