The Old Soldier Who Didn’t Die

John Vestal was an ex-Confederate soldier in Bristol. Vestal had a vision that he was going to die on September 3, 1911. He was so convinced that he dug his own grave and made his preparations that August. His final resting place would be by his first wife’s grave in the Meadowview-Emory area.

Neighbors, who knew Vesti as levelheaded and sensible, were alarmed. Stories of his vision appeared in newspapers across the nation. Vestal did not believe in superstition, omens, or portents. He claimed he had a divine vision that September 3 was ordained to be the date of his death. He said he would die of natural causes despite his current good health.

Vestal didn’t die. He lived into the 1920s.

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