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Old May 2, 2010, 03:26 PM   #357
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,338
This is from Gerald Earley's, I Belonged to the 116th: A Narrative of the 116th Ohio Volunteer Infantry During the Civil War, pages 31-32:

"Soon after the 116th arrived in Romney, a party of twenty-five guerrillas made away with a shipment of mail bound for the railroad. Carelessness on the part of the cavalry escort was blamed for the loss. The men were no doubt outraged to think their personal letters to their wives and sweethearts were in the hands of the enemy. The mail at best was lost; at worst it would serve as an amusement to the guerrillas.

"A few days later a soldier, from Company I, presented himself to headquarters with a plan to solve the mail theft problem. The soldier asked to be allowed to act as a scout to gather information about the whereabouts of the guerrillas. With his help, he told the officers, the army would have advance information about the guerrilla movements and thus be able to avoid another guerrilla attack on the mail. This seemed like a very brave offer considering the danger and the risk involved in his plan. An officer asked if he could deceive the enemy about his true identity in the event of his capture. The soldier considered briefly and then replied, "I guess I can. I have deceived everyone I have ever had anything to do with so far in life." Headquarters was convinced, and the solider was sent off on his "scouting mission." A few days later, the "scout" was found in a house near the picket line where he had all the while been "sparking" a girl. According to Colonel Wildes, "His authority to scout was revoked but his ability to "deceive" remained unquestioned ever aftewards."
I picked up my copy at Petersburg National Battlefield Park last week.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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