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Old September 28, 2008, 10:41 AM   #301
4V50 Gary
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Well, I wrote Ranger Don Pfanz at Fredericksburg and asked him about that passage about Hooker at Chancellorsville.

Quote:
I'm inclined to be skeptical of the bugler. First, it not contemporary and if there are plenty of eye witness accounts of Hooker's injury, especially letters written after the battle or journal/diary entries, I'd put my money on those first. The bugler may have been a disgruntled individual who was disparaging Fighting Joe. BTW, I found the tidbit on page 83 of History of the 121st New York State Infantry by Issac Best.

Gary
Here's what Ranger Pfanz wrote back:

Quote:
Hi Gary,

This is an interesting account, but I don't put much credit in it for three
reasons:

1. I don't believe army commanders had their own buglers. What
would they have used them for?

2. Second-hand accounts from anonymous sources are usually wrong.

3. We have numerous accounts of Hooker's wounding plus several good
accounts by those who were close to Hooker, but not friendly towards him,
that insist that he did not drink during the battle.

Still, I appreciate you passing along this account.

Don
So, there we have it. A disgruntled man who wanted to disparage his old commander.
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Old September 29, 2008, 03:12 AM   #302
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Here's an anecdote I remember from the book "Yangtze River Patrol", about the U.S. Navy gunboats that patrolled the Chinese River.

In the 1920s one of the gunboats, Monocacy I believe, was making it's way upriver to a port city. As it neared the city it came under intermittent rifle fire from the banks. It wasn't particularly accurate fire, as there really weren't any Chinese marksmen to speak of, but it was galling even though nobody was hurt. It was observed the fire was coming from Chinese soldiers, not bandits.

Upon arriving at the city the boat's commander paid a visit to the large home of the general in charge of Chinese troops in the district to complain about the sniping.

The general explained the skipper shouldn't worry about it too much, as the soldiers were just young men in high spirits eager for adventure.

The skipper replied that he understood completely. As a matter of fact, he had some young men just like that on the ship. Just before leaving for the visit, he caught these young men aiming the 3-inch gun on the fantail at the general's large villa. And with a live round in the breech no less! The sailors explained that the house made too much of a tempting target to use for "aiminig practice".

The next time the boat visited that city, they were not fired on from the shore.
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Old September 29, 2008, 10:33 PM   #303
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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.

Quote:
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.
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Old October 2, 2008, 07:57 PM   #304
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Fortieth New York or the Mozart Regiment

Don't know them? Well, the book, "Eye of the Storm," made them famous. It is based on the writings of Robert Sneden and his watercolors depicting well known Civil War scenes. Sneden's talents as an artist were quickly recognized and he was transferred to the topographical service. He was captured and sent to Andersonville where, in a starving condition, he consented to serve the Confederates in a clerical capacity. This allowed him access to more food which he shared with his pards. His illustrations were used throughout the book and are very famous today. After modern publication, the owner of the paintings approached the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond) and offered them at a very reasonable price. He knew what he had and wasn't greedy (kudos to him). They bought it immediately. Anyway, you'll have to check out his book if you want to read more Sneden or see his fantastic artwork.

This anecdote doesn't concern Sneden and is about his regiment, the Fortieth New York Volunteer Infantry instead. Known as the Mozart regiment which is short for New York's Mozart Music Hall, they earned a good reputation as fighters and fought at Yorktown, Bull Run II, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and the siege of Petersburg. Even the official reports mentioned them not by their numerical designation but as the Mozart Regiment. Here's something most people don't know about them. It's written by the regimental historian and I share it with you now.

