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Old May 21, 2007, 10:19 PM   #203
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,338
Be nice to your men

Here's a story of an overbearing officer and the men he chastised:

...While engaged in another artillery encounter, our detachment received a very peremptory and officious order from Major Shoemaker, commanding the artillery of the division. My friend and former messmate, W. G. Williamson,now a lieutenant of engineers, having no duty in that line to perform, had hunted us up, and, with his innate gallantry, was serving as a cannoneer at the gun. Offended at Shoemaker's insolent and ostentatious manner, we answered him as he deserved. Furious at such impudence and insubordination, he was almost ready to lop our heads off with his drawn sword, when Williamson informed him that he was a commissioned officer and would see him at the devil before he would submit to such uncalled-for interference.
'If you are a commissioned officer,' Shoemaker replied, 'why are you here, working at a gun?'
'Because I had not been assigned to other duty,' was Williamson's reply, 'and I chose to come back, for the time being, with my old battery.'
'Then I order you under arrest for your disrespect to a superior officer!' said Shoemaker.
The case was promptly reported to General Jackson, and Williamson was promptly released. The bombastic major had little idea that among the men he was so uselessly reprimanding was a son of General [Robert E.] Lee, as well as Lieutenant Williamson, who was a nephew of Gen. Dick Garnett, who was later killed in Pickett's charge at Gettysburg.
One time Lee's son was in a begrimed state when he saw his father and called out to him. The great general failed to recognize the common soldier who hailed him. Lee's son the pleaded, "Father, do you not recognize me?" Opps.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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