motion a soldier cut the string, and away went the peaches over the ground and the soldiers after them.
The farmer came home without a cent, saying that “them Yankees” were the d-dest sharpest folks in a trade he ever heard of!
Another farmer lost nearly all of a wagon-load of apples by a very simple process.
Two soldiers engaged him in violent “argument” upon theology, while a whole regiment swarmed around the rear of the wagon, and stole the most of the apples before the hard-shell Baptist
, who was attempting to peddle them, knew what was going on-or rather off. He came home offering to bet that the Yankees
could steal the shortening out of a gingercake without breaking the crust.
Another dealer had a barrel of brandy, which he put into the depot over night, with other military stores which were guarded.
Surely, he thought, that brandy is safe.
In the morning he found the barrel just where he had left it, but it was wonderfully light!
In the night, the soldiers had crawled under the floor, bored up through and into the barrel, and drained the last drop into their canteens.
The owner joined the apple pedler in the opinion that the irrepressible Yankees
could take the shortening out of a gingercake without breaking the crust.
Both armies had a weakness for vegetables.
The regulation diet not embracing them to any great extent, this mania for vegetables, and particularly for potatoes, is accounted for. But the Southern
soldiers very rarely entered gardens, and took without permission.
The others did, or many did. And in this I noticed that the pillagers in the Union
army were the few, and not the many.
We had quite a lot of Irish potatoes in the garden, and where one Federal soldier slipped over the fence and stole them, ten would come to the front door and ask for them, or offer to buy. Yet the one in ten, or even one in twenty, gave the whole army a bad name.
The Union soldiers did a thriving business with the country people, swapping off coffee and salt for potatoes and vegetables.
They had an abundance of coffee, while within the Confederate
lines there was scarcely any. Even the pickets of the two armies used to exchange papers and coffee for tobacco.
The Confederates had an abundance of tobacco, but no coffee, while the Union
troops had coffee, but tobacco was scarce.
For some time the Tennessee river
, near us, was the line.
It was nothing unusual for the soldiers to swim across to each other and make exchanges of coffee, tobacco, and papers.
And in all these transactions I never knew an instance of bad faith on either side.
The discipline in the Union
army, in many respects, appeared to be best.
That is, there was less insubordination and more respect