Quote:
"Although we were official known as the Fortieth Infantry, we retained the name 'Mozart Regiment' all through the war.... We were better known by that name in the army than by any other, unless, after the first year, it was that of 'The Forty Thieves.' This appelation was given us by other regiments which thereby credited us with greater foraging ability than they could themselves claim. Where other bodies of foragers would return with empty hands, the Mozart foragers always succeeded in finding valuable plunder. Chickens, pigs, sheep, hams, and bacon that had excaped the search of earlier seekers for spoils, became the easy prey of the Fortieth. Not only barns and sheds were invaded by the remorseless Mozarters, but habitations likewise. A Mozarter would find a hidden smokehouse which others had failed to discover, and so in pleasantry, and not in opprobrium, we received the sobriquet, 'Forty Thieves;' and as we marched along the dustry roads of Virginia, past halting regiments, they often saluted us where 'Here comes the Forty Thieves.' It often became necessary in the army to provide for ourselves, for there were many weary weeks when, to survive, it became necessary to steal. Not, however, in the sense of stealing as the thief wrongfully seizes the property of another and appropriates it for himself. We took whatever our hands could find to take, by the inexorable right that the exigencies of warfare have established among all nations. In his official report of the battle of Williamsburg, Gen. Keany spoke of us as the 'Fighting Fortieth,' and thus it appears that if we made a reputation for stealing, we also made one for fighting."
I wonder what Wolfgang Amadeus would have thought? Betcha he would have composed something for them.
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Old October 3, 2008, 06:48 PM   #305
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Biofuels drive up corn prices today, right? Well, something similar happened during the Civil War. Roswell Guards Capt. Tom Edward King was wounded in the ankle while teaching his Yankee counterparts the Bull Run Quick Step at Bull Run. He was hospitalized at Richmond and then returned to Roswell, Georgia to recuperate. Never one to be idle, he began writing Jeff Davis. Apparently some Confederates were more interested in their own economic welfare than that of the Confederacy and it infuriated Capt. Roswell. You see, some folks were disposed towards distilling the corn rather than consuming it as food. Picking up his pen, he wrote that the "gates of hell" were driving up the price of corn and causing a severe shortage. "Unless a stop is put to this criminal waste of the staff of life, it will soon be out of the power of the families of our volunteers to get any and there will be suffering." Capt. Roswell was not alone in his indignation and Georgia Gov. Joseph Brown was also concerned. Before Davis acted, Brown issued a proclamation on Feb. 28, 1862 prohibiting the distillation of spirits and to conserve corn for consumption.
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Old October 5, 2008, 02:45 PM   #306
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Curing alcoholism

This is an expensive method of curing alcoholism.

Quote:
Cicero Tippins was the overseer of the spinning room at the cotton mill in Sweetwater, Georgia. "Tippins was known to drink 'to excess,' but he was a superior spinner and Welch had retained him, knowing he would be difficult to replace. When Welch first arrived at the factory in 1861, there ha been a grocery store nearby and 'Tippins would occasionally go there and drink too much.' Not wanting to dismiss the skilled workman, Brumbly and Russell decided to take matters into their own hands and bought and closed the grocery. The rather extreme measure appeared to have worked. Henry Lovern claimed that Tippins 'reformed' after liquor became difficult to obtain, and he seldom drank."
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Old October 9, 2008, 10:43 PM   #307
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From the regimental history of the 40th New York, the Mozart Regiment

I mentioned them earlier. Here's another funny anecdote involving two Mozarters.

Quote:
"The new year found the Regiment well settled in comfortable winter quarters, and upon the return of Col. Riley from his brief furlough, drilling in battalion movements was resumed and continued every suitable day, but at this time an unexpected dilemma confronted Col. Riley, who was constantly entreated for furloughs. A perfect epidemic prevaded the regiment. Lieut. Col. Egan, Capt. Ingalls, Capt. Lindsey and many other officers had been granted 'leave of absence,' for short terms. And so the fever had spread until sergeants, corporals, and privates were attacked by the prevailing frenzy for a furlough. Col. Riley was beseiged by day and by night with importunities until he was teased and worried, if not irritated. In a few instances furloughs for two weeks were granted, which only made others more urgent. Almost every conceivable reason or excuse was given for requesting the indulgence, and in not a few cases, conditions at home were misrepresented to obtain the coveted permission to go there. The Colonel was generally able to detect deception, but in one case he encountered an expert imposter who told a pitiful fabrication about his sick wife in New York, who, he said, could not live, and that he should never see her again unless he could have a furlough. The Colonel told him he would consider the request and inform him in a few days. When three days had pased, Patrick again appeared at the Colonel's tent, with 'later news' from home, saying that he must come at once if he desired to see his wife alive. Believing that the man was prevaricating, Col. Riley determined to test him, and the following conversation ensued: -

