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Old March 6, 2018, 05:36 PM   #451
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Excerpt from Campaigns of the 20th Iowa Infantry by J. D. Barnes

Bought the book directly from Camp Pope Publishing in Iowa City, Iowa. Author J. D. Barnes wrote a post-war series of articles published in the Post Byron Globe, a family oriented newspaper that is now out of print and was printed in Port Byron, Ill. Over a century later Barnes' articles were compiled by M. Lawrence Shannon, great-grandson of John Shannon, who served alongside with Barnes in the 20th Iowa. Barnes tells of his Civil War meeting Wild Bill Hickock in Springfield, Missouri.

Quote:
"One afternoon while taking a stroll around Springfield, my attention was attracted to an almost constant string of rough looking men and soldiers entering and coming from a low frame building situated in the most business part of town. On entering, my gaze was instantly rooted on a brawny-looking man with long hair and shapely hands playing at cards and at the same time relating some hair-breadth escapes from the 'Reb' army, as he called it,
while he was a scout for Gen. Curtis during the Pea Ridge Campaign. He seemed to be the centre of attention and proved to be William Hickok, the afterwards famous Wild Bill. After he had finished his story a bystander questioned him in regard to the McCandlas fight. " I don't like to talk about the McCandlas affair," said Bill in answer to his question. "It always sends a queer feeling over me when I think of it, and sometimes I dream about it and wake up in a cold sweat.

"You see this McCandlas was the captain of a gang of desperadoes who were the terror of everybody on the border and kept us in hot water whenever they were around. I knew them all in the mountains, where they pretended to be trapping; but they were only hiding from the hangman. McCandlas was the worst scoundrel and bully of them all and was always blowing of what he could do. One day I beat him shooting at a mark and then threw him at the back hold; and I did not let him down as easy as you would a baby, you bet. Well, he got fight'n mad over it and swore he would have revenge on me some day. This was just before the war broke out and we were already taking sides either for the South or for the Union. McCandlas and his gang were border ruffians during the Kansas troubles, and of course they went with the Rebs. He soon left the mountains and I had almost forgotten him; but it appears he did not forget me.

"It was a year ago last spring, when I guided a detachment of cavalry who were coming in from Camp Floyd, when one afternoon, while we were in Nebraska, I went to the cabin of Mrs. Waltman, an old friend of mine. The moment she saw me she turned as white as a sheet and screamed, 'Oh, my God! They will kill you! Run, run!' 'Who will kill me,' said I; 'there is two who can play at that game. 'It is McCandlas and his gang; there is ten of them; they have just gone down to the corn-rack. McCandlas knows you are bringing in that party of Yankee cavalry and he swears he will kill you.
Run, Bill, run.' But it is too late, for I see them coming up the lane.

"While she was talking I remembered I had but one revolver and one load was gone out of that. On the table was a horn of powder and some little bars of lead. I poured some powder into the empty chamber and rammed the lead after it, and I had just capped the pistol when I heard McCandlas shout. 'There is that Yankee Bill's horse. He is in there and we will skin him alive.' If I had thought of running before it was too late now. The house was my best hold - a sort of fortress, you see; though I never expected to leave that room alive, for the McCandlas gang, all of them, were reckless, bloodthirsty villains who would fight as long as they had strength to pull a trigger.
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Old March 6, 2018, 05:55 PM   #452
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Continued from the previous post

Quote:
"Surround the house and give him no quarter!' yelled McCadlas. When I heard that I felt as quiet and cool as if going to church. I looked around the room and saw a rifle hanging over the bed. 'Is that loaded?' said I to Mrs. Waltman. 'Yes' she answered in a whisper, for the poor thing was so frightened she could scarcely speak above a whisper. I leaped upon the bed and caught it from the hooks, although my eyes did not leave the door. Just then McCandlas looked in at the door, but fell back when he saw me with the rifle in my hands. 'Come in here, you cowardly dog,' I shouted; come in here and fight me! McCandlas was no coward if he was bully ; for he rushed into the room with his gun leveled to shoot, but he was not quick enough. My rifle ball went through his heart and he fell back outside the house, where he was found the next day holding tight to his rifle.

