Because it’s full of concrete


          My great-grandfather was John Needham Cox, Jr. and he was born in 1854. He was named for his father, who was born in 1823. John, Sr.’s father was Jesse Cox and he was born in 1787 and died as a young man not long after 1823. Jesse’s father was John Cox and he was born in 1755 in Brunswick County, NC.


          This John Cox was a young man during the Revolutionary War and family legend, but absolutely no documents, tells that he served with the rebel forces. The reason John Cox’s service in the Revolutionary War was handed down from generation to generation was the unique manner in which he was wounded.


          While all the details of John Cox’s military service, such as where and how long he served, have been lost from the collective Cox family memory, the story of his war wound has not. Family legend states that at one battle, John Cox was hit square in the middle of his forehead by a British musket ball. For reasons unknown, bad powder, wrong angle, or long distance shot, the musket ball did not penetrate John Cox’s skull. Instead, it only broke the skin and continued to travel underneath his scalp until it exited out the back of his head.


          While the shot caused no appreciable damage to John Cox, all the hair above the path of the bullet died. From then until his death, it was said that John Cox had a bald streak down the center of his head, from front to back. Sort of a reverse Mohawk.


          Upon hearing what I always thought was a great story and a fine example of my family’s long tradition of story telling, my wife’s first response was that it was no mystery to her why a British musket ball could not penetrate the noggin of a male Cox. Footnote

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