'Your wife is very sick, is she?'
'Yes, Colonel.'
'You have a letter saying she is sick?'
'Yes, Colonel.'
'Well, I have a letter from your wife also. I wrote to her and she says she is well and does not want you to come home.'
Patrick smiled and said: -
"Did you write a letter to my wife, Colonel?
'Yes, I did, and she is not sick.'
'Did my wife write to you, Colonel?'
'Yes, she did, and what do you mean by coming to me with a lie about your sick wife? What have you to say for yourself?'
'Well, Colonel, all I have to say is that there's two of the biggest liars in the Mozart regiment that can be found in the whole Army of the Potomac.'
'Why, Patrick, how is that?'
'Well, Colonel, I'm not married at all. I am one of the biggest liars and you can guess who is the other one.'"
I'll be out of town for a week and won't be on line. Take care of yourselves.
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Old October 23, 2008, 05:28 PM   #308
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A tale from Fort Laramie

From Francis Parkman, the author of numerous books, we have this passage from his book, The Oregon Trail. Enjoy.

Quote:
"There was an old man named Pierre, whose duty it was to bring the meat from the storeroom for the men. Old Pierre, in the kindness of his heart, used to select the fattest and the best pieces for his companions. This did not long escape the keen-eyed bourgeois, who was greatly disturbed at such improvidence, and cast about for some means to stop it. At last he hit upon a plan that exactly suited him. At the side of the meat room, and separated from it by a clay partition, was another apartment, used for the storage of furs. It had no communication with the fort, except through a square hole in the partition; and of course it was perfectly dark. One evening the bourgeois, watching for a moment when no one observed him, dodged into the meat room, clambered through the hole, and ensconced himself among the furs and buffalo robes. Soon after, old Pierre came in with his latern, and, muttering to himself, began to pull over the bales of meat, and select the best pieces, as usual. But suddenly a hollow and sepulchral voice proceeded from the inner room: 'Pierre, Pierre! Let that fat meat alone. Take nothing but the lean.' Pierre dropped his lantern, and bolted out into the fort, screaming, in an agony of terror, that the devil was in the storeroom; but tripping on the threshold, he pitched over upon the gravel, and lay senselless, stunned by the fall. The Canadians ran out to the rescue. Some lifted the unlucky Pierre; and others, making an extempore crucifix of the two sticks, were proceeding to attack the devil in his stronghold, when the bourgeois, with a crestfallen countenance, appeared at the door. To add to his mortification, he was obliged to explain the whole strategem to Pierre, in order to bring him to his senses."
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Old October 26, 2008, 09:54 PM   #309
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Another anecdote from Francis Parkman

A lot of Parkman's observations seems familiar to many of we menfolk today. The husband's silence in face of his wife's anger. His ignoring of her ranting. His total disregard of her actions. Yep, many guys do that today too. However, I do not recommend anyone resort to the husband's method of disciplining his wife.

Quote:
We were entertained with an epidosde of Indian domestic life. A vicious-looking squaw, beside herself with rage, was berating her spouse, who, with a look of total unconcern, sat cross-legged in the middle of his lodge, smoking his pipe in silence. At length, maddened by his coolness, she made a rush at the lodge, seized the poles which supported it, and tugged at them, one after the other, till she brought down the whole structure, poles, hides, and all, clattering on his head, burying him in the wreck of his habitation. He pushed aside the hides with his hand, and presently his head emerged, like a turtle's from its shell. Still he sat smoking sedately as before, a wicked glitter in his eyes alone betraying the pent-up storm within. The squaw, scolding all the while, proceeded to saddle her horse, bestride him, and canter out of of the camp, intending, as it seemed, to return to her father's lodge, whereever it might be. The warrior, who had not deigned even to look at her, now cooly arose, disengaged himself from the ruins, tied a cord of hair by way of bridle around the jaw of his buffalo horse, broke a stout cudget, about four feet long, from the butt end of a lodge pole, mounted, and galloped majestically over the prairie to discipline his offending helpmeet.
Parkman did use helpmeet. I never seen that word before and think helpmate would be better for modern venacular.
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Old November 10, 2008, 09:08 PM   #310
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More military protocol

General Lee was known to the Lost Cause Confederates as the Marble Man. He had a very human touch that was seen by one soldier.

