One of Jackson’s Foot Cavalry

I tried a search for “best Civil War memoirs” (listing “Grant” and “Watkins” as qualifiers for quality), and one Amazon list suggested John H. Worsham’s narrative. Found it on DocSouth, and a quick flip through reveals some very entertaining anecdotes, and a sense of irreverence amidst the hard marching and the terrible battles.

We went to bed that night in regular military order, had a camp guard, lights out by taps, etc. Some of the boys, during the day, had purchased whistles, tin horns, and other noisy things, and as soon as lights were put out, the fun commenced: One blew a horn, another in a distant part of the building answered on a whistle. This went on for a few minutes. When the officers commanded silence, no attention was paid to them. When the officers said to the sergeant, “Arrest those men,” the sergeant would strike a light, and go where he thought the noise originated; but each man looked so innocent that he could not tell who it was. By this time, another would blow. Soon there were four sergeants, running here and there, trying to catch the delinquents. This was kept up until the perpetrators became tired, not one being detected.

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