The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 11, 2008, 02:33 AM   #276
oldbillthundercheif
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 2,450
This quote;
Quote:
The regular troops would have soon become demoralized by the example of their comrades, and the condition of Missouri would shortly have equalled that of France in the days of the Free Companies.
got me digging for information on "the days of the Free Companies".

I found this:

"The Career of Bastot de Mauléon, Man-at-Arms and Brigand"
http://www.nipissingu.ca/department/...rt/mauleon.htm

Quote:
The first time I bore arms was under the captal de Buch at the battle of Poitiers: by good luck I made that day three prisoners, a knight and two squires, who paid me, one with the other, four thousand francs. The following year I was in Prussia with the count de Foix and his cousin the captal, under whose command I was. On our return, we found the duchess of Normandy, the duchess of Orleans, and a great number of ladies and damsels, shut up in Meaux in Brie. The peasants had confined them in the market-place of Meaux, and would have violated them, if God had not sent us thither: for they were completely in their power, as they amounted to more than ten thousand, and the ladies were alone. Upwards of six thousand Jacks were killed on the spot, and they never afterwards rebelled.
And that's just the start...
oldbillthundercheif is offline  
Old February 16, 2008, 08:30 PM   #277
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
The Shrine of Bacchus

Post battle looting can be rewarding - if you find something useful. Here's the story of one cavalryman who struck gold and an artilleryman who struck out.
Quote:
Nearly all the wreckage was strewn on the west side of the pike, yet we found one wagon on the east side that was standing with the fore wheels in a deep impassable ditch. When we got to it a lone cavalryman was standing in the hind part of the wagon, pounding on a barrel head with a tone. Our first conclusions were that the barrels contained pickled pork, and awaited patiently the cavalryman's successful assault in gaining access to its contents, as a good chunk of pickled pork would have been a very acceptable and highly appreciated prize, for my external haversack was entirely empty and the internal one almost in the same fix. It did not take long for our gallant beating cavalryman to "strike ile." When I heard the barrel head splash into something liquid the delighted cavalryman exclaimed, "Whiskey, by George!" and I saw him bow down a willing worshiper at this lowly shrine of Bacchus, and he sampled without cup or canteen mirth inspiring contents of a full barrel. There were ten barrels in the wagon. I did not want any to be joyful on an empty stomach, I had no canteen, my twenty minutes' leave of absence had about expired, and the rosy glow of fading twilight was fast changing into the sable shades of the night, so I struck a bee-line for the battery, with nothing but four blue coats that I had no use for.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old February 26, 2008, 12:41 AM   #278
scrat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2008
Posts: 214
Gen. Enoch's And A. D. Crossland's Experiences

Ironton Register, Thursday, December 2, 1886





"I suppose you have observed that the REGISTER is giving some "Narrow Escapes" of the boys in the war, Gen. Enochs?"


"Yes, indeed," said the General, "I read them with a great deal of interest. They are a good thing. They remind me of what Gen. Hayes said to me at Portsmouth, during the reunion. He remarked that the real history of the war has not yet been written; and will not be, until the boys have a chance to tell their personal experiences."


"Well now," said the reporter, "that’s just what I am after, a "narrow escape" from you."


"Oh, I have none worth relating. I was in a great many battles and met danger with the rest of the boys, but I have no distinctively romantic escape to relate. My narrowest escape was where I didn’t altogether escape. It was at the battle near Winchester, on the 19th of September 1864--Sheridan’s first great battle in the Shenandoah Valley. You remember the engagement began about noon. The 19th corps was on the left; the 6th corps in the center and the Army of West Va. on the right, and my regiment, which I commanded that day, was on the extreme right of the whole line; that is, of the infantry line. Custer’s and Merritt’s divisions of cavalry still covered our flanks."


"Well, we had driven the rebel forces gradually from the start; and they were very hard to drive as they fought behind the stone fences which abound in that country. It was on toward five o’clock in the evening, and the rebel lines had been driven back from every point except where the artillery was planted, which was a strong position. Their cannon was doing fearful execution, and the musketry from that quarter was very severe. Gen. Duval, who commanded our brigade, had fallen, and the ranks were much shattered. I had lost my horse in a swamp soon after the fight commenced and so was afoot in the battle. Things were in a turmoil and confusion; nobody seemed to be directing our brigade or division, so I took hold of our end of the line myself, and ordered an assault on the rebel artillery. I thought we wouldn’t be killed any faster going ahead than standing still. Then the enemy opened on us furiously. Our line as it advanced had a very ragged edge to it. It was made up almost without any order as to regiment, a dozen regiments being represented, in some parts of the line."


"As we approached the rebel position, I happened, at one moment, to be looking down the line, awfully anxious about its maintaining itself, when my "narrow escape" came to me in the form of a minnie ball, and down I went, to figure, as the comrades around me supposed, among the list of the killed. And I would have thought so too, possibly, if I had not been knocked senseless. There I lay insensible, for some time, but finally regained my thoughts, to find that I couldn’t see. I was blind as a bat for over an hour; but during that little period, I felt about to ascertain the extent of my wound, and found a ball sticking in the side of my head about two inches above the right ear. It had gone through my hat band and flattened against the skull, which it bruised badly, and to which it stuck until I pulled it off. The first man who discovered I wasn’t dead was Lewis Neff, of Rome township, who gave me a drink from his canteen."