Quote:
"Soon after the battle of Cold Harbor, on the 3rd of June, 1864, I saw General Lee. He was riding slowly past our battalion, which had halted on the roadside. He was apparently in deep abstraction, his head slightly bowed, and eyes seeming not to range beyond his horse's mane. He himself was probably then in doubt as to the next move of his great antagonist. There was in the battalion a simple-witted fellow nicknamed Possum. This man planted himself in front of General Lee, and, looking up into his face, grinned and said, 'Howdy do, dad?' General Lee, roused from his reverie, looked up, and, in a kindly sad voice, answered, 'Howdy do, my man?' and rode on."
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Old November 10, 2008, 09:25 PM   #311
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Quote:
General Lee was known to the Lost Cause Confederates as the Marble Man. He had a very human touch that was seen by one soldier.
The last line of your exerpt says it all in a nutshell. Something so little said between two soldiers goes well beyond what a long narrative from a well known author could explain...
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Old November 10, 2008, 09:37 PM   #312
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Punishment for not being married

In the Spring of '64 and before the Wilderness Campaign, furloughs were granted in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
Quote:
"During this period, furloughs were given to several classes of soldiers. To capture a deserter, to obtain a new recruit, or to get marrried, entitled the fortunate Johnnie Reb to a two-weeks' furlough. One of our boys (John Glenn) went to Richmond to get married, and came back singularly wretched. In fact, Captain Parker put him on 'double duty' for coming back single."
The author was wrong about furloughs for going after deserters. Men sent after deserters were "detailed" or "detached" from regular duty and sent to recover the deserter. There are numerous cases that I've read in the National Archives of the Confederates doing this. BTW, the clip above and the "Howdy do, dad" came from the highly respected and retired National Park Service Ranger Robert Krick's newest book, "Where Men Only Dare to Go or the Story of a Boy Company, C.S.A." It's published by LSU and I got mine autographed by Krick when I saw him recently.
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Old November 29, 2008, 01:12 AM   #313
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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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Old December 2, 2008, 10:57 PM   #314
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Don't spit or d*mn the muzzle control.

"While at Winchester, W. Virginia, in the summer of 1862, Coporal John Morris, of Company D was placed in command of the squad who fired the morning and evening gun from the large fort. The women of the town especially were very bitter in their hostility towards the Union soldiers. Exhibitions of this hostility were manifested in their attempts to spit upon the soldiers from the windows of the houses, or when passing them on the streets. Corporal Morris noticing this, fired a solid shot through the town, which, in its travels, passed entirely through a brick house, tearing to pieces a bedstead which had been but a few minutes before vacated by its occupants of the night before."

He must have been one angry fellow.
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Old December 3, 2008, 08:40 PM   #315
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Onions don't mask it.

More tales of soljers being naughty.

Quote:
"The boys were early risers and generally had all the town cows milked before daylight; the owners of the cows, however, did not appreciate this kindness, and made many complaints to the officers. Orders to discontinue the diary business were issued, but the boys realizing that catching comes before hanging, took chances on being caught, and continued to levy tribute on the bovine udder. Occasionally some one captured something stronger than milk, which gave the officers considerable trouble. One day two men who had been sampling a choice brand of applejack were sent for by the captain. Surmising the object of the captain's desire to see them, they each ate an onion, and reported at the captain's quarters. When questioned as to whether they had been drinking, they tried to evade the issue, but being pressed for a direct answer, they put up a plea of not guilty. Stepping up to one of them, the captain said, 'Let me smell your breath;' and claimed: 'Yes, you've been crunching onions, but you don't fool me.' The boys took their punishment without complaint and waiting for an opportunity to be revenged-on the applejack."
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Old December 4, 2008, 08:41 PM   #316
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True capitalists

