A camp incident.
--A Columbus correspondent of the New Orleans Crescent
relates the following incident:
We had a scene on the parade-ground the other evening, during battalion drill.
The regiment was standing at open order and ordered arms, when Col. Marks
gave the order stack arms.
Your military readers will a once see what a blunder this was, and how impossible it was to execute such an order according to modern tactics.
It threw the line into confusion; some companies stood fast without obeying the order, and others in at awkward and bungling manner, shouldered arms without order; the rear rank marched forward without order, and then the stacks were made without order.
Among the companies that didn't obey the order was the Continental Guards
Seeing this, the Colonel
shouted to Capt. Fleming
, wanting to known why his company didn't stack arms.
repeated that he didn't know how to execute the order.
said he would teach him how. The Captain
replied than that was just what he wanted.
instead of teaching him how to execute the movement, indignantly ordered him to marvel his company off the ground, and report him self under arrest.
The remaining companies then finished the bungles of stacking arms from an open order.
Subsequently Col. Marks
ordered the Continentals to appear before him at his tent which they did, under command of Lieut Babin
informed the company that he did not order them off the parade fore him to punish them; he merely wished to let them understand distinctly that in battalion drill he alone was their commander, and that when he gave the order, right of wrong, it must be obeyed, if possible.
, who had drilled the company, stepped up to speak in extenuation of the company, and to take the blame upon himself, he having always instructed the men never to obey a wrong order, but the Colonel
refused to listen to him. The Lieutenant
then offered him his sword; this the Colonel
also refused, saying he had just as good a sword of his own. Soon afterward the Colonel
sent an order to Captain Fleming
to return to his duty.
And so the matter, as far as I know, has "simmered down." High military authority has decided that the Colonel
was wrong in the first place, and the Captain
wrong in the second place; the former in giving the wrong order, and the latter in refusing to obey the order, though he knew it to be wrong.