"His demise was followed by a yell from his gang and there was a dead silence. I put down the rifle and took the revolver and I said to myself, 'Only six shots, and nine men to kill. Save your powder Bill, for the grim monster is looking hard at you.' There was a few seconds of that awful stillness, and then the ruffians closed in on me from both doors. How wild they looked with their red, bloated faces and inflamed, drunken eyes, shouting and cursing. but I never aimed more deliberately in my life. One-two-three-four; and four men sank to the floor dead. Bt that did not stop the rest. two of them fired their bird guns at me. And then I felt a sort of sting' sensation run over me. The room was full of smoke. Two of them closed in on me. One I knocked down with my fist. 'You are out of the way for a while,' I thought. The second I shot dead. The other three clutched me and crowed me onto the bed. I fought hard. I broke with my hand one man's arm. He had his fingers around my throat. Before I could regain my feet I was struck across the breast with the stock of a rifle, and I felt the blood running from my nose and mouth.

Then I got ugly, and I remember that I got hold of a knife, and then it was all cloudly like, and I was wild, (it was at this fight that he gained the world 'wild' to his name) and I struck savage blows, following the devils up from one side to the other of the room and into the corners, until I knew that every one of them was dead. All of a sudden it seemed as if my heart were on fire. I was bleeding everywhere. I rushed out to the well and drank from the bucket, and then tumbled down in a faint."

"You must have been very badly hurt," remarked a bystander.

"Yes; There were eleven buckshot in my body. I carry some of them now. I was cut in thirteen places, all of them bad enough to have let out the life of a man, but that good old Dr. Mills pulled me safely through it, after a bad siege of many a long week."
Disclaimer: I've never read a book about Wild Bill and cannot attest to the veracity of this incident. It is from the black powder era and I thought it would be interest to members and nonmembers alike.
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Old March 8, 2018, 05:18 PM   #453
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Thanks for posting Gary! Very interesting.
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Old March 20, 2018, 06:27 PM   #454
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From Pvt. John Robert Shaw of the 33rd Regiment, then serving in America during the American Revolution.

There was a certain Bill Airton, a butcher, who was a mess mate of mine, and had often endeavored to provoke me to a fight; but as I always considered him a stouter man than myself, and being besides unacquainted with the art of boxing (as it is called) I had constantly declined his invitations, and endeavored to keep clear of all private quarrels.

It happened, however, one day, when myself and several of my companions made a fire before our wigwam, that Mr. Airton, who had been absent while the fuel was gathering, came up to the fire, and in a very abrupt manner says to me, "Shaw, d--n you stand back, you have no right here, d--n you, stand back." Giving me at the same time such a blow to the eye as made my head sing psalms for some time.

The sergeant then coming up, and, understanding the circumstances, says, "Shaw, you must fight and whip him or else I will whip you." So we buckled to it in our buff; and having a good second helped the cause very much on my side; for a good officer makes a good soldier. Inspired with confidence through the encouragement of the sergeant, I soon gave Mr. Airton an Irishman's coat of arms, i.e., two black eyes and a bloody nose, which made him a good friend ever after.

Poor John and the butcher then stript to their buffs,
Fell to work and engaged in what's called fisticuffs;
And so the big butcher that would be a brawling
And picking a quarrel, at last got a mauling.


See pages 35-36 of Don Haigst British Soldiers American Revolution.
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Old March 31, 2018, 10:52 AM   #455
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From Page 8 of Missouri in 1861: The Civil War Letters of Franc B. Wilkie, Newspaper Correspondent. Wilike accompanied the First Iowa Volunteer Infantry from its inception to Battle of Wilson Creek and its deactivation after its one year term of service expired. This is one of those don't try this at home kids.

Quote:
A huge owl sat upon the dead limb o a tree on the shore and hooted mournfully at the crowd. A gentleman of the Greys, sometimes called Barney G____, drew a revolver, shut both eyes, took good aim at a solitary bird, and fired, and the next instant his owlship splashed heavily into the water below. The distance was over a hundred yards, and thus in five minutes a trivial circumstance had turned the whole crowd from melancholy to animation.

And thus, alas! Wives, Babies, and Sweethearts, were you turned 'bag and baggage' out of our thoughts be it a gentleman shooting an owl at a hundred eyes with both eyes shut.
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Old March 31, 2018, 01:20 PM   #456
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This is the greatest thread ever. Thanks Gary.
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I can understand your anger at me, but what could you possibly have against the horse I rode in on?
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Old April 2, 2018, 04:58 PM   #457
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Butt stroke!