"That was indeed, a very close shave," said the reporter, "but what of the charge on the artillery?"


"Oh, that was the best part about it," said the General--"the boys went right on, and captured the rebel works; and that did as much as any other one thing that day to give us the victory. The next day, I was all right and took command of my regiment again."


"Where’s the ball?" asked the reporter.


"I carried it for a couple years after, but finally lost it," replied the General; "but I can recollect everything about that fight without the ball as a reminder. It struck me too forcibly to ever be forgotten."
scrat is offline  
Old March 1, 2008, 11:27 AM   #279
scrat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2008
Posts: 214
Mayor Corns' Experience #1

NARROW ESCAPES
SOME EXCITING WAR EXPERIENCES NO. 1


MAYOR CORNS' EXPERIENCE


Ironton Register, Thursday, November 18, 1886





[Under the above head we propose to publish a series of articles, or rather interviews with old soldiers, giving details of narrow escapes while in the service. We well print them as long as the boys keep us posted with startling personal experiences or our interviewer can gather them in.-- Ed. Reg.]


"What was your ‘narrow escape’ in the army?" we asked of Mayor Corns, of the old Second Va. Cavalry, as he stood smoking his morning stoga, before the big cannon stove of his office, last Monday.


"Oh, I had several that I thought was pretty narrow-- narrow enough to make my flesh creep when I even think of them now."


"But," said we, "what was the little the worst fix you got into while serving Uncle Sam?"


"Well, sir, about the worst fix," replied the Mayor, and he laughed and shuddered at the same time, "was when our division under Custer attacked Fitzhugh Lee, on the evening after the battle of Sailor’s Creek-- that was the 7th of April, 1865, two days before the surrender at Appomatox. Lee was trying to get off with a big wagon train, and Custer had orders to intercept him and capture the train if possible. Just at nightfall, we caught up with Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry, down there not very far from Farmville. The enemy had gone into camp for the night. They were in the woods and had thrown up piles of rails as a protection against attack. We had a heavy line of skirmishes which were soon driven in, and then, having discovered the enemy’s line, Custer ordered a general charge. There were about 7000 cavalry and we went in with a rush, but after a bitter little fight we were repulsed. We ran into a ditch or drain in the charge and that upset our calculations. We piled into that ditch with considerable confusion and were glad to get out, without bringing any rebs with us. Our lines were soon reformed and another charge sounded. It was then after dark, but the moon was shining brightly. It was an open meadow over which we charged, and save the drain, was a pretty place for a cavalry fight, for those who liked that kind of business."


"After the charge was sounded and we were on full gallop, lo and behold the enemy was charging too, and the two divisions of cavalry met in a hand to hand fight in the middle of the plain. It was an awfully mixed up affair. We couldn’t tell friend from foe half the time. We had been on the go so much that our blue uniforms were dust-colored and about as gray as the rebels’. It was the biggest free fight ever I got into, and every fellow whacked away and tried to kill every fellow he came to. It happened, however, that I got in with a little squad of six or eight of our boys, and we kept together until we found ourselves completely within the enemy’s lines, with the rebs’ banging away all around us. Our army was getting the best of the fight, and gradually pushing the rebs back, and of course we went back with the rebel line. It looked scaly for us. I saw Johnny Connelly near me and said to him, "This is a bad fix--we must get cut of this." And he said, "Yes, and here are five or six others of us right near." I got them together, for I was a Lieutenant commanding a company, and said, "Boys, we must charge to the rear and join our army," and one of the boys said, "Here goes," and started, and we were all about to put after him, but just as I started, a reb who was just in front of me, and who I thought was one of our boys, whirled around and, drawing his saber, called out, "Surrender, you d----d Yankee," at the same time bringing the saber down toward my head with fearful velocity. I dodged and the saber struck my shoulder, but did not cut the flesh as I had on an overcoat with a bear-skin collar. The blade went right through these, but stopped at the flesh, but it paralyzed my arm, which fell to my side. He did it so quickly that I had no time to parry. But missing my head, he quickly drew his saber for another stroke, and I would have got it the next time clean through my head, but just as the reb had the saber at its full height for another blow, a First N. Y. Cavalryman struck his carbine right against the fellow’s head, and exclaiming "Not this time, Johnny," blazed away and shot the reb.’s head just about off. Then we scampered to the rear, but hadn’t gone far when we got into the ragged edge of our own line and felt ourselves considerably safer. In getting out of there, three balls struck me, but I consider the narrowest escape, was when that New York Cavalryman stuck his carbine at the reb’s head and presented the blow which would have gone right through my head, as sure as fate. The narrowness of the escape was intensified by the fact that the war only lasted two days longer."
"Before we got out of there, Johnny Connelly was shot crazy, but I snatched his horse’s rein and got him within our lines. He was sent back to the field hospital and I never saw him since; but if ever I come across that N. Y. Cavalryman, I’ll take him home, set him down in the best rocking chair in the front parlor, and feed him on mince pie and roast turkey as long as he lives."


