Moonshine Saved My Life!

Published:June 5, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

From our friends at the Library of Virginia comes this photograph of W. C. Saunders, who was wounded on this day in 1864 at the Battle of Piedmont in the Shenandoah Valley. Alas, the Confederates were routed and their commanding general, one “Grumble” Jones, killed. As the writing on the photograph attests, Major Saunders was lucky he didn’t share the same fate:

The spot on breast is where the Minnie ball entered. The Exit was just below shoulder blade 1/4 of inch from spinal column.

Some more information from the Library:

Although Saunders initially seemed to have sustained a mortal wound, a local citizen observed that he was still alive and revived the major with mountain whiskey (moonshine). This story was used by Major Saunders to encourage anti-prohibition sentiment, and he wrote regularly until his death to the Virginia Prohibition Commission for a transportation permit for his medicinal whiskey.

FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON: The best song ever in the world.

IMAGES: W. C. Saunders; advertisements for F. DeHart Distilling Co. and Rectifiers of Spirits, Patrick County


1 Comment on “Moonshine Saved My Life!”

  1. BellaRing

    I wish I had found this six weeks ago while I was writing an article on moonshine in Central Virginia. It would have made an interesting addition.

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