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[187]

Camp humor: Facetiousness of a sutler with the western armies The signs about this sutler's store in Tennessee display the rude wit of the soldier in camp. The name over the little shanty contains an affectation of French elegance that is amusing even to-day. The misspelling in the announcement, ‘Meels at all Ours,’ may not have appealed to all the frequenters as strongly as to us, but the imposing declaration that it was kept on the European plan came to be understood by everyone. There was no humor at all in some of the signs, such as the warning over the door ‘No Tick,’ as many a lad with empty pockets must have found when he felt very thirsty for ‘Xxxx Ale.’ No one can be so sure of the other sign ‘No Licker Sold to Soljers.’ Probably the arrangements could be made in the dark of the moon for suspension of this grim regulation. The sutler's store was a center of the social life of the squad in off hours. Here they would gather to chat over the events of the last campaign, to compare notes on the various leaders, to discuss the probabilities of the next advance, and to swap yarns from all possible sources.

 

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