"Well, we drove Fitzhugh Lee back, captured his camp, and got a great many prisoners, a large proportion of whom were drunk. We found applejack by the bucketfuls all through the camp, but we were not allowed to touch a drop, though my arm hurt me terribly bad."


"Well, Mr. Corns, that was a ‘narrow escape.’"


"Narrow! Well, I should say so, and I sometimes have to feel up there to be sure my head ain’t split in two yet."
scrat is offline  
Old March 4, 2008, 09:30 PM   #280
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Rabbit Hunt

The following is a tale of a rabbit hunt by an artillery unit that went wrong.
Quote:
Remaind in camp. this camp is nine miles southwest of Fredericksburg and right in a clearing full of dry pine brush piles and rabbits. In attempting to smoke out a rabbit some of our boys set the clearing on fire, and the whole company had to turn out and fight the roaring flames in order to save our pieces and harness from the ravages of the devouring conflagration. After the fire was subdued we took an invoice of our stock to ascertain the damages sustained, and found that we had lost nothing but a few bridles and one or two horse collars.
Needless to say, in the effort to subdue the flames, all the wascally wabbits escaped.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old March 12, 2008, 10:04 PM   #281
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Buffalo hunt. Use a gun - all the time.

The following account is from an eyewitness. It's a rather slim book, but took me several nights to read as it had to be read aloud to be understood. The spelling is the author's and the editor choose to leave it as it was. He did insert in brackets some corrections so we can understand this account of a man almost killed by a buffalo.

Quote:
One of the men we had with us was a young Irishman who was constant contending and disputeing with the other young men that was from old Virginia about words and customs, etc. So some time that morning I shot a Buffelo bull and he fell down. We all went up to him. Some of the men had never seen one before this one. I soon Discovered I had shot this buffelo too high and I told some of the boys to shoot him again.

This young Irishman said, "No"; he would kill him and Jumed at him with his tomerhock and strikeing him in the forehead.

I told him it would not Do, he could not hurt him, the wool and mud and skin and skull was so thick it would not Do. But he kept up his licks, a nocking a way.

The buffelo Jumped up. The man run, the buffelo after him. It was opin woods, no bushes, and the way this young Irishman run was rather Desending ground and every Jump he cryed out, "O lard! O lard! O lard! O lard!"

The buffelo was close to his heels. The man Jumed behind a beech tree. The bufflo fell Down, his head againt the tree, the tuckeyho boys laughing, "Ha! Ha! Ha!"

One of them went up and shot the buffelo again and killed him. The Irishmain exclaimed againt them, saying this was no laughing Matter but that these boys or young [men] (he said) was such fools they would laugh at it if the buffelo had killed him.

The young men would Mimmick him, "O lard! O l[ard]!" etc. and breack out in big laughter.

This Irishman said he would go no further with such fools. He said he had nothing against me but he would not go with such fools as these boys weare.

When I saw he would go back, that I could not persuid [persuade] him to go further, I advised him to take a load of this buffelo meet as it was very fat and he was welcome to it, to which he agreed to it as we Did not need it. We took a little of of it and bid him a Due [adieu], leaveing him a buchering his buffelo.
A tuckeyho boy is an Eastern Virginian. I had to look that up in the endnotes to figure it out.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old March 23, 2008, 11:58 AM   #282
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
To catch a thief.

Here's how one victim outwitted his suspect.

Quote:
The story I am going to tell is of an old and inverterate joker, one whose name has appeared often in letters and in stories from the various camps, marches and bivouacs. In days gone by, it was a humorous, a droll, or a dry saying that hwas chronicled, and set the table in a roar. Roe, however, was transferred to a different branch of the profession. Formerly he was attached to Quartermaster Haverty's department. Then he was wagon-master. Afterwards he was Captain Martin's forage-master, not an unimportant position, when you consider the great quantity of forage consumed by the animals of the Brigade, its distribution to the various parties entitled to it on requisition and otherwise, and the keeping of the accounts connected with its receipt and distribution. The job becomes more troublesome when you are told that there are always following every army a number of individuals who have animals to which they are not entitled, and others who have more horseflesh than the law allows them. Well, all the animals somehow managed to exist-and I am bound to say, in many instances, by unauthorized requisitions on the quartermaster's department. For some time past, Captain Martin and Roe had been painfully conscious of raids upon the forage-tent. Measures were taken to entrap the thieves, but without effect. Roe remained up two nights in succession, the sentries were on the qui vive: in vain. In the morning more feed was missing. The rogue must be shrewed and wary, because not a single trace was left by which to track the purloiners. They almost gave up in despair, and nearly came to the conclusion that watching, vigiliance, care, were thrown away. No results, but still the quantities missing in the morning. The next night Roe turned in to take his natural rest. The large forage-tent was carefully tied up, but in dangerous propinquity to the entrance the careless forage-master kept a tempting bag of the choicest feed: it was within easy reach of the door. Our forage-master wrapped his blanket about him and was soon in a deep sleep. He awoke early in the morning, a little after day-dawn. He looked towards the door; the tempting bag of the choicest feed had disappeared. "I thought so," said the forage-master. He sprang down from his perch, folded up his blanket, went to the door, stooped down for a moment, as if to look for something, and said, "Aha, my cock, so I've caught you at last, have I?" From the door of the forage-tent to the door of another tent there was the feed, showing the course the bag had taken. Roe had inserted a knife in the bottom of the bag before leaving it so near the door the evening before. The thoughtless thief, in the middle of the night, was unconscious that, as he was carrying off his booty, he was laying a train for his own discovery."
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old March 29, 2008, 07:44 PM   #283
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
bayonet duel