From page 2 of the July 17 edition of the Charleston Courier:

Quote:
Singular Account

A German named Andrew Daum, and an Irishman, both residing in Summonville, Ind., got into a dispute the other night, when the Irishman fired at Daum with a revolver, but failed to hit him. The other took a gun and struck his adversary with the butt end of it, and the force of the blow discharged the piece, which was loaded, the whole charge entering Daum's left breast, killing him instantly. - Columbia Statesman.
This is why you don't butt stroke people if you have a round in the chamber and as always, Rule #1 rules: Never point a firearm at anything you are unwilling to destroy. Muzzle control always.
http://digital.shsmo.org/cdm/compoun...c/id/766/rec/3
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Old April 4, 2018, 05:10 PM   #458
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Hurricaine: The Last Witnesses

Hurricaine: The Last Witnesses, Hurricane Pilots Tells the Story of the Fighter than Won the Battle of Britain by Brian Milton. Great book covering Sydney Camm's fighter that was responsible for shooting down more aircraft than the Spitfire during that epic battle. John Ellacombe tells of his stay at a hospital (page 112):


"I went into the hospital after bailing out of my burning Hurricane and when I was recovering in a ward, there was another chap there. I was delighted to find that it was Frank Czajkowski, the Polish pilot who had gone down in the first sortie.

He said, "John they've taken all the mirrors out of the room but I've got a little mirror here. Look at your face, it looks very funny."

They had sprayed tannic acid that forms a great big scab. The doctor and the nurse were furious with me, that Frank had done that. But he was a great character, and had been wounded in the leg and in the shoulder. He used to go off in his wheelchair and he came back one day and said, "John , there's a German ward about three wards away and they've got a lot of German airmen in there. One of them was from the Heinkel you shot down on 24 August. I've been talking to them.

Then the young doctor came in and he said, "Look, I speak fluent German. Keep Czajkowski out of my ward. He' telling them we're going to get them better and then interrogate them and shoot them - and they're not getting better."

So Frank was not allowed to go in there any more."
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Old April 14, 2018, 11:16 PM   #459
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Been reading this thread for years. Always enjoy the updates.
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Old May 8, 2018, 08:49 AM   #460
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Hey! Will you take a line?

FDR was secreted away on the cruiser Augusta to Argentia where he would meet for a few days with Prime Minister Winston Churchill. At Argentia was the British Battleship Prince of Wales.

"President Roosevelt was transported from the Augusta to the Prince of Wales in U. S. destroyer McDougal, whose bow was level with the Augusta's main deck and the British battleship's stern. It was a ticklish performance. When the destroyer made a Chinese landing (bow to stern) on the Prince, the British crew was drawn up at attention along the rail, Mr. Churchill alone being on the fantail to receive the President. A chief boatswain's mate of McDougal hailed the Premier with "Hey! Will you take a line?" Mr. Churchill replied, "Certainly" and not only caught the line but hauled it most of the way in before British tars came to his assistant."

The boatswain's mate was truly American and Churchill humble enough to oblige him.[img]/images/smilies/smiley_abused.gif[/img] Incident is from the footnote on page 70 of Samuel Eliot Morrison's The History United States Naval Operations in World War II: The Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1943. Vol 1.
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Old May 18, 2018, 01:13 PM   #461
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From the Camden Confederate, April 25, 1862

Quote:
The Northern Papers say that among the prizes captured by the Federal Soldiers at Fort Donelson, was a rifle said to be worth one thousand dollars. Its breech is said to be inlaid with the finest gold. It belonged to a hotel keeper in Memphis, and was won by him at a horse race.
https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/l...5/ed-1/seq-1/#
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Old July 1, 2018, 10:53 PM   #462
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Yankee Samurai by Joseph Harrington

It's about the Nisei and other Japanese Americans who served as interpreters, military language specialists in the Pacific during WW II. The following incident happened on Okinawa:

Quote:
Toshimi Yamada, who had the nickname "Kuu Ipo," found his buttocks creased by a bullet accidentally dischraged from the carbine of another Nisei, Tommy Hamada, while Hamada was cleaning it. Toshimi had the wound cauterized and bandaged at the first aide tent, then demanded a Purple Heart recommendation for it.

"No dice," said the doctor-major. "Wounds have to be a result of a Japanese action!"

"Well, what the hell do you call that guy?" said the indignant Toshimi, pointing out that Tommy was an AJA.

According to Robyn Dare, who had joined the team and was a witness to the whole incident, Toshimi felt he had every right, because it was actually involving a Japanese. The doctor then said it had to be an enemy Japanese, and Toshimi responded with, "Well, he's sure as heck my enemy now!" rubbing his tender backside.

