Soothing the beast
We've all heard about how music soothed the wild beast. I wouldn't try jumping into the bengal tiger cage at the zoo to test my skill with the violin which, along with any other instrument, I can't play, but here's a rambling anecdote about one Union soldier's effort to quell the Confederates. Enjoy.
When Sherman's men were climbing the sides of "Buzzard's Roost," in their gallant and successful movement at that point, the rebels attempted to resist the advance by rolling down heavy stones from the cliffs and rocky sides of the mountain. The following story is told of the occasion, on the authority of a staff officer:
A corporal of the Sixty-fourth Illinois halloed to the rebels, and told them if they would stop firing stones he would read to them the President's Proclamation. The offer was at first received with derisive yells, but they soon became quiet, and the corporal then read to them the Amensty Proclamation. When he came to some part they did not approve, they would set up a fiendish yell, as if in defiance, and then sent down an installment of rocks by way of interlude. But the corporal kept on in spite of such uncivil demonstrations, and finished the document, when there was another outburst of yells, mingled with laughter, and the old business of tumbling down rocks and firing was again resumed. That corporal deserved an appointment as President Lincoln's Secretary-at-large.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!