At the siege of Petersburg, one bored private, Michael DeLacy, of the Irish 63rd New York challenged the rebs. "Say Johnnies? You are a low lived lot of spalpeens. You face the Yankees in the open and we'll knock the devil out of yees. We can lick yees every time." Insulted by DeLacy's incessant taunts, a temporary truce was arranged between the two sides. Men climbed out from their trenches and rifle pits to watch as each side's champion met with fixed bayonet in no-man's land. The plucky DeLacy would either be struck down as a braggart or emerge as a victor crowned with glory. The Confederate thrusted and DeLacy ducked. He riposted with a butt stroke which struck the Confederate's chin, knocking him to the ground. Planting his foot atop the hapless Confederate's chest, DeLacy stood menancing over him with his bayonet ready to plunge into his foeman. Having made his point, DeLacy lowered his bayonet and allowed the fallen man to rise. Men on both sides cheered as DeLacy returned to his side.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old May 8, 2008, 05:42 PM   #284
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Here's a tale from our frontier days.
Quote:
"It is releated of the original Mrs. Zellers that she superintended the construction of the house, whilst her husband was out on an expedition against the Indians, and that her laborers were colored slaves. It is said, also, of this same Christine Zellers that one day, whilst alone in the fort, she saw three prowling savages approaching and heading for the small hole in the cellar shown on the picture attached (note: no picture was in my book). She quickly descended the cellar steps and stationed herself at the window with an uplifted axe. Presently the head of the first Indian protruded through the hole, when she quickly brought down the weapon with an effective blow. Dragging the body in, she disguised her voice and in Indian language, beckoned his companions to follow, which they did and were all dispatched in like manner."
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old May 10, 2008, 08:43 AM   #285
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Tough frontier woman.

Quote:
Ann Hupp, upon hearing the shots that killed her husband and Jacob Miller, Sr., took charge of the defense of the blockhouse. She at once sent Frederick Miller, a boy aged eleven years, a son of Jacob Miller, Sr., to Rice's Fort for help. The Indians saw the boy, and fired upon him, wounding him in the arm. He was compelled to flee back to the blockhouse. Ann Hupp, inspiring the other women and old Mr. Ault with her sublime courage, ran from one port hole to another, pointing her rifle at the Indians, which gave them the impression that the place was defended by a large number of persons. Occasionally a shot was fired at the Indians as they showed themselves from behind the trees. Presently three men were seen coming from the direction of Rice's Fort. These men were Captain Jacob Miller, Jr., Philip Hupp and Jacob Rowe, aged sixteen, the last a brother of Ann Hupp. Ann Hupp shouted directions to them as to the safest way to approach the blockhouse. Making a dash, they entered the place unharmed. The occupants of the house now fired upon the Indians with spirit whenever one exposed himself to view. Towards evening, the Indians withdrew. The next day the bodies of Jacob Miller, Sr., and John Hupp, Sr., were buried near the blockhouse.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 2, 2008, 08:24 PM   #286
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Turkey, it's what for dinner tonight.

I've been reading some modern things (Lucinda Frank's My Father's Secret War which is a great read but I think there are some mistakes, some WW II aviation books) as well as Civil War material. The last two books didn't produce anything of interest but that's the price of research. It's a hit or miss proposition. Anyway, here's a little gem from a book that I'm currently reading.

Quote:
Captain Travis, who was the our quartermaster's sergant, tells me that while the regiment lay at this camp, he and a certain lieutenant procured shot-guns from a friendly farmer, and stated out early one morning in quest of birds for a game dinner. About a mile from camp they entered the woods at the foot of a mountain and began clambering up the sides. "Presently," says the captain, "we discovered, bobbing about on a plateau just ahead of us, an immense flock of wild turkeys, and creeping cautiously up, so that we could get good range, we blazed away both together, and as the flock raised we let them have the contents of our second barrels. Then we moved out and picked up six fine black fellows, and tying their feet together, we shouldered our guns, slung our birds over them, and hastened back to camp, as proud as cuffies. We knew Colonel Ellis was extremely fond of wild game, and concluded to select the largest pair and present them to him. On entering the Colonel's tent I found him busy writing, and without saying a word I laid the birds down beside him and walked quietly out; but before I was twenty feet away I heard him shout, 'Come back here!' On reentering the tent he looked first at me and then at the birds, and asked, "Travis, what ____ does this mean?' 'Well, Colonel,' said I, 'we had good luck this morning-captured half a dozen wild turkeys, and-' 'Wild turkeys! wild turkeys! Turkey-buzzards, you ____! Take away the carrion!' he shouted."
It's one case of looking the gift horse in the mouth.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 5, 2008, 11:28 AM   #287
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Mothers, don't let your daughters go out like this.

One Union regiment in Virginia had rounded up some civilian males as prisoners.

