An amusing story from--
of the First Company Richmond Howitzers By T. J.MACON,
It was at Mead's Farm that a piece of fun occurred. At the battle of Manassas, an ambulance with a horse was captured. The ambulance was a clumsy affair, shaped like a large box poised up on two wheels, with a seat in front, and doors in the rear, with shafts
attached to it. At Fairfax Court House two recruits, brothers, joined the Company, Benjamin and John Grover. Benjamin was the youngest, not over sixteen or seventeen years old. He was as wild and unlettered as a Comanche Indian. Ben was detailed as driver of the ambulance. He used it to sleep in. One night, when he was sleeping soundly, a cannoneer tied his feet to the seat, and threw the shafts up. His feet were up and his head down, He bellowed like a good fellow. His brother came to his assistance, and cut him down. Ben complained to Captain Shields of the treatment he had received. The Captain took the situ- ation in at once and told Ben that he should have re- dress for the ill treatment. The Captain said that he would hold the guard that Avas on duty the night it occurred responsible. The guard consisted of six can- noneers. They were court-martialed. Everything was conducted in accordance with army regulations, charges, specifications, and finding of the court. Lieutenant Henry Williams was judge-advocate; Taylor Martin was
prosecuting attorney; Robert Styles was Benjamin's
counsel. The finding of the court was, that the guard was guilty, and the punishment named was that each member of the guard was to be bumped three times, kneeling on all fours, using Benjamin as a battering ram. I was appointed sheriff, to execute the sentence. I appointed James Ellett my deputy. Several of the guards were staid and dignified fellows, and they did not relish the procedure, yet there was no evading it. The speeches made were of the highest order, and abounded with wit, humor and pathos.