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Old August 5, 2013, 04:07 PM   #401
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Good to be Cheyenne (male)

"If a man found it impossible to live peaceably with his wife, he might divorce her in public fashion, notifying everyone that he abandoned all rights in her that he might possess. This action was usually taken in the dance lodge at some dance or gathering of his own soldier society, and according to a certain prescribed form. Before he acted the man notified his soldier band of what he purposed to do. At a set time in the dance, therefore, the singers began a particular song, and the man, holding a stick in his hand, danced by himself and presently danced up to the drum; struck the drum with the stic; threw the stick up in the air, or perhaps toward a group of men in the lodge, and, as he threw it, shouted: "There goes my wife; I throw her away! Whoever gets that stick may have her!" Sometimes to this was added, "A horse goes with the stick!" If this last was said, the person who secured the stick received the horse---but not the wife.

"If the man threw the stick across the dance lodge at a group of men, each of them was likely to dodge, or jump to one side, to avoid being hit. If one of them was hit, or was narrowly missed by the stick, other men were likely to joke him, and to say: "Ha! you want that woman, do you? I thought I saw you reach for the stick!'"

"By this act the man renounced all rights to the woman thrown away, and if anyone married her, the husband might not claim any gift or payment.

"To be treated publicly in this way was a disgrace to a woman. In any dispute or quarrel that the woman might be engaged in later, the matter was likely to be brought up, and her opponent might say, "Well, I never was thrown out of the dance by the drum." If by chance a man married a woman who had been disgraced, and if they ever wrangled, he was likely to remind her of this. It was not forgotten.

This cermeony occurred but seldom, yet it is still well recognized. Perhaps the last case on the Tongue River Indian Rservation occurred in 1899."

Take from George Bird Grinnell's, The Cheyenne Indians, Vol. I, pages 153-154. I picked up my copy at Bent's Old Fort.
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Old October 31, 2013, 06:45 PM   #402
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A Ghost Story

This is taken from Mrs. Hill's Journal - Civil War Reminiscences. Sarah Jane Full Hill was married to First Missouri Volunteer Engineer Regiment's Maj. Eben Marvin Hill. The following is from pages 323-25.

Quote:
A rather singular circumstance happened during that winter which was always an unsolved puzzle, but which I have never laid great stress on for I am not a believer in the mysterious or occult. One evening I received a call from Dr. Knower, who was then living in St. Louis, practicing medicine. I was not going out or seeing anyone outside the family, but he very much wanted to see me and I received him. I thought it was strange he did not bring his wife for we were very good friends, but thought he might have some message for me from E.M. (Eben Marvin Hill). We talked and talked about mutual friends and the previous summer, and I wondered what he had come for and was a little embarrassed, and he seemed to grow so too. About ten o'clock, time to go hoe, he said, "Well, Mrs Hill, what can I do for you?" I looked at him in amazement and asked him what he meant. He replied, "Didn't you send for me?" "No, I had not thought of doing so." Then he explained that a man had come into his office that afternoon and asked him to come and see me that evening. I asked him if he knew the man, and he replied he had never seen him before and supposed he was some relative, for he gave my address and said I was living with my mother. The doctor asked him his name and he said, "George Full." I jumped at that. "Why doctor, are you sure?" "Yes," he said, "Very sure, for it was such a peculiar name I asked him again and he repeated, "George Full," and seemed very anxious and worried and I thought from his manner, you must be ill so I promised to come and see you this evening." "Doctor, do you know that George Full is the name of my father, and he has been dead in Bellafontaine cemetery for three and a half years?" We were both bewildered and aghast. I asked him to describe the man and he said he was was a man of middle age between fifty and sixty, clean shaven face, blue eyes, was rather thin and of medium build. "In fact, Mrs. Hill, you very much resemble him and that was why I thought he was a relative." That was my father's description, and we gazed at each other in some consternation. At last I said it surely could not be a joke. He thought not. The man seemed so evidently in earnest and very anxious, and his age and manner would preclude the idea of a practical joke. I knew the doctor was such an earnest serious-minded man who never joked and was always honest and upright. I told him it seemed as though my father had been to see him, because he was a friend, but it was all beyond me. I did not understand it. Neither did he, and it has always remained an unsolved puzzle, one of the things past finding out. It left a deep impression on my mind and I thought much about it for a while. Of course I explained to the doctor I had not sent for him and was as much confused about the matter as he was. he made considerable effort to trace the man, but never saw or heard him again. There was no George Full in the directory and no one of the name of Full in St. Louis except my mother and her family. It was very mysterious and I tell of it here because it was unusual.
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Old November 3, 2013, 08:30 AM   #403
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Training & Tactics circa 1863s

