While on a forced march in some of the army movements in Mississippi, Gen. Hardee came up with a straggler who had fallen some distance in the rear of his command. The General ordered him forward, when the soldier replied that he was weak and broken down, not having had even half rations for several days.
“That’s hard,” replied the General, “but you must push forward, my good fellow, and join your command, or the provost guard will take you in hand.” The soldier halted, and, looking up at the General, asked:
“Aint you Gen. Hardee?”
“Yes,” replied the General.
“Didn’t you write Hardee’s Tactics?”
“Well, General, I’ve studied them tactics, and know ’em by heart. You’ve got an order thar to double column at half distance, aint you?”
“Well,” asked the General, “what has that order to do with your case?”
“I’m a good soldier, General, and obey all that is possible to be obeyed: but if you can show me an order in your tactics, or anybody else’s tactics, to double distance on half rations, then I’ll give in.”
The General, with a hearty laugh, admitted that there were no tactics to meet the case, and putting spurs to his horse, rode forward.