Pollard, in his observations in the North, relates the following:–
General butler followed up his little story by an amusing account of an interview he had had with a certain gentleman of Richmond–one of the “Virginia Reserves”–who had strayed into his lines. I must confess his laughter was a little contagious as he gave the details of the interview. The unfortunate individual had come into his lines by some mistake, bewildered as to the points of the compass. His appearance was rather unmilitary, as General B. described it; a suit of black, wet and glued to his skin, a stove-pipe hat, and what seems to have attracted most at headquarters, as a curiosity of Richmond–“a black satin vest.”
“Who are you?” thundered General Butler.
“Sir,” said the unfortunate individual, with the air of importance in misery, “I am one of the Virginia Reserves.”
“Alluding only to the oddity of his appearance,” said General Butler, I remarked: “and how many more are there likd you, Mr. M——?”
“I will answer all proper questions,” replied the unfortunate individual; “but, sir, General Butler, do not expect me to inform you as to our military resources!”
The General seems to have thought the old gentleman a little stilted, and explained to me that he only wanted to have a little fun out of him. So, with what I can imagine to have been the growl of an ogre, he remarked: “Ah, ha, Mr. M—–; so, so, Mr. M—–; we have another name than that of soldiers for persons in your dress; yes, sir, another name: we call them SPIES!” At the mention of this dreadful word the unfortunate proprietor of the satin vest went off into protest–pledging “his honor,” “his sacred honor,” “his honor, which no man, General Butler, had ever doubted;” that he was “a soldier.”
Originally posted 2009-01-22 19:05:02.