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Released from Harper's Ferry as prisoners of war, we were sent to Camp Douglas near Chicago. Here a misunderstanding occurred between Company G and the post sutler. A member of the company, John Reddick, I believe, was in the store buying a blouse. There were two kinds-a short one of poor quality and high price, and a longer one of tolerable quality and much higher price. Reddick choose the better garment and paid for it, when the salesman proceeded to wrap up the shorter, worthless article. When the clerk's attention was called to the fact, he said: 'It's the one you bought.' 'No, sir,' retored the soldier, 'I bought and paid for the longer one.' 'You're a liar,' hissed the clerk. Reddick reached for him and the matinee began, everyone present playing a prominent part. The place was soon full of Company G boys, whose quarters were near by, and was cleaned out in less time than it takes to tell it. The sutler and his clerks escaped through the back windows and fled for safety. In the afternoon the sutler came back to look for a place to put in another stock of goods, and finding the building still there concluded to contnue the business at the old stand. The boys, arrayed in their new store clothes, went over to see him, expressed their sympathy for him, and praised his pluck, and two young innocents lugged in his ice chest and offered it to him cheaper than he could buy a new one, and he paid them their price - five dollars - for it.
What a happy ending.
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Old December 13, 2008, 02:30 PM   #317
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No musical talent?

Can't read a note, hammer on a drum, saw a violin, whistle or even hum a tune? Don't worry, I'll share a secret on how to be a musician. It's very easy. Read the following instructional anecdote.

Quote:
One of the best jokes that took place in camp occurred at the guard-house, and the hero of it was a private in company I, named Wesley Peake. Upon one occasion he had indulged too freely in bad whisky, and was sent to the guard-house for punishment. He was sentenced to walk post wiht a placard on his back containing the word "Drunk" in large letters. While thus expiating his offence, a woman came in at the gate and was struck with the letters on his back. She stopped to look at them, and trie dhard to make them out, but not being very well versed in English, she found herself at fault. She spelled the word as far as the letter "u," but could get no farther, and, after repeating it several times, she was about to give up the task in despair. Peake overheard her trying to deciper the rude, and not complimentary, inscription on his back, and resolved to help her out to his own advantage. He said to her, "Madam, the letters are d-r-u-m, and they spell drum. - I'm the drum-major of the regiment." Not be particularly well versed in military matters she accepted his explanation, and turned away entirely satisfied.
I hope to catch one of you on TV leading the Boston Pops.
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Old December 20, 2008, 12:42 PM   #318
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Nice to meet you

Jones meets Jones

Quote:
General William E. Jones once caught one of his soldiers up a cherry tere, and ordered him down. "Not yet," said the fellow; "I have not got enough; be down presently." "Come down, I say, at once, sir; I am General Jones." "General, I am glad to meet you; come up, plenty for both, my name is Jones, too." The fellow had not recognized Jones, who looked more like a tramp on horseback than a general.
Post war prison incident
Quote:
"After Lee and Johnson surrendered, the prisoners confined in various Norhtern prisons were deeply concerned to ascertain what disposition would be made of them by the Federal government. This important question daily agitated their minds, and was the general topic of prison conversations. Many of the theories and rumors were abroad among them. Peter Akers, a bright, witty, and mischievous fellow, a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware, perpetrated the following joke at the expense of cavalry prisoners. He, one evening, walked into barracks, waving a newspaper, saying, 'Boys, it is all settled. The government has determind our fate.' The prisoners crowded around Pete, who mounted a cracker box and began to read:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, D.C., May 25, 1865.

General Order, No. 4320:

"The following dispositions will be made of the prisoners of war now confined in the various prisons of the United States, to-wit: Those who served in the Rebel Infantry will be formed into two lines at the respective prisons and every tenth man will be shot to death; the remainder will be transported to the Dry Tortugas. All prisoners who served in the Rebel artillery will be deported without decimation. Whereas, this Department has received no information tending to prove that those prisoners of war who served in the Rebel cavalry, took an active part in the war against the government, or rendered any aid or comfort to the States in rebellion, it is therefore hereby ordered that they be furnished transportation to their respective homes."


When the cavalry prisoners present saw the point, Pete had to seek safety in flight.
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Old February 11, 2009, 01:06 AM   #319
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Chupacabra or UFO?

From a letter from James P. Peck to his Uncle and Aunt Snidow. Peck is thought to be James Polk Peck who died at Gaines Mill on June 3, 1864. He may be the James P. Peck who served in the 23rd Virginia Battalion.

