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Robert Stiles, Four years under Marse Robert, Chapter 1: explanation of the title-scheme of the work. (search)
sense his soldiers and under his control; so that, while strictly speaking no soldier followed Lee for four years, yet we who served in Virginia from the beginning to the end of the war are entitled, in the customary and popular sense, to speak of our term of service as Four years under Lee. But our claim is, Four years under Marse Robert. Why Marse Robert? So, in Innes Randolph's inimitable song, A good old Rebel, the hero thus vaunts his brief but glorious annals: I followed old Mars' Robert For four year, near about; Got wounded in three places And starved at Pint Lookout. Again, why Marse Robert? The passion of soldiers for nicknaming their favorite leaders, re-christening them according to their unfettered fancy and their own sweet will, is well known. The little corporal, The iron Duke, Marshall forwards, Bobs, Bobs Bahadur, Little Mac, Little Phil, Fighting Joe, Stonewall, Old Jack, Old Pete, Old Jube, Jubilee, Rooney, Fitz, Marse Robert --all these and many