TBI Isn’t Just Phineas: Meet Civil War Veteran Jacob Miller

Posted on August 16, 2019


So much attention has been given to Phineas Gage (and rightfully so) that it’s easy to lose sight of others who have been impacted by traumatic brain injury. This is Jacob Miller. Miller was wounded by a bullet on September 19th, 1863 at the Battle of Chicamagua. By a tremendous stroke of luck, whoever shot him did not have enough powder in his gun; the bullet’s velocity was slowed and it settled in his frontal lobe.

We will discuss alterations to the frontex cortex later on in class when we get to psychosurgery and lobotomy. It is where your personality is “stored,” so damage there is life altering.

The medal on his chest is a Medal of Honor given to him a year after he was shot in his head. Pieces of lead fell out of the wound periodically for years after the war.

“Seventeen years after I was wounded a buck shot dropped out of my wound and thirty one years after two pieces of lead came out.”

You can read his story in his own words here.