The discussion went on and on until Toshimi Yamada gave up. A week later, doing cave-flushing, he got shot, so he walked casually into the aid station and said he'd have his Purple heart now, if you please. He got one.
Pages 309-10.
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Old December 22, 2018, 10:09 AM   #463
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Here's a letter from a Southerner who didn't want to join the army but was willing to raise a militia unit composed of like minded draft dodgers. While challenged as a speller, he writes with candor and his letter is best read aloud. Warning, put down what you are drinking or swallow the food you are chewing before reading it.

Satartia, Miss., Feby. 13th, 1863


Honl. Gov. Pettis

I want your honor to appint me to git a compiny horse troops. The infernil melisha offersers and Sheriff bother me to deth and if you will appint me to git a hoss compiny I can dodge the draft and then it aint worth while to git any hoss compiny and myself and neighors can git off.

They tell me you have got the Jefferson and Adams County and the Klaiburn and Amite boys off in this way by letting them voluntere in hoss compinies to git out of the cussed draft. Why not let all do it Governer. Pleese write me to Satartia soon and oblige

Your firnd

John T. Hodge


P.S.

I heer the hoss cumpinies break up the melish and then break down theirselves.



John J. Pettus Correspondence
Series 757, Box 944, Folder 1, Mississippi Department of Archives and History
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Old January 25, 2019, 08:07 PM   #464
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From Townshend's The Seventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry page 160-1.

The school of the soldier is a profitable one. They learn by their necessities to make the most of things. It was but this morning that I saw some men making glass tumblers, by cutting off the bottoms of bottles for that purpose. They were castaway whiskey bottles, I am sorry to say. It is done in this wise: a stout string is wound round the bottle at the proper distance from the vase, guided by a strap, and is then seesawed till the friction heats the glass under the string, when a little cold water will snap off a drinking cup of most pretentious appearance. You can imagine, however, that the labor is considerable.
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Old February 5, 2019, 09:13 AM   #465
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Foraging and looting can be harmful to the forager/looter. From page 98 of Lawerence Hewitt's Port Hudson, Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi we have:

"Several Yankees entered Mrs. Ramsey Delatt's house and proceeded to eat all her food. When she came into the kitchen, threw up her hands, and cried, "Oh, my you have just eaten the poultice from my husband's sore leg," the soldiers quickly exited the building and "unswallowed!"
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Old February 27, 2019, 12:37 PM   #466
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The colonel of an Alabama regiment was famous for having every thing done in a military style. Once while field officer of the day, and going his tour of inspection, he came on a sentinel from the Eleventh Mississippi regiment sitting flat down on his pants, with his gun taken entirely to pieces, when the following dialogue took place:

Colonel -- "Don't you know that a sentinel while on duty, should always keep on his feet?

Sentinel (without looking up) -- "That's the way we used to do when the war first began; but that's played out long ago."

Colonel (beginning to . doubt if the man was on duty), -- "Are you the sentinel here?"

Sentinel -- "Well, I'm a sort of a sentinel."

Colonel -- "Well, I'm a sort of officer of the day."

Sentinel -- "Well, if you hold on till I sort of git my gun together, I'll give you a sort of salute."
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Old March 11, 2019, 11:01 PM   #467
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Echoes from the Boys of Company H

From Neal Wixson's annotated letters from the men of the 100th New York Infantry we have this gem. I did some slight editing with brackets to clarify the passage.

Quote:
The conscripts in our Regt. as a general thing are pretty good soldiers. But the conscripts in the 52nd and the 104th Pennsylvania Regts are a lot of green horns as soldiers in one Regt[.] [T]hey were with the Regt 4 or 5 months before they would trust them on out[-]post duty. I will give you a little instance which happened a few days ago. One of our corporals got a conscript of the 52d on his post. [W]hen he posted him the sentinel he gave him the countersign or watch word. [T]hen he went away. [B]ut in the course of half an hour returned to see that all was right[;] he goes up to the conscript who was the sentinel on post and asked him if he had the countersign. [H]e answered no[,] did you give it to me[?] [Y]es answered the corpl. Well I must have lost it answered the sentinel upon which he commenced to feel in his pockets and look around on the ground as if looking for the countersign. The corpl could hardly keep from laughing out right but at that moment he observed an officer coming along the picket line so he told the sentinel to halt hin as he came up. [W]hen the officer got near enough Mr. Sentinel call[ed] out "Who comes there". The officer answered "friend with the countersign." "Fetch it here" says the sentinel, "I just lost it a short time ago." Then the Corporal steped forward and told the officer to "advance and Give the countersign" which he did. [T]hen he asked what kind of a man man that was on post[.] [T]he Corpl told him a conspt of the 52d[.] [T]he officer gave orders for him to put another man on the post.
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Old May 12, 2019, 03:29 PM   #468
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From John William DeForest' A Volunteer's Adventures. This (meaning the book, not this anecdote from it) is considered essential reading for those who study the Port Hudson Campaign in Louisiana.

