slumberers until he came to his victim, when he would shake him by the shoulder and arouse him. The only drawback to this method occurred when the reflections of the corporal woke up the wrong man, who, if he happened to be one of those explosive creatures whom I have before mentioned, was not always complimentary to the intruder in his use of language.
Once in a while, in making his midnight rounds, when calling the name of one of his guard through the door of the stockade, the corporal would be politely directed by some one from within, perhaps the very man he wanted, to “Next tent below” ; and many a time this officer succeeded in getting such an innocent and unsuspecting household completely by the ears before being convinced of the joke which had been played on him, when he would return to the first tent in no enviable humor; for meanwhile the men to be relieved were chafing and sputtering away at the non-appearance of the corporal and the relief.
I think there was no one minor circumstance which vexed soldiers more than tardy relief from their posts, for every minute that they waited after the expiration of their allotted time seemed to them at least ten; so that the reception which the corporal and relief received when they did
arrive was likely to be far from fraternal.
Speaking of the corporal of the guard reminds me of a snatch of a song which used to be sung in camp to the tune of “When Johnny comes marching home.”
Here is the fragment:--
My Johnny he now a Corporal is!
My Johnny he now a Corporal is,
You bet he knows his regular biz,
And we'll all feel gay, etc.
At 8.30 P. M., the bugle again sounded “Attention,” followed by the “Assembly,” about five minutes afterwards, and the tumbling-out of the company from their evening sociables, to form in line for the final roll-call of the day, known as Tattoo