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Old September 10, 2008, 08:56 PM   #298
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,342
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.

"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.

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!
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