but aimed to combine a reasonable form of punishment with utility to the camp and to the better behaved class of soldiers, and in this I think they were successful.
But there was a class of officers who felt that every violation of camp rules should be visited with the infliction of bodily pain in some form.
As a consequence, the sentences imposed by these military judges all looked towards that end. Some would buck and gag
their victims; some would stand them on a barrel
for a half-day or a day at a time; a favorite punishment with some was to knock out both heads of a barrel, then make the victim stand on the ends of the staves; some would compel them to wear all inverted barrel for several
Bucked and Gagged.|
hours, by leaving a hole cut in the bottom, through which the head passed, making a kind of wooden overcoat; some culprits were compelled to stand a long time with their arms, extending horizontally at the side, lashed to a heavy stick of wood that ran across their backs; others were lashed to a tall wooden horse which stood perhaps eight or nine feet high; some underwent the knapsack drill, that is, they walked a beat with a guardsman two hours on and two or four hours off, wearing a knapsack filled with bricks or stones.
Here is an incident related by a veteran who served in the Gulf Department: One day a captain in General Phelps
' Brigade put a man on knapsack drill; in other words, he filled his knapsack with bricks, and made him march with it up and down the company street.
The General had the habit of going through the camps of his brigade quite frequently,