Quote:
Quote:
Camp Fort Spring
Greenbrier Co., Va. September the 18th, 1863

Dear Uncle and Aunt Snidow,

I this evening seat myself to write you a letter for the first one since I have been on service but you must excuse me this time and I will try and write oftener. I am well at present and hope this may find you in good health.

There was something mysterious seen near Lewisburg and at different places in the County. I will give you the particulars. One Tuesday the 1st of this month Mr. Dwyer, A Gentleman residing near the Kanawha turnpike happened to be at a neighbors (Mr. Piercy's) sitting on the porch with Mr. Piercy's family when one of them called his attention to a body of mysterious rectangular objects moving vertically through the air just above the trees in the Sugar Orchard. These objects were apparently Eight feet long, two and a half in width and one inch thick. They were tinged white a little with green. They moved directly North in a column of about fifty yards wide with the order and regularity of Soldiers. The rear was nearer the ground than the front and consequently had to pass through the Orchard. In emerging from the trees they resumed their original order and so remained until out of sight.

Immediately following but a little further West was seen a vast army of men dressed in white and moving in quick time and in as good order as Soldiers on dressparade. After passing any obstacle they would resume their places in ranks. Thus passed the entire column occupying more than an hour and presenting a scene of awful grandeur and sublimity to those who beheld it. Whether this be a dream, an optical delusion, or means used by Omnipotence to fore shadow events and to strengthen his suffering people, I will not endeavor to determine. I will state however, that those who know the parties well, give them Credit for candor, intelligence, and veracity.

I will now bring my letters to a close. Aunt, I am much obliged to you and Lewis for the cheese and sugar. So nothing more but remain with respect,

You obedient nephew,

James P. Peck.

P.S. Give my respects to all my relations and friends. James P.


So, what are your thoughts? I initially thought of kites and I've seen those dragon kites the Chinese are famous for, but for a formation of flying objects to break up and resume order requires some skill and if it through an orchard, risks have the lines ensared or the handlers being seen. I dunno.

As for the phantom army, I dunno.

I found this gem on page 158 of Jane Echols Johnston and Brenda Lynn Williams' book, Hard Times 1861-1865, Vol. 1, (1986).
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Old May 13, 2009, 08:04 AM   #320
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OK, Tuttle8 prodded me about not posting recently. On that same day, a box of five books arrived. University of Tennessee has a book sale and I dropped over $100 to buy five books. I was glancing through one this morning and share this tidbit from Two Germans in the Civil War: The Diary of John Daeuble and the Letters of Gottfried Rentschler, 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. Edited and Translated by Joseph R. Reinhart. Here it is:

Quote:
Here I praise the little Swabian organ-builder's help Pfeffer, whose feet had the problem that they sweated very much and gave off a very unedifying odor. One pretty summer day, a village schoolmaster who did not know this, and who was a big lover of Limburger cheese, happened to sit next to the ogran-builder's helper, Pfeffer, in the inn. He smelled something strong and, after our schoolmaster had taken a few good sniffs, he asked, with a sense of well-being, "Mr. Pfeffer have you eaten cheese?" "No." said Pfeffer. "Mr. Schoolmaster, my feet stink."
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Old May 17, 2009, 05:41 PM   #321
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A continuation of the previous cheese story

Quote:
Apropos!--Because I speak of Limburger cheese, a little mishap that happened to our brigade's music-band director some weeks ago occurs to me. He traveled in the company of a companion on a boat from here to Bridgeport and grew tired from standing. He sat on an object wihout looking at it closely beforehand; while his companion, with a travelling bag in his hand, remain standing next to him. The director sniffed several times, one right after the other, and asked his acquaintence: "Where do you have your Limburger cheese?" He looked up, surprised, because Limburger cheese had not been avilable in his region for a long time; and asked where the cheese is supposed to be. The director said his nose told him that he must have a brick of cheese in his travel bag. The acquaintance quickly got an idea. Mr.... you are sitting on a stand bearing a corpse! The director jumped up frightened. The address on the box told him that it had contained a dead Rebel for eight days. They you can see how everthing is pure deception. One cannot trust his own nose."
I'll share another anecdote, non-cheese or corpse related, later.
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Old May 17, 2009, 09:02 PM   #322
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Aaaahhhh. I "got" my fix....until next time.
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Old May 18, 2009, 09:46 AM   #323
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Quote:
So, what are your thoughts? I initially thought of kites and I've seen those dragon kites the Chinese are famous for, but for a formation of flying objects to break up and resume order requires some skill and if it through an orchard, risks have the lines ensared or the handlers being seen. I dunno.
Weather balloons.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:13 PM   #324
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The good wife (or as they say in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "Run Away!"

