Monthly Archives: February 2020


The following lines were written by a soldier in the hospital at New Haven, Conn., who lost his leg in the battle of Fair Oaks:


Good leg, thou wast a faithful friend,
And truly hast thy duty done;
I thank thee most that to the end
Thou didst not let this body run.

Strange paradox! that in the fight
Where I of thee was thus bereft,
I lost my left leg for “the Right,”
And yet the right’s the one that’s left!

But while the sturdy stump remains,
I may be able yet to patch it,
For even now I’ve taken pains
To make an L-E-G to match it.

Originally posted 2008-05-10 13:14:13.

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The following document was found in one of the dwellings at Yorktown, Va.”

To the Future Yankee Occupants of this Place

We have retired to the country for a short time to recruit our health. We find that with your two hundred thousand men you are too modest to visit this place, and we give you an opportunity to satisfy your curiosity with regard to our defences, assuring you that we will call upon you soon.

We hope a few days’ residence in a house once occupied by men will induce enough courage in your gallant hearts to enable you to come within at least two miles of white ner hereafter. Be sure to have on hand a supply of ’pork’n beans” when we return; also, some codfish and “apple sass.” When we learn to relish such diet we may become like you–Puritanical, selfish, thieving, God-forgotten, devil-worshipping, devil-belonging, African-loving, blue-bellied Yankees. Advise father Abraham to keep his Scotch cloak on hand, to keep soberer, and your wise Congress to hunt up two thousand five hundred millions of specie to pay the debt you have incurred in winning the contempt of every live man. We have on hand a few tools which we devote to the special duty of loosening the links of your steel shirts. Couldn’t you get a few iron-clad men to do your fighting? Are you not horribly afraid that we will shoot you below the shirts? When are you coming to Richmond? Couldn’t you go up the river with us? There is one score which we will yet settle with you to the death. Your fiend-like treatment of old men and helpless women reads you out of the pale of civilized warfare, and if rifles are true and knives keen, we will rid some of you of your beastly inclinations.

When you arise as high in the scale of created beings as a Brazilian monkey, we will allow you sometimes to associate with our negroes; but until then Southern soil will be too hot for the sons of the Pilgrims. The only dealing we will have with you is, henceforth, war to the knife. We despise you as heartily as we can whip you easily on any equal field.

Most heartily at your service, whenever you offer a fight.


Company A. Sixth Georgia Volunteers.

Originally posted 2008-05-10 00:39:52.

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A correspondent, writing from the hospitals of Alexandria, Va., relates the following anecdote: Joe enlisted in the First Maryland regiment, and was plainly a “rough” originally. As we passed along the hall we first saw him crouched near an open window, lustily singing, “I’am a bold soldier boy;” and observing the broad bandage over his eyes, I said: “What’s your name, my good fellow?” “Joe, sir,” he answered, “Joe Parsons.” “And what is the matter with you?” “Blind, sir, blind as a bat.” “In battle?” “Yes, at Antietam; both eyes shot out at one clip.” Poor Joe was in the front, at Antietam Creek, and a Minie ball had passed directly through his eyes, across his face, destroying his sight forever. He was but twenty years old, but he was as happy as a lark! “It is dreadful,” I said. “I’m very thankful I’m alive, sir. It might ha’ been worse, yer see,” he continued. And then he told us his story.

“I was hit,” he said, “and it knocked me down. I lay there all night, and the next day the fight was renewed. I could stand the pain, yer see, but the balls was flyin’ all round, and I wanted to get away. I couldn’t see nothin’, though. So I waited and listened; and at last I heard a feller groanin’ beyond me. ’Hello!’ says I. ’Hello yourself,’ says he. ’Who be yer?’ says I–’a rebel?’ ’You’re a Yankee.’ says he. ’So I am,’ says I; ’what’s the matter with yer?’ ’My legs smashed,’ says he. ’Can’t yer walk?’ ’No.’ ’Can yer see?’ ’Yes.’ ’Well,’ says I, ’you’re a —-rebel, but will you do me a little favor?’ ’I will,’ says he, ’ef I ken.’ Then I says: ’Well, ole butternut, I can’t see nothin.’ ’My eyes is knocked out; but I ken walk. Come over yere. Let’s git out o’ this. you p’int the way, an’ I’ll tote yer off the field on my back.’ ’Bully for you,’ says he. And so we managed to git together. We shook hands on it. I took a wink out o’ his canteen, and he got on to my shoulders.

“I did the walkin’ for both, an’ he did the navigatin’. An’ ef he didn’t make me carry him straight into a rebel colonel’s tent, a mile away, I’m a liar! Hows’ever, the colonel came up, an’ says he, ’Whar d’yer come from? who be yer?’ I told him. He said I was done for, and couldn’t do no more shoot’n; an’ he sent me over to our lines. So, after three days, I came down here with the wounded boys, where we’re doin’ pretty well, all things considered.” “But you will never see the light again, my poor fellow,” I suggested, sympathetically. “That’s so,” he answered, glibly, ” but I can’t help it, you notice. I did my dooty–got shot, pop in the eye–an’ that’s my misfortin, not my fault–as the old man said of his blind hoss. But–’I’m a bold soldier boy,’” he continued, cheerily renewing his song; and we left him in his singular merriment. Poor, sightless, unlucky, but stout-hearted Joe Parsons!

Originally posted 2008-05-08 14:31:38.

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Dick, a venerable darky in uniform, was arrested at Richmond for carrying a huge bowie-knife. He was on his return home to Danville from a campaign against the Yankees, and the Mayor discharged him after confiscating the knife.

He occupied the position of chief drummer for the Eighteenth Virginia regiment, and was highly esteemed by the regiment, not only as a musician, but as a brave and gallant old man. He is a hero of two wars, and in several instances rendered good service to the country. When the war with Mexico broke out, he enlisted as musician for a South Carolina regiment, and followed it through the war, and was present when the glorious Gen. Butler fell. The war being successfully terminated, he returned home to his usual avocations. Upon the breaking out of the rebellion, though old and gray, he was among the first to respond to Virginia’s call for volunteers, and was regularly mustered into service with the Eighteenth regiment.

In the memorable battle of the 21st July, 1861, he deserted his drum, and, with musket in hand, followed the regiment throughout the battle. Several days after the battle, while strolling through the woods, he discovered the hiding-place of what he thought a Yankee, and on reporting it, went down with several of the regiment, and captured three of the enemy–one of them Col. Wood, of the Fourteenth Brooklyn. In every scene of danger or of difficulty, Old Dick accompanied the regiment with bowie-knife by his side and musket in hand. When on picket duty at Mason’s Hill, in sight of the enemy, he would go beyond the picket lines to get a fair crack at the Yankee pickets. In fine, Old Dick is a gentleman and true patriot, and it is wrong that his knife, around which clung so many proud associations to him, should have been taken from him. He valued it above all things except his musket. It is true, the law may have required its confiscation, as setting a bad example to darkies in civil life; but under the circumstances, it does seem hard to have subjected the old man not only to the loss of his bowie-knife, but the mortification attendant on a suspicion of evil designs.

Originally posted 2008-05-07 12:11:31.

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