A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON WAY TO THE CIVIL WAR BY CPL. ROBERT MILNER THOMAS' NORTH CAROLINA LEGION General William T. Sherman once said "War is hell" He was so right war is hell. But even in a bitter and hard fought war like the war between the states there was an funny tale or two. For example, When a pompous young lieutenant answered his challenge by calling out "Ass!" a sentry is said to have responded, "Advance, ass, and give the countersign." The war between the states had more funny stories than and other it seems. In 1862 As a result of union Maj. Gen George McClellan's Peninsula campaign, the Confederate Army acquired some 60,000 Yankee overcoats. I would hang my head in shame after this next one. As night began to fall at the battle of Perryville on 8 October 1862, a Union officer who was bringing his troops into action, spotted a general and said, "I have come to your assistance with my brigade, sir," and went to identify his outfit, whereupon CONFEDERATE Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk replied, "There is some mistake about this. You are now my prisoner."Or this one When the 3rd Wisconsin broke at the battle of Winchester Va.(May 1862), Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks called out, "Stop men! Don't you love your contry?" whereupon one of the fleeing men replied, "Yes, by God, and I'm going back to it just as fast as I can." One chilly day late in 1862, a group of Yankees chanced to come upon some Rebels engaged in baptizing a comrade in the Rapidan River, whereupon they joined in the hymn singing. Hearing that someone had secured exemption from the draft because he had one leg shorter than the other, a Virginia country boy decided that he too could gain an exemption, and advanced the claim that he had "both legs too short." Here's a weird one. From time to time after the war Union Gen. Daniel Sickles was wont to visit his leg, which after having been amputated at Gettysburg, had been put on exhibit in the Army Medical Museum, where it may still be seen to this day. Perhaps as many as 300 boys of 13 or younger were enrolled in the Armies of the north and south during the war. The enlistment age was 18 and older. So how did these 13 year olds get in to the Army, simple, the trick was that before going in to the recruitment office they took a slip of paper and wrote the number 18 on it and put it in their shoes. So when the recruiting officer asked if they were over 18 they could without lieing say, "Yes I am over 18 sir!" Here's one for the Navy, During the attack on the Confederate forts guarding Hatteras Inlet on 28 August 1862, a Union warship, believing it was bombarding enemy cavalry, decimated a herd of beek cattle. This would be funny even today, Pursuing a wounded Confederate officer at Shiloh, Col A.K. Johnson of the 28th Illinois attempted to grab the man by the hair only to have it come away in his hand leaving him holding a wig. One last snicker before I go, When, during the battle of Murfreesboro, Confederate Gen. Benjamin Cheatham shouted "Forward, boys, and give'em hell, boys," his superior, Gen Leonidas Polk, agreeing in principal, but as an Episcopal bishop, unwilling to utter profanity, shouted "Give'em what Gen. Cheatham says, boys! Give'em what Gen. Cheatham says!" This just proves that no matter how bad or terrible a thing war can be in some place it can be really funny.
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