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Old April 2, 2006, 01:35 PM   #147
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,298
Look at the Injun!

North & South magazine is working on reducing an article of mine for their knapsack column. The article discusses the Black-Confederate sharpshooter and mentions the possibility of besmooted or grimy white soldiers being mistaken for blacks. Here's an incident of one white soldier being mistaken for an Indian:

"On the way we passed several Brigades of eastern troops who had sta[c]ked arms near the road in order to let us pass by. These boys, who had read a great deal about Indians, but never had seen any live ones, were much surprised and amused when my Comp[any]. passed by and they discovered the duskey fellows. Now it happened that I had a man in the Comp[any]. named Jim Walker who was of genuine English ancestry but who nevertheless could pass for a full blooded Injun. He wore a heavy mess of coalblack hair, had a towny, coppercolored skin and big, bulging eyes. Besides he was not a special friend of water, soap and comb which made the matter so much worse. When the boys discovered the Indians they began to yell: "Look! look at the Injuns look at this one! and this one with the calfs eye"! pointing to Jim Walker. That made Jim so mad that he fixed bajonet and threatened to stab the first man who dared call him an Injun. That of course made matters worse and poor Jim had to stand the consequences of mistaken Identity as well as he could. The afternoon as soon as we went in camp he went to the drummer Paine and had his hair cut short, and next he went to the Chickamauga river and rubbed his hide down to half its thickeness and sure enough, he looked all the better for it."
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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