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[22] of an orderly sergeant in active service is an amiable one let him try it. When the men are not growling about you the captain is growling at you, and you are constantly between two fires. About one-third of the men in Company A had been members of the “Old Battalion,” and the town meeting tactics that prevailed in the militia had not quite died out. I was a recruit, and my promotion was not hailed with joy by the old men. It was said by them that they were detailed for guard rainy days, and that in other ways I favored the new men. They drew up a petition asking for a change, and some twenty men signed it and, through a committee, presented it to Captain Merritt. “What is this?” said the captain. “A petition for a change in first sergeant,” was the reply. “Petition! This is mutiny. Go to your quarters, and if I hear more of this I will have every man court-marshalled and sent to ‘Dry Tortugus!’ ” That settled the youngsters, and I was ever after obeyed and respected.

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C. M. Merritt (1)
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