Thank you Citizen Carrier. I've only read Adm. Kemp Tolley's book about his time on PGS Tutuila (Naval Institute Press) and that incident wasn't mentioned. Of course, he wouldn't know of it directly. And now the story of the American Four Musketeers. You should know that during the Civil War period, two basic drill manuals were adopted by the armed forces. Hardee and Casey. Scott was the older manual but it was updated by Hardee. Hardee's manual was quickly discarded by the Union at the war's outbreak because Hardee went with the Confederacy and it would not do to use a manual that was written by a rebel. Casey basically copied Hardee but made a few changes. Our story takes place in the Town Hall of Arlington, Massachusetts. The men are from the 40th New York, or the Mozart (Music Hall) Regiment.
We were at that time using Scott tactics, in which the musket at 'shoulder arms' was carried with the butt in the left hand and resting against the hip. There were four men of the Company, Horace Durgin, James Cole, John Hanna, and myself, who became so expert in the manual of arms that Capt. Ingalls continually called upon us to give exhibitions of our skill in the presence of crowds of citizens who nightly assembled in the Town Hall to witness the drilling. We felt rather proud of ourselves of the exemplification we were able to give, and I well remember what exact uniformity our motions assumed, and with what applause we were greeted by the spectators when the butts of our four muskets at the command 'order arms' reached the floor as if there was but one single musket. The ladies seemed to enjoy our performance and there were always many of them present every evening to witness the company drill, which always terminated by request with a demonstration by the 'Four Musketeers,' as our quartette came to be known and called. The order to 'stack arms' was so quickly executed as to produce an encore and before our audience was satisfied, we several times repeated the performance and always with the same unfailing accuracy and speed."
Of the Four Musketeers, Cole was later promoted to sergeant and was captured at Fredericksburg. Imprisoned at Richmond, he was exchanged and wounded at The Wilderness. After recovering, Cole was discharged. Durgin was promoted to sergeant in June, 1861 and later to First Sergeant. He was wounded at Chantilly and then again at Fredericksburg. He was subsequently transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps (originally titled Invalid Corps) which did secondary work like guard forts near Washington, DC. Hanna was promoted to corporal in Nov. 1861. Like Cole and Durgin, he was wounded (Chantilly). Like Durgin, Hanna also transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps and was discharged on Nov. 10, 1865. As for our writer, Frederick Floyd, he was promoted to corporal in June, 1861 and sergeant in Nov. 1864. He was wounded at Malvern Hill and discharged as disabled in Dec. 1862.
One famous member of the regiment was Robert Sneden whose collection of paintings were published as Eye of the Storm
. They are now in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society.