I was thinking of putting this in T&T, but it's old. What is important is that E.M. prepared and trained his wife; thereby making for a small OODA Loop. That part is highly relevant today. From pages 261-63 of Mrs. Hill's Journal.

Quote:
"E.M. had many times impressed me with the necessity of keeping cool if we should be attacked while on the road, and to make no effort to help him, but to ride to the nearest camp as fast as my horse would travel and have assistance sent him. We had rehearsed such a possibility several times when out riding together. He had taught me to use a revolver, and to fire over my horse's head, and he had fire unexpectedly so that the horses would not frighten.

"This day we were riding back to our camp very leisurely. George was in front of his father, and very much of a man because his father had him straddled in the saddle with him. His shrill little voice was piping away asking baby questions which amused us. E.M. leaned toward me and remarked we must hurry to get to camp before dark,, then he said under his breath, "Ride up, faster, faster." By that time our horses were in a gallop. A couple of shots rang out behind us, and we put our horses to a run and never stopped till we reached camp.

"E.M. immediately sent out a squad in pursuit and by morning they returned with two prisoners. As we were riding along, E.M. had caught the glint of a gun aimed at us over the top of a log and knew there was an ambush. What he thought strange was that they did not fire at once. The next morning the prisoners were brought before him. Little George was standing beside his father. One of the men spoke up. 'You all may be thankful you had the little one with you. We aimed to kill you and your woman, and had a lead on you, but we could not fire on the baby,' so that our little lad probably saved our lives. E.M. wanted to release them, but the orders were very strict and they were sent to Nashville."
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Old November 6, 2013, 10:11 PM   #404
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On the eleventh of the month Texas Brigade was ordered to Staunton to reinforce Stonewall Jackson. Early in the day General Hood halted each regiment in turn, and gave his orders. To the Fourth he said, "Soldiers of the Fourth: I know as little of our destination as you do. If, however, any of you learn or suspect it, keep it a secret. To everyone who asks questions, answer, 'I don't know." we are now under the orders of General Jackson, and I repeat them to you. I can only tell you further, that those of you who stay with the command on this march will witness and participate in grand events."

General Jackson gave strict orders against depredating on private property. Apples were plentiful, and it was contrary to nature not to eat them. Jackson saw a Texan sitting on the limb of an apple tree, busily engaged in filling his haversack with the choicest fruit. He reined in his old sorrel horse, and in his customary curt tone, asked, "What are you doing in that tree, sir?" "I don't know," replied the Texan. "What command do you belong to?" "I don't know." "Is your command ahead or behind you?" "I don't know." And thus it went on -- the same "I don't know" was given as answer to every question. Finally, Jackson asked, "Why do you give me that answer to every question?" "Cause thems the orders our Gineral gin us, this morning,' and' he tole us he got 'em that er way, straight from ole Jackson," replied the man in the tree, and disgusted with a too literal obedience to his own commands, but yet not caring to argue the point, General Jackson rode on.
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Old November 9, 2013, 07:31 AM   #405
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Form a line (with one man)

A private on picket duty, under orders to allow no one to pass inside the Confederate lines without giving the countersign, was approached by his brigadier-general, who asked,

"What would you do, sir, were you to see a man coming up that road toward you?"