"Our Negro attendants, who had come with us from New Orleans or the vicinity, seemed not to have the slightest scruple about robbing their country brethren. A large, elderly, reverend looking follower of my company, named Prince, valet to one of my corporals, executed the following swindle upon the enfranchised population of the 'the green Opelousas.' Mounted on a sore-backed mule, he pushed ahead of the column, entered the Negro cabins by the roadside and requested the inmates to hand over their Confederate money.

"'Tan't wuth nothing now," he explained, "and I'se the man that General Banks has sent ahead to take it up, and when he comes along he'll give you the greenbacks for it."

Thereupon the green Opelousans would pour their Confederate wealth into Prince's broad palms, simply enquiring how they should know General Banks when he appeared.

"Oh, you'll know him right easy," answered Prince. "He's a mighty good lookin' young man, and wears specs."

This was a sufficiently accurate description of Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Peck, the handsome commandant of the Twelfth Connecticut. Accordingly, the lieutenant colonel was much puzzled by the number of Negroes who approached him on the march, knuckling their heads respectfully, and enquiring: "Massa, has you brought our money?"

Prince's rascality was exposed to me by George. Devourer of plundered chickens as I was, I felt indignant at such needless roguery and turned the venerable humbug out of camp with public approbrium. It must be understood that Confederate money was at this time worth thirty or forty cents on the dollar or, at least, could be secretly exchanged at that value among the secession brokers of New Orleans. Prince had collected a roll of it as large as my fist.
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Old May 26, 2019, 06:26 AM   #469
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poppy
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
–Moina Michael (1869–1944)
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Old June 14, 2019, 09:18 AM   #470
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Shamelessly copied from another forum, as made by another poster:

Captain LaGarde wrote his book "Gunshot Injuries" in 1916 that the projectiles of the American Civil War caused worse wounds than the front line weapons used in the second year of WW1. I did find this exact quote:

"The stopping power of the reduced caliber rifle bullet, thous' less than those of its predecessors, the .45 caliber Springfield, Martini Henry, old Mauser, or Gras, is still considered sufficient for all the purposes of civilized warfare".

"Civilized warfare" -- is that like "Marketing intelligence"?

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Old June 14, 2019, 10:42 AM   #471
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Monument to the Angel of Marye's Heights
The Kirkland Monument remembers a selfless Civil War hero who braved the battlefield to give water to his dying enemies.--->>> https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/...arye-s-heights

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Old June 15, 2019, 04:49 PM   #472
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From Edward Young McMorrises' History of the First Regiment Alabama Volunteer Infantry, C. S. A. pages 118-9:

I now come to relate an unimportant but the most striking co-incident of my whole life. The last night of our stay a card party was given at Mrs. Little's, and it was largely attended, mostly by young girls and young men. We played the usual games until a late hour, when we hanged to "telling fortunes" with cards. The lass (about 15) with whom I had mostly played, after telling or foretelling when I would marry, the color of the eyes and hair of my wife-to-e, etc., asked me i I would like to have another furlough. I replied, "Yes, run these cards and tell me how long before I get another."

She dealt off the cards, and after consulting them declared I should get another furlough in a very short time. I replied that I didn't believe it, because I was returning from home on a furlough; that I was going then to "head off" Sherman in the Carolinas, and that an early furlough for me was absurd. "you have consulted the wrong cards," I said, "try that again with the cards." She did so, and at the conclusion threw up her hands and shouted: "Oh, it will be no time hardly before you have another furlough." She went through all this with the most affected sincerity and gravity. "Impossible," I said. "you are a failure, I know, as a fortune-teller. Run these cards again."

