The Only Republican Victory...
Reuben F. Bernard was working on the corn. Every time his hoe struck a corn tassel, a cloud of yellow pollen was released and he'd sneeze. Tired of it and unwilling to live a life of a farmer, he ran away from home and took to blacksmithing. Learning quickly, he left the trade and joined the U.S. Cavalry. Well,while on leave, it turns out that the Democrats and Republicans were vying for the Presidency and Bernard was a Republican. Many supporters of Lincoln took to wearing tall stove pipe hats in support of their man. The message was not lost on the democrats.
Well, ole Reuben (actually a young man then) was dared to wear such a hat and Reuben never backed down from a dare (he was young, remember?). Tall and well built, he probably figured he'd have no trouble, or so he thought.
"I suppose you with your stove-pipe hat would like to settle matters with me!" shouted one big fellow who had imbibed freely before marching up and down the street and politicking loudly for the Democrats. The big fellow challenged anyone who thought differently to settle it with fisticuffs. Not exactly democratic, but certainly calculated to make an impression.
Well, the big fellow spied Reuben and smashed the hat down over Reuben's eyes and ears. The crowd broke out in laughter and the hat was so well jammed over Reuben's head that it took a while for him to pry it off. He clawed at the hat, tearing it piece by piece off until his vision was restored. Angered, he came out swinging and the big fellow swung back.
Like two mighty warriors, they traded blow for blow in the manner of Achilles and Hector. The two champions pummelled each other to the delight of the crowd. Finally, Mars favored Reuben and he knocked the big fellow out. It was the only Republican victory in Tennessee as the state casted its vote along Democratic Party lines.
Reuben Bernard was later commissioned an officer and brevetted as a colonel during the Civil War. His conduct during the fights against the various Indian tribes won him his brevet-Brigadier General rank. He retired as a Lt-Col in the regulars.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!