"I should wait, General," said the private, "until he came within twenty feet of me, and then halt him and demand the countersign."

"Very good, very good," commented the General; "but suppose twenty men approached by the same road, what would you do then?"

"Halt them before they got nearer than a hundred feet, sir, and covering them with my gun, demand that the officer in command approach and give the countersign."

"Ah! my brave fellow," began the general in his most flattering voice, "I see you are remarkably well posted concerning your duties. But let me put still another case. Suppose a whole regiment were coming in this direction, what would you do in that case?"

"Form a line immediately, sir," answered the private unhesitatingly, and without a smile.

"Form a line? form a line? repeated the officer, in his most contemptuous tone. "What kind of line, I should like to know, could a single man form?"

"A bee-line for camp, sir," explained the picket.
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Old November 17, 2013, 12:37 PM   #406
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Never give up on a deer

This thread with some sage advice reminded me of reading an incident involving the men of the First Colorado. http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...17#post5687017

Quote:
The night we left Chug Water one of he boys (we called him Baron, for his Munchausenism,) came in about dusk from the Black Hills on the west, and said he had wounded an elk. He was sure he had given him his death-shot, but the animal had plunged into a deep gorge and got away. The moon was up, the night splendid, and a party went out to find him. They rode as far as horses could go (the guide here excused himself on the plea of fatigue, and returned), then afoot they hunted up and down the wild ravines and climbed the steep rocky ridges until nearly exhausted, when they struck a deep chasm which the moon's soft light could not penetrate, answering to the one in which the wounded elk disappeared. Tumbling down into this, they found racks and a small puddle of blood. Encouraged by these signs, they hurried on at the risk of their necks, but they soon came to a jumping off place. A low, heavy growl that shook the hills, arrested their attention. Peering intently through the darkness, toward the sound, they behold two balls of fire darting sparks in every direction. They were in a cougar's den. They were too excited to shoot for an instant. A large dog venturing in reach, was quietly ripped open by a scratch of the animal's fore-paw. At this their rifles were unloaded in his carcass. A minute consumed in struggles and he was dead. They examined their prize. He was nine feet long, stood three feet high, and had arms like mill posts. The Baron had shot him through the after-parts, while lying down in the brush, and as he bounded twenty feet through the air and disappeared, he could have seen that it was no elk. Perhaps he did, and was scrupulous about following him to his lair alone. The boys now began to think of getting back, for the dead lion's mate was probably in the vicinity and might prove an ugly customer, thought it is believed they will not attack a man unless forced by hunger. They reached camp about day-break, satisfied. They would not take any more elk-hunting by moonlight, in theirs.
Taken from Ovando Hollister's Colorado Volunteers in New Mexico. It's the story of the Union regiment that composed the primary force that defeated Sibley's Brigade in Glorieta, New Mexico.

ETA: My article on the New Mexico Campaign was published in Oct. 2013 edition of Crossfire, the magazine of the UKCWRT. A longer, two part version of the article will be published next year in Muzzle Blasts.
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:44 AM   #407
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White Shield speaks with Agent Wilkinson

The following was recorded by Col. Philippe Regis Denis de Keredern de Trobriand. de Trobriand was colonel of a regiment that fought in the Civil War. He rose to the rank of brigadier general and was brevetted as major general of volunteers. Post war, he returned to France and wrote his memoirs, Four Years in the Army of the Potomac (it is a good read and may take some time to find a copy). As one of the few officers selected to remain in the army, he received a commission as a colonel and was sent to the Dakotas. He spent several years there and wrote his journal which was later published as Army Life in Dakotas. The following excerpt is from pages 139-40.

Quote:
The agent: "My friend, you are getting too old; age troubles your brain and you talk and act like an old fool."

