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John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, I. The tocsin of war. (search)
ave her hands full to keep her enemies at home in check. Alas! how little did either party understand the temper of the other! How much like that story of the two Irishmen.--Meeting one day in the army, one says, How are you, Mike? How are you, Pat? says the other. But my name is not Pat, said the first speaker. Nather is mine Mike, said the second. Faix, thin, said the first, it musht be nayther of us. Nothing could better illustrate the attitude of the North and South towards each oPat, said the first speaker. Nather is mine Mike, said the second. Faix, thin, said the first, it musht be nayther of us. Nothing could better illustrate the attitude of the North and South towards each other than this anecdote. Nothing could have been more perfect than this mutual misunderstanding each displayed of the temper of the other, as the stride of events soon showed. The story of how Major Anderson removed his little band of United States troops from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, for reasons of greater safety, is a familiar one; likewise how the rebels fired upon a vessel sent by the President with supplies intended for it; and, finally, after a severe bomba
s, in words, between the Eastern and Western soldiers. One day a veteran of Hooker's command met an Irishman of Logan's Corps at the spring where they went to fill their canteens. What corps do you belong to? said the Eastern veteran, proud in the possession of the distinguishing badge on his cap, which told his story for him. What corps, is it? said the gallant son of Erin, straightening his back; the Fifteenth, to be sure. Where is your badge? My badge, do ye say? There it is! said Pat, clapping his hand on his cartridge-box, at his side; forty rounds. Can you show me a betther? On the 14th of February, 1865, Major-General John A. Logan, the commander of this corps, issued General Orders No. 10, which prescribe that the badge shall be A miniature cartridge-box, one-eighth of an inch thick, fifteensixteenths of an inch wide, set transversely on a field of cloth or metal, one and five-eighths of an inch square. Above the cartridge-box plate will be stamped or worked in a