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Great Pop-gun practice.--Toby is a high private in the First Regiment of the Mississippi army. His company is armed with the breech-loading Maynard rifle, “warranted to shoot twelve times a minute, and carry a ball effectually 1,600 yards.” Men who fought at Monterey and Buena Vista call the new-fangled thing a “pop-gun.” To test its efficacy, Toby's Captain told the men they must “try their guns.” In obedience to command, Toby procured the necessary munitions of war, and started with his “pop-gun” for the woods. Saw a squirrel up a very high tree — took aim — fired. Effects of shot immediate and wonderful. Tree effectually stripped, and nothing of the squirrel to be found, except three broken hairs. Pop-gun rose in value — equal to a four-pounder. But Toby wouldn't shoot toward any more trees — afraid of being arrested for cutting down other people's timber. Walked a mile and a quarter to get sight of a hill. By aid of a small telescope, saw hill in distance; saw large rock on hill; put in big load; shut both eyes — fired. As soon as breath returned, opened both eyes; could see, just could, but couldn't hear — at least, couldn't distinguish any sounds; thought Niagara had broke loose, or all outdoors gone to drum-beating. Determined to see if shot hit. Borrowed horse, and started toward hill. After travelling two days and nights, reached place; saw setting sun shining through hill. Knew right away that was where his shot hit. Went closer — stumbled over rocky fragments scattered for a half mile in line of bullet. Come to hole — knew the bullet hit there, because saw lead on the edges; walked in, and walked through; saw teamster on the other side, “indulging in profane language” --in fact, “cussina considerable,” because lightning had killed his team. Looked as finger directed — saw six dead oxen in line with hole through mountain; knew that was the bullet's work, but didn't say so to angry teamster. Thought best to be leaving; in consequence, didn't explore path of bullet any further; therefore, don't know where it stopped; don't know whether it stopped at all; in fact, rather think it didn't. Mounted horse; rode back through the hole made by the bullet, but never told Captain a word about it; to tell the truth, was rather afraid he'd think it a hoax.

“It's a right big story, boys,” said Toby, in conclusion; “but it's true, sure as shooting. Nothing to do with Maynard rifle but load her up, turn her North, and pull trigger. If twenty of them don't clean out all Yankeedom, then I'm a liar, that's all.” --The Intelligencer, (Oxford, Mississippi.)

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