Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hay Detail.

During the course of the war circumstances were such as to have citizens unwillingly assist with the effort.
The Richmond Howitzers had a way of dealing with the situation to lessen the hardship.
I doubt you will find any such instances of Yankee's doing things the way the Howitzer's did.
The following account of one such incident shows the difference, I can't imagine  General William T. Sherman's men doing anything similar.

From the book ----


                                By Frederick S Daniel

"Hay detail," or requisitioning the neighboring farms for horse feed, being a necessary labor, could not be dispensed with, and, though a little irksome at times, particularity when inflicted as a punishment, was viewed as a pretty sure chance for getting a house dinner somewhere or raw material for the camp mess. A detail of two men and a driver with a four horse team were sent out on these excursions, or rather intrusions, generally over wretchedly cut up roads, and many were the amusing accidents and incidents connected with them. Some fun was to be had out of most any occurrence, the ready soldiers being never at a loss, and none the less tickled when the hay was spilt by the way and the unburdened team and bespattered, weary "detail," tramped back to camp, minus all save a few remnants to show.
The hay was taken, or "impressed" on official i.o. u. tickets issued by the quartermasters, and this impressment was a heavy drain on the farmers; nevertheless the Howitzers managed to keep in their good graces, to secure the best fare in their dwellings, and to make themselves thoroughly entertaining to the household family before quitting it.
The farmers would help to load the wagon with the hay, while the family got up a good dinner for the "detail." In spite of such frequent ravages, the "details" were invited to call again and again, till no more hay was left. The exceptional powers exhibited by the cannoneers in entertaining their hosts, under the vexing run of military operations, were ever amply repaid. The "calls" required occasionally no little tact to be successful; now and then, a farmer was stumbled across who seemed at first to be of impossible appeasement.
On one special occasion, a farmer, whose native generosity had been soured by bad treatment, was called upon by a "hay detail" of the keenest kitchen-trail. Nothing would do in the way of ordinary politeness. He pronounced all soldiers to be vandals, devils incarnate, and the "detail" chimed in with each and every particular one of his utterances. The A. N. V. was about the worst for destruction that ever bore arms. These trivial objections were finally flanked and utterly routed by the united assaults of the "detail." Was the gentleman in need of having the wood on his wood pile cut, or of water from the spring? Yes, well then, here be good tums indeed to be done, and, without any ado, the "detail" gracefully and zealously did them for him,. and words and acts combined worked wonders on the larder, brought out its very best. This special "detail" often afterwards alluded to this occasion as having set a model of perfect deportment under difficulties, and, whenever these were met at the threshold, this discourse was pronounced: "Well, -, we will have to do today as we did at 'Count Freaskie's.' I cut a cord of wood that day, and you brought a barrel of water from the spring, which was a mile off, before the old man got pleased and invited us to dinner in his house,where we found a Georgian with his gun in the kitchen. We got as fine a dinner as we ever go anywhere, and we may get another to-day, if we just set right to work about it

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