A Confederate veteran. [from the Richmond times, November 1, 1891.Who acknowledged no command and knew no Fear—Old Hines of the Second Howitzers—a most unique Character—The poorest soldier, the greatest plunderer, and one of the bravest of men.
Lee's immortal army contained many heroes, but only one ‘Old Hines,’ and he was a member of the Second company of Richmond Howitzers. ‘Old Hines’ was unique, a separate and independent command by himself, a kind of ‘imperium in imperio.’ In person he was of low and squatty figure, stoop-shouldered, very bowlegged, and possessed an enormous aquiline nose and a cocked eye, a shrewd smile generally played over his smoothly-shaved face. In addition he was ‘deaf as a post’ and had seen at least seventy-five winters. In spite of all this he was strong as an ox and tough as a mule. How he ever became a member of that famous battery was a mystery to me. Nobody knew whence he came or what was his nationality. ‘Old Hines’ had only two associates—Mills and Otto, two Germans—messmates of his, who spoke very little English but a great deal of Dutch. ‘Old Hines’ himself never talked at all, and never performed any duty in camp or on the field. Put him on guard and he would deliberately walk back to his mess. Remonstrances were vain, he could not hear explanations out of order, he would not talk, put him in the guardhouse he was happy; release him he was equally so. ‘Old Hines’ detested shoes, and generally went barefooted winter and summer; in consequence his feet were as hard and tough as leather. When the boys wanted a little fun they would give ‘Old Hines’ a little ‘hard tack’ or some corn meal to induce him to dance out the fire of his mess. If the gift was sufficient he would tuck up his pants to the knee, give a war whoop and jump with bare feet into the fire, kicking the smouldering embers in every direction, performing a pyrotechnic war dance that would have made a Comanche Indian envious; this was delightful to the boys, but not to Otto and Mills, as they had to rekindle the fire.