Quote:
We remained at Bolton that night and the following day, during which time quite a number of laides, hearing where we had halted, came to our camp with blankets and food for the men and boys we had brought along with us. One of these lady visitors was richly dressed, quite young, and decidely pretty. She brought something for a young man whom she blushingly said was her brother.

Lieutenant Chrissey, a fine looking, gay young officer, who had charge of the prisoners, seemed much affected by this southern beauty, and for half an hour after her arrival was very lavish of his attention to her; then he turned abruptly away, gave his entire attention to others, and from that time until she left camp hardly looking toward her again. Presently he was relieved from that particular duty, and came sauntering past where I sat leaning against a tree-from which position I had been amusing myself, by watching his deportment toward the prisoners and their callers - and I asked him the reason for his so suddenly leaving, in so unceremonious a manner, the charming young creature, whom I had judged from his actions he was at first very favorably impressed with. "Yes, yes," he replied, "she was petty - but - well to tell you the truth I was quite seriously smitten by her pretty face; and she was real intelligent too - but" Never mind your buts, I said; let us hear your story. "Well, I was just thinking that I ought to ask permission to escort her back to her home, for it seemed to me extremely dangerous and ungentlemanly to allow her to attempt a return unguarded; for our rough cavalrymen are, you know, scouting around throught he woods in every direction, and she lived several miles away. But I happened to catch a glimpse of her feet, which by the way, were encased in very small boots, but confound her, she hadn't half laced them; and the long ends of the strings were dangling and draggling in the mud. Pshaw! It was like finding a nasty hair in one's pudding."
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 5, 2008, 03:29 PM   #288
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
My man Friday

OK, this is not the story of a faithful sidekick. Rather, its an amusing response and excuse for skedaddling. This is told by a Union soldier at that ill fated battle at Fredericksburg (Dec. 1862).

Quote:
Company A's officers had with them a shining faced fellow named Jack Smith. Now, Jack was a rather proud and very logical chap, made the very best biscuits, said he seen some service, and claimed to have a large share of that admirable soldierly quality called bravery.

As we stood on the bridge just before the shelling commenced, I called Jack to me and asked for my canteen and haversack, for I mistrusted that if we should get into any trouble, Jack might not be on hand when I needed him; but the little fellow seemed so hurt by my apparent distrust, and protested so strongly, saying, "I'se bin in fights afore, and don't want to see captain toteing his own grub, and dis man loafin' 'long doin' noffin; s'pose you done get wounded, don't you' spec' me dar to took care of you? You needn't gone git afeerd I'se gwine to runn'd away from you; no sah, captain, I'll say wid you." So I left my haversack with Jack, taking only one of the three canteens he had strung about his shoulder. But the moment the shells began to fall, Jack disappeared; and as we about faced, I caught a glimpse of the little scamp just straightening himself up on the top of the bank, and the next instant he bounded off like a deer, the haversack and canteens seemed to stand right out behind him. It is needless to say I never tasted the contents of that haversack...
Well, the good captain marches off to battle where they are fortunate to be held in reserve. That's not so bad since they're not shot to pieces like everyone else who tried to storm Marye's Heights. The Union army is beaten and re-crossed the Rappahannock in defeat. We now learn what happened to fearless Jack.

Quote:
The third day after our return, I walked over to the regiment, and was standing in Company A's street, talking to one of the men, when I heard some one shout, "John, dah," and looking up saw coming toward me the little scamp who ran away with my haversack, from the bridge at the river. He had just arrived in camp, and was the most woe-begone rascal I had ever beheld. He eyes seemed sunk in his head. His skin had lost its lustre, and was several shades lighter than I had ever seen. His clothes were tattered and muddy-his corkless canteen hung spout downward, and his empty haversack the wrongside out.

The he stood, the tears trickling down his cheeks, so pitiable a sight that my own eyes involuntarily moistened; and yet, so extremely ludicrous, it seemed impossible to refrain from laughing. After a little, however, I got mastery of both face and feelings, and said to him, in what I intended to be a severe tone, "You worthless, cowardly little vagabond, what are you doing here, after running away with my food, when you promised so faithfully to remain with me? What have you to say for yourself before I drive you from camp? Quick! if you have any excuse out with it." "Yes sah; yes sah," said he, "I'se got a scuse." "Well then," I replied, "let us hear it." "Well sah - well sah - I - I - I'se afeared you'll boot me." "Boot you? Why, there is nothing left of you to boot. But come - come, let us hear your excuse." "Well, captain - I wasn't any more coward an you wah" - and then he boo-hooed louder than ever. That was a flanker I did not appreciate; for in the meantime quite a crowd had gathered about us, and among the number several officers from adjoining camps.

"Well, now, Jack," said I, and this time in real earnest, "if you don't give me some satisfactory explanation of that assertion, I will certainly punish you, and that severely. You ran away, didn't you, before the first shell had fairly reached the water?" "Yes, sah."

"Well, Jack, did I run away?" "No, sah." "Why, then, you rascal, dare you tell me, in presence of all these gentlemen, that I am as great a coward as you are?" "Well sah - well sah- you won't boot me?" "Not if you can explain away your lying accusation; but otherwise I certainly will."

