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Old November 29, 2008, 01:12 AM   #313
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,732
Glad to know you!

As a colonel, Confederate General Robert Rodes was known as a drillmaster and a strict disciplinarian. He rose to brigade and then division command and performed splendidly at Chancellorsville. He was less stellar at Gettysburg and Kelly's Ford. Anyhow, Rodes was inspecting his line when he came across a very casual picket. Not only was the young picket on the ground relaxing, he had his gun propped up against a tree. Those witnessing Rodes approach the young soldier were prepared to hear Rodes reprimand and punish him.

"Did you know," Rodes began, "you could be court-martialed for lying about while on picket?"
"No, I did not," the young soldier replied from the ground.
"When did you enlist?" Rodes asked, thinking he had a very green soldier who was very ignorant of the severity of his crime.
"Last week," beamed the young soldier.
Confirmed in his suspicions Rodes then asked, "When were you assigned on picket duty?"
"This morning" was the earnest reply.
"Do you know who I am?" Rodes asked.
"No, sir," said the young soldier.
"I am General Rodes."
Excited now, the young soldier lept to his feat, walked over to General Rodes, offered his hand and said, "Glad to know you, General Rodes. I'm Dick Maness. How's your folks?"

The young soldier was not reprimanded but was informed of his duty as picket.
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