"Round 'em up! Move 'em out! Rolling, rolling, rolling...
O.K. it's not quite rawhide. Yee-haw! Rather, it's about Brig. Gen. John Buford. If you remember the movie, Gettysburg, Buford was the Union cavalry general who arrived first in Gettysburg and recognized the need to keep the Confederates out of the town and away from the heights (Culp & Cemetery Hill). This post isn't about Gettysburg but how Buford got a stuck column moving. Enjoy.
"While Meade's army was on its retrograde movement, an incident occured which showed that General Buford was as fertile in expedients as he was brave in an emergency. While bringing up the rear, with the rebls not far behind him, he came up with a train of wagons several miles long, numbering, in all, some eight hundred. The train was stopped, and Buford could find no one in command to start it. No time was to be lost. The enemy were coming - coming! and Buford's command would be cut up and the train captured. The teamsters in that long line could not be made to comprehend and act. But General Buford, in a few seconds, both comprehended and acted. He ordered one of his rifled pieces to be planted in the rear of the train, and began firing shells up the road, over the wagons, and at the longest range, and with a good elevation. A few of those 'rotten cannon balls' bursting over the train roused the laggards and fixed the business. Believing that the rebels were thus close - very close upon them, the wagon-masters and teamsters applied the whip and spur, and the whole caravan was moved off safely."
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!