"Well, now, captain, I runn'd away cause I didn't dar stay, and you staid cause you didn't dar runn'd away."
And that, gentle reader, is the story of My man Friday. Background investigations were not something done back in the 19th Century.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 7, 2008, 08:34 PM   #289
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Tuck in and a kiss

Well, not quite a tuck in and certainly not a kiss from one's loving parents. Here's a story of a lieutenant who had one drunk in his company.

Quote:
There was a lively whiskey row, as sometimes occurs after pay day, this afternoon, mostly in Company B. I had a little trouble with one of my men, who was just drunk enough to be impudent. It was nothing very serious and I got him into his tent and quieted down, saving him from the guard house and severe punishment. This same man, whose name is Gear, gave me quite a scare this evening. I was sitting alone in my tent, when someone scratched at the door, the camp way of knocking, and when I said, "Come in," saw it was Gear, who, when he entered, had his hand in the breast of his blouse, and as he withdrew it, I saw the butt of a pistol. For a moment I was startled, thinking he was going to shoot, and was just going to jump for him when he handed me the weapon, saying he didn't think he was a safe man to carry it. He also said he was sorry he was saucy to me, and thanked me for not turning him over to the guard. I gave him a little good advice and the matter is dropped, but he did scare me!
There is a Malvin Gear and an Albert E. Gear of Co. H, so I'm unsure which Gear was involved.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 7, 2008, 08:38 PM   #290
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Meet Col. Frank Wolford, 1st Kentucky Cavalry (Union)

Now here's a man we could follow.

Quote:
We later learned that Morgan with a thousand men had crossed the Cumberland River, and surprised and captured forty pickets of Colonel Wolford's cavalry, a regiment of loyal Kentuckians, and a most remarkable organization it was - very little of army discipline and drill, but mighty good fighters in their own irregular way, and they did good service. Their commander, Colonel Wolford, was a unique character. He did not bother himself about the phraseology of tactics, and furnished lots of fun for us by his way of giving orders, one of which became a sort of a byword. Instead of giving out the proper command, "Prepare to mount! Mount!" he would sing out, "Prepare to git on your critters. Git!"
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 7, 2008, 08:43 PM   #291
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Top heavy?

As many know, in 1863 the War Department became worried that many veteran soldiers' three years term of enlistment were about to expire and that the army would suddenly lose a large core of experienced men. To entice them to re-enlist for another three years, they appealed to their patriotism and offered re-enlistment bonuses of up to $400 plus any additional amount their state and local government may offer. Perhaps the most appealing thing was a thirty day furlough to anyone who re-enlisted. Those who re-enlisted were sent home.

In one company, it was pretty bad and a lot of men were transferred out. This reduced one company to one lieutenant and four privates. The lieutenant almost immediately promoted the most promising and intelligent man to sergeant. The regiment had a dress parade.

Quote:
We had a dress parade in the evening, the first for a long time, and when I marched out onto the line with a sergeant and one man, the other two being on guard, giving my orders in a loud voice as if I had a full company, there was a snicker along the whole line.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 8, 2008, 07:16 PM   #292
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Two different views of Union veteran soldiers in the Civil War period

First, the polite perspective from one soldier:
Quote:
[A] regiment of veterans appears to one uninitiated like a regiment of ragamuffins.
Now, for a less flattering view.
Quote:
[T]he older the regiment, the more bold and expert in petty larceny; and the older the regiment too, the more undisciplined and disorderly, and the less inclined to go into battle, or perform the duties of a soldier any way.
The truth is somewhere in-between and it depends on when and where. With respects to battle, you'll never read in a regimental history that "we dropped our guns and fled for our lives." It's always the other regiment on either our left or right that broke first, thus exposing our flanks and causing us to conduct an orderly retreat.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 9, 2008, 09:37 AM   #293
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
The Baker Man

Armed robbery by a Civil War soldier.

Quote:
Once we had a good laugh and something to eat, which happened in this way: A big native Pennsylvania dutchman came along with a big loaf of bread under his arm which several of the boys coveted and tried to beg, but it was no use begging. "Me sell him for a quarter" was all the english he could speak, so I made believe I was feeling for a quarter with my good arm, when I pulled out a little Smith & Wesson and told him to drop that loaf, and the way that fellow got over the fence (minus the loaf) and ran, would have done credit to the champion copperhead north, on his way to Canada.
This incident occured during the Gettysburg Campaign when a column of injured soldiers were marching from the battlefield to a hospital train in Hanover. As we know, Gettysburg was a hard won battle and the soldiers felt that besides defeating Lee's army (at last), that they saved Pennsylvania from the ravishing rebel hordes. In light of their accomplishments, it is likely that they thought the breadman was an ingrate.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old July 15, 2008, 07:22 PM   #294
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Have a nice trip! or Bring a flashlight.

Nightime searches for hiding Confederates were not uncommon. One southern belle whose husband was an engineer in the Southern service recalled one such search.