Quote:
In Washington, there is dispute; some want peace. However, the peace advocates are getting the worse of it; which reminds me of a little tragic-comic family story. For the peace advocates it has gone almost as with the pastor of Feverbach, and how it went with him I will only explain in passing. The story is a bit old because it came from the year 1850. The pastor was the cousin of the schoolmaster whose wife was a "hellcat," and had more hair on her tongue than many Newfoundlanders had on their pelts. She usually began to thunder lightly in the morning, she flashed lightning at noon and continued in the evening. There were, however, no "cold bolts." They were hot. Fistificuffs. On one unfortunate day there was a bad storm in the morning before cofee and Mr. Schoolmaster recevied his coffee roll on the cheek. That was just too much for the patient man, and "what is too terrible, is too terrible," and he went to his cousin, the pastor, and complained to him of his bitter plight. The pastor took off his sleeping gown and put on a large black "Gottfried (clerical garb)." He buttoned the white collar, so that he would make a right venerable impression on the wife; and went with the schoolmaster "in order to bring about peace," as he said. He went into the schoolhouse and heard his cousin's wife so terribly busy in the kitchen that his heart began to pound; and he timidly opened the kitchen door, stuck in there his otherwise wine-red face, that had by now become totally white like the Schoolmaster's, and began with a moving voice: "Frau ___ ____ ___."; Frau cousin's wife, he wanted to say. Hardly had the cousin's wife heard the word "wife," when she flew to the kitchen door like lightning, and mistaking the venerable cousin for her husband, angrily hit him around his face with a dripping wet kitchen rage, one time right, one time left, then right again, and again left, with shocking quickness, so that to the venerable pastor everything was green and brown before his eyes, and he barely could see the remorseful look of the repentant wife of his cousin when she realized her tragic error. The pastor has told this story to me many times and assured me from that since that time he has only acted as the peacemaker in the pulpit."
Single men, remember that marriage is like a fortress besieged. There are those fighting to get in; and those fighting to get out. You may want to consider about how hard you're going to fight.

This passage, like the two stinky cheese passages that preceded it, are from Two Germans in the Civil War. Get it at your local library, inter-library loan or the Univ. of TN online bookstore like I did.
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Old June 5, 2009, 05:38 PM   #325
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Get down!

Modernly, his nickname would either be Shorty or Too Tall.

Quote:
"Some raise the right hand and some the left. The officers look around and correct mistakes. Near the middle of the line and intensely red head shows nigh a foot above the line of other heads on either side, and a red-bearded face looks calmly over the head of the officer, whose station is directly in his front.

'Steady!' commands the Regular Army officer, running his eye sharply along the wavering, ill-dressed line.

'Get down!' he says, as his eye reaches the red head that overtops its neighbors. The red face turns one way and the other in wondering search of what has awakened the officer's displeasure. All the other faces in line turn also.

'You man in the Fifth Company there, with the red beard, get down off that stump!'

A titter runs along the line. Everyone knows what has happened. A shout goes up from the spectators. Some of the officers laugh. The Colonel steps forward and says something in an undertone to the mustering officer. The officer looks foolish There red-bearded face ducks a few inches nearer the line of heads about it. The face is redder than ever. It was not (6'9") Jerry Whetstone's fault that his comrades only came up to his shoulder. Yet, many thousand times on the march and in the camp - before he marches up the Avenue, in grand review, with his unerring rifle all out of line with the pieces of the little squad which are all that remains of the company - will the great, good-natured giant be exhorted to 'Get off that stump!' And not once will the injunction fail to raise a laugh, no matter how weary those may be who hear it."
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