previous next

Anecdotes of the war.

By Major John A. Hamilton.
A young Englishman—a specimen Dalgetty, joined our command. When asked, why? he replied, ‘I happened over here.’ Had he ‘happened’ over there, he'd have shot at us briskly as he shot for us. In those days field glasses pretentiously decorated the lowest order of officers as well as the higher. Our Dalgetty saw this, and got him three joints of cane which he adjusted to imitate a spy-glass. Fastening it with a profusion of tarred string he mounted a lofty lookout and leveled his mock glass at the enemy's batteries. Soon after he slid with a thump to the ground, and threw away his spying tube; when asked, ‘what ailed him,’ he replied, ‘I brought the Yanks too close up.’ Field glasses were seen only with field officers after that.

An order had gone out, ‘furloughs only when death is in the family.’ Our Englishman applied for leave; his paper read, ‘I've lost my grandmother.’ It was approved, and Dalgetty was passing Colonel——, a splendid officer, ‘I am sorry to hear of your affliction, when did your grandmother die?’ ‘She was very old, Colonel, and could not have lasted longer.’ Dalgetty moved on. ‘But when did the old lady die?’ returned the ex-West Pointer. ‘It is quite an affliction, sir, and we'll miss her,’ said Dalgetty, still on the move. ‘Perhaps you are hard of hearing— when did she die?’ asked the Colonel with a voice sufficient for a brigade front. ‘She's been dead forty years, sir; I can't lie about it, but I ought to get a furlough on it.’ The Colonel had to break out in a laugh as he saw Dalgetty going doggedly back to camp. A few days after Dalgetty got a ball in his leg; as it hit him he slapped the limb and shouted: ‘Thirty days and no death in the family.’

One dark and rainy winter's night the writer was ordered to carry food to the men in the trenches. A team was hitched up, and with a loaded wagon and driver we started out. Every challenge was made with the least noise, as the enemy were only a few rods in front. ‘Halt, dismount, and give the countersign,’ came at every thirty paces. It was rough on my teamster, who was rheumatic and cold. However, we made the trip, and halted at a cavalry post. Major——, a very Palladin for courage and strength, had rolled

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Dalgetty (7)
John A. Hamilton (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: