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[67] Indian fight, but was yet well able to perform the duties of an officer's servant in the field. His care of his master's property, and sometimes of the master himself, was very remarkable. In the midst of the battle at Wilson's Creek the horse I was riding was killed, and I called in vain for my spare horse. From the best information obtained I concluded that both the horse and my faithful orderly had been killed, and I sincerely mourned loss. But after the fight was over I found my man quietly riding the spare horse along with the troops, as if nothing unusual had happened. When I upbraided him for his conduct and demanded to know where he had been all that time, he replied: ‘Ah, Major, when I saw the one horse killed I thought I'd better take the other to a place of safety!’

Where my efficient assistant obtained his supplies I never knew, but he would fill without delay any requisition I might make, from a shoe-string to a buffalo-robe. One day in 1862 I found in my camp trunk several pairs of shoulder-straps belonging to the grades of captain, major, and lieutenant-colonel. As I was then a brigadier-general, I inquired of my man why he kept those badges of inferior grades. He replied: ‘Ah, General, nobody can tell what may happen to you.’ When, only a few months later, after having been promoted to the rank of major-general I was again reduced to that of brigadier-general, I remembered the forethought of my Irish orderly.

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Wilson's Creek (Missouri, United States) (1)

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1862 AD (1)
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