Quote:
Often & often have I gone over the house at night with them searching as they said "for Rebs." I early heard that the best way to get along with them was to put on a bold air, & tho often feeling as if exposure was certain, I never let them know. Oh how many of them used to sit in a large old fashioned cushioned chair, little thinking that underneath the cushion was grey cloth & other articles which w'd have caused them to turn us out, had they known it. They caused us to resort to many ingenious ways of eluding them & we were always ready with an answer, tho I assure you it was no easy matter to appear cool with 4 men with revolvers cocked & holding near your head, guarding you, & making you go with them & search the house, but I must tell you an amusing incident. Ours was an old fashioned house. You went into the Cellar from a passage & the door of which looked like a closet, & one night to my great satisfaction one of the men who were searching the house for a Southern soldier who they insisted we had concealed went to the door & called out, "I've got him Cap," gave it a push, & went headlong down the cellar. I asked him if we w'd not have a light, as they had been ordering me to bring a light in so many places at once. I told them when searching in Dixie they ought to remember lights were scarce & they ought to bring their own."
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old August 25, 2008, 08:42 PM   #295
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
A Southern soldier's letter to his sister

I've slowed down my reading a bit and while on vacation, took three WW II aviation books with me. Right now I'm reading Joe Glatthaar's, "General Lee's Army."

In invading Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg campaign, one Corn-fed artillerist described his observations to his sister: "We passed through some of the prettiest country that I ever saw in my life they has [some] of the finest land in the world and some of the ugliest women that I ever saw."

Another Confederate wrote, "Sister I will Give you a description of the Girls in pensylvania thay are all nothing but Dutch and Irish and the durty and Sturnest menest lookig Creaturs that I ever saw to Call them selves white Girls." He added, "them is the Girls that is writing to their husbands and Sweeheearts and brothers to fight on and restore the union."

Not to start a fight about which part of the nation has prettier women, but some Union soldiers had quite a number of comments about Southern women. I got this from Irving Bell Wiley's, Life of Billy Yank. For instance, "They look more like polls than any thing else," and another wrote, "The women here are shaped like a lath, nasty, slab-sided, long haired specimins of humanity. I would as soon kiss a dried codfish as one of them." Even worse was this comment, "sharp-nosed, tobacco-chewing, snuff-urbbing, flax-headed, hatchet-faced, yellow-eyed, sallow-skinned, cotton-dressed, flat-breasted, bare-headed, long-waisted, hump-shouldered, stoop-necked, big-footed, straddle-toed, sharp-shinned, thin-lipped, pale-faced, latern-jawed, silly-looking damsels."

More generous and perhaps more generous was, "Thar is Som durnde good looking girls in the Soth." Another impressed northerner said there were, "Squads of 'em (some confounded good looking ones, too) were on dress parade."

Lesson: beauty is in the eyes o' the beholder.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old August 31, 2008, 11:48 AM   #296
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
During the Siege of Vicksburg, some clever Yankees figured out how to dig their approach trench to the Confederate lines without being vulnerable to rifle fire. Traditionally, in digging your zig-zag approach trench, you made a huge wicker sap-roller and pushed that ahead of you. It would stop rifle bullets and you could dig in relative safety. To move it forward, you used levers to roll it and when it moved, it exposed fresh dirt for you to excavate. Instead of using a sap roller (they may not have had the materials or the levers to roll one forward may not be available), the Union soldiers got a rail car and loaded it with cotton bales. Pushing it forward slowly, it allowed them to dig their trench in perfect safety. The Confederates saw it approaching and unable to use their artillery (which was suppressed by Union marksmen), they felt hopeless and morale plummeted - until one Confederate came up with a solution.
Quote:
"The moveable breastwork in front of the entrenchments became a perfect annoyance, and various plans were proposed for its destruction, only to be declared unvailable. Some of the men actually proposed a raid on it, and set it on fire, a plan which would hve been the height of madness. Finally, a happy invention suggested itself to the mind of Lt. Washburn. He thought that if he could fill the cavity of the butt of the Enfield rifle balls with some inflammable material which would ignite by being fired from the rifle, the great desideratum would be obtained. Thus, procuring turpentine and cotton, he filled the ball with the latter, thoroughly satured with the former. A rifle was loaded, and, amid the utmost curiousity and interest, fired at the hated object.

The sharp report was followed by the glittering ball, as it sped from the breastworks straight to the dark mass of cotton-bales, like the rapid flight of a firefly. Another and another blazing missile was sent on the mission of the destruction, with apparently no satisfactory results, and the attempt was abandoned amid a great disappointment. The men, save those of guard, sought repose, and all the line became comparatively quiet.

Suddenly someone exclaimed, 'I'll be damned if that thing isn't on fire!' The whole regiment was soon stirring about, like a hive of disturbed bees. Sure enough, smoke was seen issuing from the dark mass. The inventive genius of Leiutenant Washburn had proved a complete success, and the fire, which had smouldered in the dense mass of cotton, was about bursting forth.

The men seized their rifles and five companies were immediately detailed to keep up a constant and rapid fire over the top and at each end of the blazing mass to prevent the enemy from extinguishing the flames. The discovered the destruction which threatened their shelter, and made impotent attempts to extinguish the fire with dirt and honor. But as the light increased, the least exposure of their persons made the unwary foe the target of a dozen rifles, hand-led by skillful marksmen.

The regiment was in darkness, while the blazing pile brought into bold outline every man of the enemy who thoughtless exposed himself within the radius of the light.

