widely in the points above-mentioned.
The pillagers aid robbers in the Federal
army did not spare the Union
The first who came to our neighborhood committed several outrageous robberies, and it happened that the victims in every instance were Union men. This had an unhappy effect, one of the victims, at least, thereafter transferring his sympathies from the Union
side to the Confederate
, on account of his ill-treatment.
The outrages, robberies, and pillaging which took place wherever the Union
army moved, is traceable to a small minority of the soldiers, and almost invariably to the foreign element among them, enlisted in the large cities.
The officers used to say in explanation that every flock had black sheep, and that a thousand men, picked up promiscuously, would always contain a few desperate characters, who went from motives of plunder.
This is no doubt true, but the bummer element in the Union
army was certainly larger than in the other.
I have known regiments of Southern troops to encamp around premises for weeks, and not even rob a henroost; but when the other side came, then chickens and all other movable property, animate and inanimate, had to be under the eye of its owner, and often this did not protect it.
The Confederates usually paid for what they took for the use of the army in Confederate money.
Indeed, payment was the rule seldom violated.
The Federals, when upon organized foraging expeditions, usually gave receipts for what they took, which were payable upon proof of loyalty, on the part of the claimant.
But it was from the foraging of irresponsible soldiers, without an officer, that the people mostly suffered.
Often in our neighborhood would they kill a fine cow, for instance, take a quarter, or what they could conveniently carry, and leave the rest to waste.
In fact, every living animal fit for food was in constant danger from irresponsible Federal foragers and stragglers.
When men are hungry, they must eat, and eat they would, when they could get anything, whether Union or Secession; but the Union
soldiers were by far the most inveterate, wasteful and reckless foragers.
The farmers and country people, who traded in the camps of both armies, had to skin their eyes when in the camp of the “Yankees,” as they called them.
A farmer of my acquaintance took a barrel of cider into a Union camp near by. The barrel held forty gallons.
He had sold about twenty quarts, at twenty cents a quart, when, to his intense amazement, the barrel was empty I Come to investigate, he found that the soldiers had bored up through the wagon-bed, and into the barrel, and slyly but rapidly drawn the contents into their canteens!
Another farmer had a very large sack of peaches upon a mule, which he led. By a sly, quick