Here's your mule
Spent five days at Gettysburg on my last jaunt back east and later on wandered down to Manassas (Bull Run). It was during a Ranger talk of First Manassas that one visitor became very happy in find the "ditch" in which his relative, a Berdan Sharp Shooter (Civil War spelling), was injured. We spoke afterwards and I told him of my project and when we returned to our vehicles, I showed him my manuscript. The heat and the presence of his young son kept him from perusing it as much as he wanted to and we exchanged email addresses before departing. You learn all sorts of things and meet all type of interesting folks when you visit historic sites. I can't recommend it highly enough. Besides, many of these Parks are free and it's paid for by your tax dollars. Take advantage of it.
Now, for those who haven't read much on the unpleasantries of the 1860s, the Confederates had a song, "Here's your mule." It originated when one old peddler had his mule hidden from him and he became highly distressed. Soldiers would shout out, "Here's your mule" and draw him in their direction. After many false leads, he was finally reunited with his beloved steed (?). The merriment of the men didn't end there and the day's frolic was forever immortalized in the Rebel song, "Here's your mule." It was enjoyed by the Confederates in both the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee.
What has this got to do with Rambling Anecdotes? Well, in 1863 General Bragg was reinforced by Longstreet and together they whupped Union General Rosecrans at Chickamauga. Bragg didn't follow-up on his victory by destroying Rosecrans' army. Instead he permitted it to retreat into Chattanooga. Bragg besieged it but wasn't strong enough to storm it. Eventually, Grant directed Sherman and other forces to relieve the entrapped Union Army. At the Battle of Lookout Mountain, the Confederates were driven back from the commanding heights. In Chattanooga itself, the Union army was ordered to take the Confederate rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge. The troops stormed the entire mountain and chased off Bragg's meagre forces.
Bragg attempted to rally his men. One Confederate describes what happened to Bragg. "He got down off his horse, and as the men ran past him, he called out to them [to] not disgrace themselves, but to stop and [save?] their country - fight for your families &c and says I (your General) am here." Just then one large man came past him who had thrown his gun away and steped up behind Genl Bragg and car[ied] him around the waist and says, 'And heres your mule' and went on." Note: all misspellings attributed to the original author.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!