The rifles of the regiment sang a merry tune as the brave boys poured a constant shower of bullets above and around the great point of attraction, which was soon reduced to ashes and a mass of smouldering embers. How the men cheered and taunted the foe can better be imagined than described."
This is one of the "don't try this at home, kids" unless you're prepared to put out forest fires.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old September 1, 2008, 11:43 AM   #297
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Found this on another board. It's two amusing tales from the nitro-cellulose days

These stories are worthy of Rambling Anecdotes but are too modern to retell here. Click on this link for two wonderful Payback stories
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old September 10, 2008, 08:56 PM   #298
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Meet Capt. Robert Hanna. Like Col. Frank Wolford (see above), Capt. Hanna of the 72nd Indiana Infantry wasn't much for formality. The 72nd Indiana was part of Wilder's Mounted Infantry. Trained as infantry, most of them learned it was easier to ride a horse or mule than march twenty miles on foot. Being mounted gave them mobility equivalent to a cavalry unit. Additionally, unlike most infantry, they were armed with Spencer seven shot repeater lever action rifles. This gave them firepower that made them equal to twice their number. The combination of mobility and firepower arguably made them the most formidable brigade of any army in the Civil War. They are much lesser known than the Union's Iron Brigade (the famous one of midwesterners) or the Confederate Stonewall Brigade. This is because they fought in the Army of Ohio that became part of Sherman's Army. Capt. Hanna had served in the Fourth Division as General Joseph Reynold's (not to be mistaken for the famous I Corps commander John Reynolds who died leading the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg) provost guard. One member remember a drill conducted by Hanna at Cave City, Kentucky.

Quote:
"The captain wanted to bring us around on a right and left wheel, but unfortunately he forgot the command. Still he would not be bluffed and he yelled out for us to 'Swing around like a gate.'"
D*mn fine military bearing Capt. Hanna who was also fond of spirits. This in due time got him into trouble.

Quote:
As there was an abundance of apple-jack in the country, the Captain was soon to 'hail fellow, well met,' with all the leading citizens, and one day while in his balmiest mood, he traded his military vest with one of the largest citizens for a home-spun, home-made vest of dark material with red stripes running across the breast. It was a wonderful garment, reaching from the Captain's chin almost to his knees. The vest trade passed as a good joke until we got to Murfreesboro, and the Captain one day reported to Col. Wilder for duty. The eye of the doughty chief scanned the vest and blazed with indigination, and he roared, "Captain, how dare you come into my presence with that vest on! You know that is not regulation garment. Leave me at once and do it quick!" The Captain went away and remarked, "I don't believe that Wilder likes my vest a damned bit from a few remarks he made about it."
There's an account of Capt. Hanna in battle and he was up to the task. I picked up this information from Richard Baumgartner's Blue Lightning: Wilder's Mounted Infantry Brigade in the Battle of Chickamauga.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old September 19, 2008, 11:47 PM   #299
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
Hooker at Chancellorsville

It is generally accepted as fact that the Union army general in charge of the Army of the Potomac, Maj. Gen. Joe Hooker, was leaning against a post when it was struck by a cannonball. Hooker suffered a concussion and was dazed for hours. He refused to relinquish command and the Union army was paralyzed while Lee's smaller army was administering heavy blows. Well, one Union bugler disputes that assertion and here's what he said about Joe Hooker:
Quote:
As to the second excuse, the writer after the war became well acquainted with the bulger at Army Headquarters, and he ridiculed the idea that the solid shot had anything to dow ith Hooker's condition at any time. He said that the brandy bottle was the real reason for the fiasco. And, certainly the simple fact that a brandy bottle was frequently resorted to, is a more reasonable explanation of successive developments of the conduct and decisions of the commmander of the army than any other can be. From energetic activity, through the different grades of intoxication to final incapacity, is the age old and certain effect of too frequent resorts to the bottle. But those were the days of ignorance of the real character of alcoholic drinks. They were accounted good and necessary by the great majority of people, and were used freely as medicine, as a harmless stimulant under trying circumstances, as an innocent social indulgence and as a creator of "Dutch courage" in time of battle. It was not until the close of the war that a reazlization of the harmful effect of the use of intoxciants began to be felt.
This assertion has to be researched and can be refuted if eyewitness accounts of the cannonball could be found.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old September 21, 2008, 07:59 AM   #300
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,050
A question from Civil War Society (a yahoo group)

A question was raised as to the bayonet as a combat instrument during the Civil War. I've read numerous accounts, but never paid any attention to them as it was not my area of research. In Isaac Best's "History of the 121st New York State Infantry" he writes about Upton's May 10 attack on the Mule Shoe:
Quote:
"Lieut. Jas. W. Johnston, on mounting the parapet, had a bayonet thrust through one of his thighs when raising his sword to strike down the Confederate who had thrust the bayonet through hin. The Rebel begged for mercy, was spared, and sent to the rear a prisoner."
p127.

In another entry we find:
Quote:
"One of our officers in front of us jumped on the top log and shouted, 'Come on, men,' and pitched forward and disappeared, shot. I followed an instant after and the men swarmed upon, and over the works on each side of me. As I got on top of some Rebs jumped up from their side and began to run back. Some were lunging at our men with their bayonets and a few had their guns clubbed. Jim Johnston, Oaks and Hassett, were wounded by bayonets..."
p 130. Bayonets were apparently useful for things other than killing dogs or carrying hams.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.20557 seconds with 7 queries