Posting Guards - Confederate style
Here's a tidbit about how one group of Confederate soldiers held their guard posts:
"An officer of the Eighth Tennessee was brigade officer of the day, and to him was assigned the duty of putting out the guard around the brigade. Getting the guard properly mounted after dark, he started out to post them. Placing a man at a designated point, he moved on, posting his sentinels very close together, as he thought. As the detail would move on to the next post, the last sentinel posted would fall in on the rear and move on with the rest. In this way the officer of the day made the circuit of the brigade and had the same number of men he started with. Not finding the sentinel first posted, he moved on to the next post and found it vacant. In this manner he continued around the brigade again, but failed to find the sentinels anywhere. When he saw that he had the original number of sentinels he started out with, he concluded that there was something mysterious about it, and procured an ax with which he blazed the trees at the places where he posted his sentinels, so that he could the more easily find his first starting-point in the darkness. In this manner he made the circuit of the brigade again, and his detail had not diminished at all. General Donelson was becoming very wrothy at this time, and sent out to know what was the matter that the brigade guard could not be posted. Some officers went to his tent and told him that many of the men were in the neighborhood of their homes and were having some fun; that there was no danger, and the men knew it - that every man would be in place at the proper time. This appeased the General for the time being, and the brigade guard was dispensed with."
So far this thread has a Confederate bias, but it reflects the book that I'm reading at the time of posting. There are stories equally funny from the Union side and I'll see if I can find one for you guys.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!