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Old February 18, 2006, 11:43 AM   #139
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,625
Killed by a rabbit (almost a Bugs Bunny story)

"[O]ur regiment was ordered to double quick across Bull Run, and charge a battery that had been shelling us for the last twenty-four hours. We had not advanced more than half the distance before the order came to lie flat on the ground, our colonel having learned that there were more than thousands of Yankees between us and the battery. Young James Manning stood behind a tree instead of obeying orders, and a solid cannon ball, weighing twelve pounds, suddenly cut the tree int two, and his body was literally cut in two. He was the first of our company killed.

Many of our men witnessed the shocking sight, among these being the captain of a company from Wilson Co., who was a Methodist preacher. During the disaster a rabbit was frightened from its hiding place, and running about at last jumped with all force against this captain's side. He whirled over, and cried that a ball had killed him, and begged that his body be sent home. He was told that nothing had touched him but a rabbit, but he did his best to die. Failing in that effort, he disappeared.

"It was a most natural thing, after the war was over, for this to be the subject of conversation. In the summer of 1868, I met some very pleasant gentlemen on the train and entered into conversation with them. One of them asked me what command I was in, and when I told him, he asked me if I remembered anything of the rabbit scrape at Manassas, to which I responded in the affirmative, laughing heartily. He said, 'Young man, that preacher is still living, but the rabbit affair will live long after he is gone.'"
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