meant all the labors of the service distinct from strict military duty, such as the “policing” or clearing up of camp, procuring wood and water for the company, digging and fitting up of sinks (the water-closets of the army), and, in addition to these duties, in cavalry and artillery, procuring grain and forage for the horses.
It was a sad fate to befall
Water for the cook-house.|
a good duty soldier to get on to a detail to procure wood where every second or third man was a shirk or beat; for while they must needs bear the appearance of doing something, they were really in the way of those who could work and were willing to. Many of these shirkers would waste a great deal of time and breath maligning the government or their officers for requiring them to do such work, indignantly declaring that “they enlisted to fight and not to chop wood or dig sinks.”
But it was noticeable that when the fight came on, if any of these heroes got into it, they then appeared just as willing to bind themselves by contract to cut all the wood in Virginia
, if they could only be let go just that once.
These were the men who were “invincible in peace and invisible in war,” as the late Senator Hill
, of Georgia
, once said.
I may add here that, coming as the