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Old February 10, 2005, 08:59 PM   #46
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,001
Pass the prunes, please

Before we read our anecdote, every regiment had an "awkward" squad. Those where the guys who never got anything right so rather than mess up the entire platoon, they were grouped into one squad and carefully drilled until they got it right. You can read more about the awkward squad in John Billing's classic account of the Civil War, Hardtack and Coffee. So, please pass the prunes.

One of the boys, a rather awkward fellow, received a box from home. It contained among other things a box of dried prunes; he stewed some of them for sauce. He had no more than got them finished when the order was given to fall in for inspection. In his haste he upset his pan of sauce on his gun and equipments; line was formed and along came the colonel, the captain and the inspecting officer. He presented his gun to the inspecting officer; but to the surprise and horror of the officer, his gloves of immaculate whiteness, were covered with a soft brown sticky substance. he looked at his gloves for an instant, and with an oath demanded "What is that?" and the king of the awkward squad made answer, "It is nothin' but stewed prunes." For an instant military discipline was powerless, but the man was sent to his quarters and was later dealt with.
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