Seat of Pants or the Great Escape
"It was while doing picket duty around Richmond that old man Smothers saved me from capture. One day we were in the rifle pits; the squad I was with had a pit some fifteen feet long, and four feet deep. I was in the north end of it, nearest the enemy. Smothers standing next to me. I was watching what was going on on our right, while matters of more interest were transpiring on our left. The enemy were flanking our pit. The rest of the boys saw the movement and vamoosed. Smothers finally got on to it. He was leaving, without attracting my attention. Suddenly I saw the enemy on the left, and Smothers disappearing over the edge of the pit. As he was straigthening up to leap for liberty, I made a desperate grab for the seat of his trousers. I made the connect, and in his frantic efforts to secure his own safety, he insured mine, by raising me boldly out of the hole. I covered his rear in the retreat that we made towards our lines, a run of about one hundred years, and as I cleared the bushes on the edge of a bank, six or eight of the enemy were within twenty feet of me. I heard the order, 'Halt, you damned Rebel, halt there,' but I fell down the bank into a creek, and was soon under cover of timber, and, as it proved, safe, though the zip, zip of the balls was not reassuring at the time. I always thanked my stars that the seat of Smothers' trousers were in a good state of preservation; by being so they accomplished mine."
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!