The chief: "I am old, it is true; but no so old as not to see things as they are. And even if, as you say, I were only an old fool, I would prefer a hundred times to be an honest red fool than a stealing white rascal like you."
Way to go White Shield.
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Old November 23, 2013, 10:27 PM   #408
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More from Trobriand

Trobriand describes being snowed in his cabin at Fort Stevenson. His cook cannot deliver his breakfast and after a couple of hours, he opens his door to see four feet of snow. His cook can't even leave the kitchen. A tiny 1/2" opening on one door resulted in a snow reaching everywhere within one room. A few of the younger officers have their wives with them. They and their children share in their husband's suffering. Of these women, he wrote:

Quote:
Those whom I admire in all t his, as much indeed as I pity, are these young women who brave all these mishaps -- I might say for them all this suffering -- with courage and a heroic gaiety. If they complain, it is with a gently resigned air which clearly indicates that they have high spirit to be the first to laugh at their misadventures and to prefer the cmic to the tragic side of it all. The American women have indeed true breeding; courage in danger, constancy in sacrifices, resignation under privations, abnegation in their devotion, seem to be inherent virtues in their character. No one could adapt oneself more resolutely to circumstances, accommodate oneself better to adventures, nor brave with such humor the harness of military life upon the frontier.
pages 211-12.

There is a book by a modern historian about the army wives of the frontier. Glittering Misery. Haven't read it myself.
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Old November 28, 2013, 02:39 PM   #409
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The general and the private (from page 26 of Charming Nellie)

For Thanksgiving, here's one short amusing incident.

Quote:
General Whiting and I reached the loblolly about the same time. I was much the wiser man of the two, though; I followed the current, he endeavored to change it. "Wade right through that mud, men," he commanded; "it is not deep." Whereupon a fellow who was marching in a single file in the narrow way around, said in a sarcastic tone so easily adopted by the most timid man in a darkness and confusion which prevents identification, 'You go through it yourself, Mr. Little Man, if you're so sure it ain't deep.' "Do you know, sir, you are talking to General Whiting?" angrily demanded that officer. "Maybe so," responded the unknown, now almost around the the mudhole, and at any rate too far away to be identified, "But damned if I believe a word of it. Yu are more likely one of his couriers, taking advantage of this dark night to play the general and order your betters around. Anyhow, if you are a general, you are a damned small one!" "Arrest that insolent fellow!" shouted Whiting furiously - so beside himself with rage that he spurred his horse into the mudhole and was splashed from head to foot with its contents. "Oh, dry up, you damned old fool!" came echoing back through the black darkness into which the daring fellow plunged; and in a moment more Whiting was laughing heartily at the ridiculous position and plight in which his hastiness had placed him."
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Old December 7, 2013, 04:45 PM   #410
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OK, I read modern stuff too. This is from Edward Heiberger's "Angels On Our Shoulders" and is about his experience as a B-29 crewman during WW II.

Quote:
It was about this time I met Frank B. Giles. Whenever we got up to start drill, here was this guy in our barracks with a Class A, dress uniform on suntans. One day I asked him, "How come we drill and you wear a Class A uniform?" he said, "I just tell them I am going on sick call." So I started hanging around with Frank. Frank and I ended up on KP one day, they called out various jobs and you could take what you wanted. You just volunteered.

They asked who wanted to wash trays. I said, "Let's do it", Frank said, "No". They asked who wanted to scrub the floor, I said, "Ok", but Frank said, "No". And then an easy one came out, lining up bottles of salt and so forth on the table. I said, "That's us", Frank said, "No way." Then garbage detail. I shut my mouth, but Frank said, "That's us." We carried out four garbage cans and ate ice cream from the kitchen all day!
Got finals on Mon-Tue so there won't be a new entry for a few days.
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Old December 9, 2013, 02:19 PM   #411
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more from Heiberger

Finished the final early.

