minutes, and hearing footsteps came hastily back, but the cupboard was broken open and the valuables gone.
Some of General Turchin
's men committed this robbery, and I made every effort to recover; but it was no use. Seldom was a valuable recovered when once the pillagers got hold of it. Not all the soldiers would do this; perhaps not one in fifty were robbers, but there were robbers in every regiment.
When the Federal
army first came among us we had about sixty chickens, and every night we would hear the “squak!
of the fowls as they were hurried away to the soldiers' mess-kettles.
An old rooster that had been with us for four years we imagined would be rather tough eating, and I remember that I rather enjoyed hearing his “squak!
which grew fainter and fainter, as the soldiers ran away with him. I knew that they had a tough dose, and that unless the rebellion held out pretty well it would be over before they could get him cooked to a point that his tough ligaments and muscles could be masticated.
At last all of our chickens were gone but one.
An old hen, solitary and alone, occupied the roost.
We thought we would save her for a “nest egg,” as it were, until the cruel war was over.
We put her in the cellar.
A kitchen stood over this cellar.
That night was dark and stormy.
Two soldiers came, saying that they were separated from their regiment, could not find it in the darkness, and begged that they might sleep on the floor in the kitchen, anywhere, to be out of the storm.
We gave them permission.
Early in the morning they were gone, taking with them our last old hen.
The remarkable difference in the pillaging propensities of the two armies may be accounted for on the ground, first, that the Federal
army was in an enemy's country, and all things were considered legitimate game, and little inquiry made whether or not the owners were Union people.
Second, the foreign element in the Federal
army was very large, and with them was the riff-raff from the large cities, who entered the army more from motives of pillage than patriotism.
Regiments raised in cities were always more troublesome as pillagers than those from the rural districts.
In the Southern
army these conditions did not exist.
There were no enlistments in that army prompted by motives of invasion and pillage.
And there were few large cities to send out “wharf rats,” roughs, and pickpockets into the army.
Beside, the foreign element in the Southern
army was very small.
And for this reason, I doubt if the whole Southern army had been poured into the North
, that the robbery and pillage would have been as great as that which marked the course of the Federal
army in the South
of the two armies differed