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Any man who has seen the object that the name applies to, will acknowledge that it was admirably selected. Fancy a ragged man, blackened by the smoke of many a pine-knot fire, mounted on a scraggy mule, without a saddle, with a gun, a knapsack, a butcher-knife, and a plug hat, stealing his way through the pine forests far out on the flanks of a column, keen on the scent of rebels, or bacon, or silver spoons, or corn, or anything valuable, and you have him in your mind. Think how you would admire him if you were a lone woman, with a family of small children, far from help, when he blandly inquired where you kept your valuables. Think how you would smile when he pried open your chests with his bayonet, or knocked to pieces your tables, pianos, and chairs, tore your bed-clothing in three-inch strips, and scattered them about the yard. The “bummers” say it takes too much time to use keys. Colour is no protection from these roughriders. They go through a negro cabin, in search of diamonds and gold watches, with just as much freedom and vivacity as they “loot” the dwelling of a wealthy planter. They appear to be possessed of a spirit of “pure cussedness.” One incident of many will illustrate: A bummer stepped into a house and inquired for sorghum. The lady of the house presented a jug, which he said was too heavy; so he merely filled his canteen. Then taking a huge wad of tobacco from his mouth, he thrust it into the jug. The lady inquired, in wonder, why he spoiled that which he did not want. “Oh, some feller'll come along and taste that sorghum, and think you've poisoned him; then he'll burn your d-d old house.” There are hundreds of these mounted men with the column, and they go everywhere. Some of them are loaded down with silver-ware, gold coin, and other valuables. I hazard nothing in saying three-fifths (in value) of the personal property of the counties we have passed through were taken by Sherman's army.
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