Friday, December 21, 2012

Spring Sprouts and a “Tar Heel” Story


    A Sketch in Personal Narrative of the
    ... Scenes a Soldier Saw


    Spring Sprouts and a “Tar Heel” Story

    The winter had now worn away and the spring had come. Vegetation began to show signs of life. Its coming bore us one comfort in one way—among others. It was not so cold, and we did not have to tote so many logs of wood to keep up our fires. Down on the river flats, where vegetation showed sooner than it did on the hills, green things began to shoot up. Dandelions, sheep sorrel, poke leaves and such, though not used in civil life, were welcome to us, for they were much better than no salad at all. The men craved something green. The unbroken diet of just bread and meat—generally salt meat at that—gave some of the men scurvy. The only remedy for that was something acid, or vegetable food. The men needed this and craved it—so when the green shoots of any kind appeared we would go down on the flats, and gather up all the green stuff we could find, and boil it with the little piece of bacon we might have. It improved the health of the men very much.

    At this time, there was a North Carolina Brigade of Infantry at the front furnishing pickets for the river bank. They were camped just back of our winter quarters. Those fellows seemed to be very specially strong in their yearning for vegetable diet, so much so that they attracted our attention. Every day we would see long lines of those men passing through our camp. They would walk along, one behind another, in almost unending procession, silent and lonesome, never saying a word and never two walking together—and all of them meandered along intent on one thing—getting down to the flats below “to get some sprouts” as they would say when asked where they were going.
    Later on, we would see them in the same solemn procession coming back to camp—every man with a bunch of something green in his fist.
    This daily spectacle of Tar Heels swarming through our camp interested us; we watched them mooning along. We tried to talk with them, but all we got from them was, “We’uns is going to git some sprouts. Don’t you’uns love sprouts?”

    We did, but we didn’t go after them in such a solemn manner. Our “sprout” hunts were not so funereal a function; rather more jovial, and much more sociable. Also this devotion to the search for the herb of the field excited our curiosity. They were all the time craving green stuff, and going after it so constantly. We had a story going around which was supposed to explain the craving of a Tar Heel’s insides for greens.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Text Books ? Pfffft !



To offer a man promotion in the early part of the war was equivalent to an insult. The
higher the social position, the greater the wealth ,the more patriotic it would be to serve in the
humble position of a private ; and many men of education and ability in the various professions, refusing promotion, served under the command of men greatly their inferiors, mentally, morally, and as soldiers. It soon became apparent that the country wanted knowledge and ability, as well as muscle and endurance, and those who had capacity to serve in higher positions were promoted. Still it remained true that inferior men commanded their superiors in every respect, save one rank ; and leaving out the one difference of rank, the officers and men were about on a par.

It took years to teach the educated privates in the army that it was their duty to give unquestioning obedience to officers because they were such, who were awhile ago their playmates and associates in business. It frequently happened that the private, feeling hurt by the stern authority of the officer, would ask him to one side, challenge him to personal combat, and thrash him well. After awhile these privates learned all about extra duty, half rations, and courts-martial. It was only to conquer this independent resistance of discipline that punishment or force was necessary. The privates were as willing and anxious to fight and serve as the officers, and needed no pushing up to their duty. It is amusing to recall the disgust with which the men would hear of their assignment to the rear as reserves. They regarded the order as a deliberate insult, planned by some officer who had a grudge against their regiment or battery, who had adopted this plan to prevent their presence in battle, and thus humiliate them. 

How soon did they learn the sweetness of a days repose in the rear !

Once again, you can learn more from the man in the field than you can from a text book !

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Next Time ---

The next time some Yankee yahoo spouts off about the Battle flag being a KKK thing, show em this !

The 1st amendment allows for the misuse of images by hate groups.
The American flag, or the Battle flag. 
I find this misuse of Old Glory just as sickening as the misuse of the Battle flag.
The Lincoln image is another story ;-)

Just because ya got the right to do something,
don't mean it's right ta do it !

Then tell em to shut their pie hole !