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[278] or, if it was light artillery, this, 10th Mass. Battery. Nor did the advertising stop here, for the haversacks and canteens were often similarly labelled, and yet, at the time, it seemed necessary to somebody that it should be done. At any rate, nobody found any fault with it; and if it had been thought desirable that each article of apparel should be similarly placarded, there would have been a general acquiescence on the part of the untutored citizen soldiery, who were in the best of humor, and with Pope (Alexander not John) seemed to agree that “Whatever is is right.” But how many of these loudly marked equipments survived the strife? Perhaps not one. The knapsack may have been thrown aside in the first battle, and a simple roll composed of the woollen and rubber blanket substituted for it. The haversacks and canteens were soon lost, and new ones took their place; and they lasted just as long and were just as safe as if conspicuously marked. One of the comical sights of the service was to see Rebel prisoners brought in having strapped on their backs knapsacks bearing just such labelling as that which I have quoted. Of course, these were trophies which they had either taken from prisoners or had picked up on some battlefield or in the wake of the Union army, and appropriated to their own use.

Light-artillerymen went to the front decorated with brass scales on their shoulders, but, finding an utter absence of such ornaments on the persons of soldiers who had been in action, and feeling sensitive about being known as recruits, these decorations soon disappeared. Theoretically, they were worn to ward off the blows of a sabre aimed by cavalrymen at the head; practically, it is doubtful whether they ever served such a purpose.

A Spencer rifle

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