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In a car on a railroad which runs into New York, a scene occurred which will never be forgotten by the witnesses of it. A person dressed as a gentleman, speaking to a friend across the car, said, “Well, I hope the war may last six months longer. If it does, I shall have made enough to retire from business. In the last six months I’ve made a hundred thousand dollars–six months more and I shall have enough.”

A lady sat behind the speaker, and necessarily heard his remark; but when he was done she tapped him on the shoulder, and said to him: “Sir, I had two sons–one was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg, the other was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro.”

She was silent a moment, and so were all around who heard her. Then, overcome by her indignation, she suddenly slapped the speculator, first on one cheek, and then on the other, and before the fellow could say a word, the passengers sitting near, who had witnessed the whole affair, seized him, and pushed him hurriedly out of the car, as one not fit to ride with decent people.

Originally posted 2008-12-30 16:10:59.

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The main body of Sturgis’s command halted at Salem, and a detachment of 300 men were sent out to reconnoitre the road to Ripley, a little town about twenty miles south-west of Corinth, Miss. When within a few miles of that place the advance guard of the detachment came upon and captured a squad of half-a-dozen rebel cavalry without firing a gun. As is customary, the prisoners were closely examined with a view to eliciting such information of the enemy’s whereabouts and intentions as they might be able to give.

A gaunt, stringy-haired man, who seemed to be the leader of the rebel party, was conducted to the officer in command of our advance.

“What regiment do you belong to?” asked the officer.

“I wont tell,” was the pointed reply of the rebel.

“How far is it to Ripley?” was the next question.

“”Don’t know,” answered the man, sullenly.

“Who is your commander?”

“Wont tell.”

“How far off is the command to which you belong?” still inquired the persevering Federal, pretending not to notice the crusty demeanor of his prisoner.

Here the rebel informed him, in terms that would not be altogether comely in print, that he would see him in a much hotter region than Mississippi before he would tell him anything at all.

“Very well,” said the officer, drawing and cocking a revolver; “I will send you there to wait for me.”

“You may shoot me if you want to,” said the plucky Confederate, “but you will be sorry for it.”


“Because there is a hundred men over yonder in the woods, and if they hear you shoot they will come up and murder every man of you.”

“Well,” said the officer, “since you have told me just what I wanted to find out, I guess I won’t shoot you;” and in thirty minutes the whole hundred men were prisoners also.

Originally posted 2008-12-29 13:05:03.

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One of the Fourteenth New York Artillery–a Seneca Indian, undertook on a wager, to bring in alive a rebel sharpshooter who was perched in a tree in front of the Union lines at Petersburg, considerably in advance of his own. His manner of accomplishing this was as ingenious as successful. Procuring a quantity of pine boughs, he enveloped himself with them from head to foot, attaching them securely to a branch, which he lashed lengthwise of his body. When completed, he was indistinguishable to a casual observer from the surrounding foliage, and resembled a tree as closely as it was possible for his really artistic efforts to render him. Thus prepared, and with musket in hand, concealed likewise, he stole by almost imperceptible movements to beneath the tree where the sharpshooter was lodged. Here he patiently waited until his prey had emptied his piece at one of our men, when he suddenly brought his musket to bear on the “reb,” giving him no time to reload. The sharpshooter was taken at a disadvantage. To the demand to come down he readily assented, when the Indian triumphantly marched him a prisoner into camp and won his wager.

Originally posted 2008-12-27 23:49:39.

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George Morse, the well known North Woods Guide, was killed in the terrible battle near the James river. Born in the woods, he was never contented out of them. Although friends, who appreciated his good qualities, often tried to induce him to change his mode of life, and to apply himself to some of the ordinary pursuits of civilization, he could never long keep away from the woods and waters of our Northern wilderness. He was lost in towns, while he knew every river and mountain and lake of the vast forest reaching from the Mohawk to the St. Lawrence. He was our beau ideal of a woodsman–of exhaustless endurance–with an eye like the eagle’s–equally fearless and gentle–proud of his wife and children–temperate in all things and the best shot in the state. As a guide, he was invaluable–quiet, attentive, unobtrusive and kind-hearted–anticipating every want–always watchful and never at fault. “We ne’er shall look upon his like again.”

He was an enthusiastic lover of the Union, and joined the Herkimer regiment (the Thirty-fourth) soon after it took the field. His habits of life rendered him invaluable as a scout, and he was employed as such whenever unusual skill was necessary to accomplish the result desired. His adventures while thus employed, would fill a volume. Scores of rebels were made to bite the dust by his trusty rifle. And yet cruelty constituted no part of his composition. As an illustration: While scouting near Ball’s Bluff, on the Potomac, he approached to within a few yards of the dwelling of a rebel spy, who, with his wife, was at the moment drinking tea near the open door of the house, which was surrounded by rebel troops. The capture or death of the spy was an ambition with him. Nothing laid so near his heart; (for he had caused the death of two Union scouts a few days before) and he was buoyant with exultation when he had him thus within short range. But the wife sat in a direct line of her husband, and it was impossible to shoot the one without hitting the other. The temptation was very great, but George Morse could not peril the life of a woman even to kill a spy; and, heavy-hearted, he retired, trusting to the chances of another day.

With the best intentions in the world, he could never tie himself down to camp life or to the soldier’s drill. His colonel knew this, and making him a sergeant, allowed him to do as he pleased; and the whole regiment acquiesced. As a reward they were often feasted upon rebel spoils, gathered by our lamented friend as an amusement. It was an almost every-day occurrence to see him marching into camp with eatable burthens, heavy as himself, upon his shoulders; and when any sick soldier coveted some delicacy unattainable in camp it was only necessary to “tell George Morse” to ensure it.

Those who knew him can fancy his efficiency in battle. He never fought in the ranks. He was own captain and general. He never wasted powder or ball; and every other man in the army may have been fatigued, but he was not. We can imagine him in the retreat, leaping or crawling, from tree to tree, within short range of the enemy’s advance, loading and firing with the rapidity of lightning, but with the red man’s caution, and bringing down his game at every shot. When he fell, one of the most effective men in that entire host of heroes fell; and tears will be shed in forest huts and in city palaces when it is announced that George Morse is dead.

Originally posted 2008-12-26 18:08:12.

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