A third time she ran the cards in reference to my getting a furlough, the last time going into ecstacies of joy, and affirming with still more earnestness it would be almost no time before I received another furlough. The next morning Ardis and myself took leave of our kind friends, and set out on foot for Augusta. We had to pass down through the business part of the city, and here I met Lieut. Alex. Frier and Sert. Hector McLean of my company returning as a special detail to Alabama. Lieut. Frier had been sent back on a special service, and with authority and orders to detail two non-commissioned officers to assist him in his duties. He had already detailed one (MMcLean), he lacked another and promptly detailed me. This would give another furlough of ten days at home. It had not been fifteen hours since the young lady with a pack of cards had foretold this! Was there ever a more remarkable coincidence!
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Old June 23, 2019, 07:00 AM   #473
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From pages 95-6 of the same book:

"While a Red River steamer was discharging its cargo of bacon at the landing, Private I. H. Johnson of the Perote Guards, was sitting upon the bluff overlooking the landing, an interesting spectator of the scene below. The mysterious movements of two Arkansas soldiers mixing with the boat hands at work especially excited his curiosity. He kept his eye on them. Sure enough the first opportunity that opened, when the backs of the boat hands were turned, they grabbed each a side of bacon and ran off. An idea struck Johnson. His camp was not a hundred yards away while that of the Arkansas men was half a mile distant with a skirt of forest intervening. Johnson rushed to his camp, quickly donned a sergeant's coat, picked up a file of men and dashed off around the skirt of woods in his 'flank movement.' He intercepted and arrested the Arkansans, started to camp with prisoners and spoils, but soon halted for a parley. Our pro-tem sergeant expressed deep sympathy to and for his prisoners, saying that he knew rations were short; that he thought it hard, under the circumstances, for the soldiers to be courtmartialed, and probably balled and chained for a month merely for trying to get something to eat; and then intimated that if he could do so with safety to himself he would turn them loose, but that he would be obliged to carry the bacon to camp and make his report. The Arkansans quickly accepted his proposition, and in less than half an hour 'our sergeant' came marching back to camp, each of his men with a side of bacon and cheered by the whole company. I can't say whether or not our 'sergeant' ever reported this haul to headquarters, but it has always been our private opinion that Lee's veterans never got any of that meat."
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Old June 23, 2019, 08:28 AM   #474
arcticap
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"War Chicken

There has been a lot written about General Robert E. Lee, from his unflawed character, his deep conviction and noble leader to him being a traitor.
There is no doubt that Lee has left an indelible mark on America.

While there are many tales to tell of General Lee’s life, one that provides a little chuckle is the story of his “pet” hen Nellie.
Nellie was a black hen that Lee acquired at Petersburg.
The story is relayed by his body servant, William Mack Lee, of how Nellie would daily lay an egg every morning and how fond the general was of Nellie.

But on July 3, 1863 William stated that, “we was all so hongry and I didn't have nuffin in ter cook, dat I was jes' plumb bumfuzzled” and
determined there wasn’t enough to feed all the generals on hand, so he went and cooked up Nellie.
The general was not pleased.
According to William, this was the first, and only time Lee scolded him.
Will said that,

"Marse Robert kep' on scoldin' me mout dat hen.
He never scolded 'bout naything else.
He tol' me I was a fool to kill de her whut lay de golden egg.
Hit made Marse Robert awful sad ter think of anything bein' killed, whedder der 'twas one of his soljers, or his little black hen." " --->>> https://owlcation.com/humanities/10-...e-US-Civil-War
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Old July 8, 2019, 04:37 PM   #475
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"I was called up on the draft, and I went through the draft, and they lined us up in groups of twelve. The guy in front of me was a little, puny old guy and we went through. When we got to the end, they said to me, 'You didn't make it. You're not in the army.' And the guy in front of me, the puny little guy, made it and, right away. I knew what happened - they had gotten our papers confused. You know how they stack the papers....

"Well, I was so embarrassed because here I am in perfect physical health, and the puny little guy is in. So the next day I went down to 49 Whitehall Street, New York City, and said, 'I want to join.' I said, 'I really want the paratroopers.' And they said, 'Well, sit down in that hall there and the doctor will take care of you because you've got a special examination.'

"So I waited there for about two hours and finally I got up enough nerve to ask the sergeant, 'Hey, when is the doctor gonna come out?' He said, 'Oh, go knock on the door.' So I knocked on the door and here's a guy with a cigar in his mouth, his feet on the desk, and he says, 'What do you want?' And I said, 'Well, I'm supposed to get a special examination to join the paratroopers.' He says, 'Oh, that's fine. Jump up on the desk.' I jumped on the desk. He says, 'Jump off the desk.' I jumped off the desk. He says, 'Okay, You're ready!'

Told by Howard Melvin (Co. I, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Div) in Voices of D-Day, page 12.
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