and walked away with the gun, while ‘boarders were called away’ to shift track.
At eleven o'clock at night (we began at seven), when I dismissed the company, one of the guns was on the wharf; the other one was resting half way on the road.
At ten o'clock the next morning the two guns, with 100 rounds of ammunition, were on the way to Mobile
; and not the slightest accident or hitch had interrupted the work.
And ‘what couldn't be done’ was thus accomplished, chiefly by less than half a hundred black boys, and during a night as dark as their faces.
That afternoon the engineer officer
in charge of the work on the fort called on me and asked me if I was an engineer.
I told him that I was simply an up-and-down, out-and-out Yankee
; and that my chief occupation was growling at my ill luck.
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I know you seem to think that you are a misfit here, but, judging from what I saw of your performance last night, I believe that Providence
has placed you here; and if you will allow me, I think you had better stop grumbling.’
‘I didn't see you at the batteries,’ I said.
‘Well, I took special pains that you shouldn't see me,’ he replied.
‘But I have come to congratulate you on the handsome manner in which you have undone
some of my
It took me three weeks
to roll one
of those guns to the battery.
You have dismounted and shipped the two guns in less than six hours, and the chief part of the work was done by night.
With the facilities I have, by the time I could ship the guns they wouldn't be needed.’
And yet, the suspicion that I had been guilty of doing anything out of the ordinary hadn't entered my mind.
The rebuke for grumbling, however, I took to heart for use in all the future.
At different times we had received ‘distinguished guests’— for safe keeping.
After the capture of Mobile
, there were several thousand homeless rebels who sought shelter under our hospitable hospital tents, a large number of which we were able to command for their special benefit.
And I question if they ever before during their term of service fared so sumptuously.
My second lieutenant
was ‘commissary of prisoners,’ and 1 had ample opportunity to observe the manner in which they were entertained.
Indeed, I had the honor of receiving them on