Quote:
Another time we got caught doing something or another, the Sergeant took us to a furnace room about 14 feet by 30 feet and said, "I want this to be so clean I can eat off i when I get back, which will be exactly at 1600 hours." I told Frank, "We better get busy, the sergeant was really mad!" Frank said, "Sit down, and take it easy, no hurry." Then about a half an hour before he was due back we just soaked the mops and spilled buckets of water all over the floor. Sergeant came back in and took a look around and said, "Nice job boys!"
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Old February 3, 2014, 08:34 PM   #412
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Marriage proposal no woman could possibly refuse

But she did. Why she did escapes me.

Quote:
On the frontier, nothing was more certain than that she would receive proposals of marriage. An early suitor was an Indian named Oseola, who through an interpreter promised:

"She shall have the best corner of the lodge, and the dark squaw shall pack the wood and water, plant and hoe the corn; white squaw may ride by my side in the hunt, and the other shall carry the game, set the 'teepee,' and cook the food and hush the papoose, while white squaw eats with me." Refused, the gentleman philosophically 'begged a dollar to buy a new shirt,' and made off.
Nothing could be more romantic than what Oseola offered to her.

(Taken from the introduction of Dakota War Whoop by Harriet E. Bishop McConkey).
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Old May 27, 2014, 12:31 PM   #413
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From Capt. Sam Grant (first book in a triology about U. S. Grant)

[Currently reading Lloyd Lewis' Captain Sam Grant. As a boy, Grant came home with frozen feet. His mother first wrapped his feet in smoldering straw afterward wrapped them in bacon. Bacon is expensive nowadays.

Some older officers did not embrace new technology well. "General Worth and other old army officers when the percussion guns and caps were first introduced... they feared that the caps would be lost and the men left helpless, forgetting that powder for pouring in the pan of a flintlock gun was attended with greater risk of loss."

Yep, I'm sure that's a problem even to this day.
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Old May 27, 2014, 07:38 PM   #414
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Thanks Gary.

I've enjoyed reading this series; glad to see it restarted.

Tight groups.

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Old May 27, 2014, 11:40 PM   #415
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Bacon wrapped feat beats sheep dung tea for bad lungs. That was also in the book.
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Old May 29, 2014, 01:24 PM   #416
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Soldier who died at Fort Yuma, CA

In its day, Fort Yuma, California was the hottest army post in the nation. Dr. Tripler shared this story with Grant and his wife, Julia. It concerns a soldier who died at that post.

Quote:
"Doctor Tripler said that the dead soldier soon opened communications with the Army through spiritualists and reported himself 'getting on pretty well, but he really wanted his heavy overcoat.' When asked why, he had explained, 'Well, after a man has been at Fort Yuma for a while, Hell is an awfully cold place."
from page 291
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Old June 7, 2014, 04:43 PM   #417
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Who wants ice cream? The crew of the HMS London does.

During WW II, it became known that
Quote:
if the plane guard destroyer picked up a pilot in the water, when they returned him, we always sent over enough ice cream for the crew. This word spread around the British fleet. One day during air operations a plane came in very low and the landing signal officer jumped for the net below with such enthusiasm that he jumped over the net into the water. The British heavy cruiser London, several thousand yards across the formation, saw this, and they put the helm hard over, blew their whistle, and came across the formation, ships scurrying to get out of the way. They picked up the lieutenant, and now we had to furnish ice cream for 900 men But we did; they got their ice cream.
Petty Officer Roger Bond, USS Saratoga. Excerpted from E. T. Wooldrige's Carrier Warfare in the Pacific, pages 130-31.
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Old June 7, 2014, 08:48 PM   #418
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There are some very funny revenge stories I've read . The carrier crew learned of an imminent inspection by an admiral who had the reputation of being a PITA. At one point he was walking across the flight deck with a young ship's officer. He suddenly threw his cap on the deck and said to the officer "That's an incendiary bomb. What are you going to do ? " The officer calmly kicked it over the side !
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