One day a man with very strong anti-Union sentiments was caught putting a villainous compound into the spring from whence the regiment obtained drinking-water.  On being remonstrated with, he said he meant to poison the – Yankees!

After shaving his head and applying molasses and flour, the men amused themselves by chasing the poor wretch back across the bridge into Washington.

“A stalwart female,” says Lieutenant Bemis, “…dressed in gaudy attire, with rounded skirts,

made frequent trips from Georgetown to our camp across the Aqueduct bridge.  She was allowed to pass several times unmolested, when a suspicion arose that there was ‘a bear in the fence.’  On being ushered into the guard-house and examined, about a dozen pint flasks of whiskey were found suspended beneath her skirt, and she was turned back.  Then she changed her tactics.  She appeared again, leading a little girl about eight years old, and her own skirts being clear, she was allowed to pass.  A subsequent search revealed the fact, however, that the juvenile was loaded

in the original style.  Then the fun commenced.  The woman was soused into the old canal and dragged out.  In this sorry plight she was permitted to return, having probably had enough of the aqueduck, as her visits ended right there.”

One day an Irish resident of Virginia, accompanied by his wife, appeared at headquarters with a doleful complaint about having a pig stolen.  It was known that Poke Smith and Mike Fitzgerald had just skinned a pig, and, indeed, there was an aroma like the odor of fresh pork when cooking pervading the camp at that moment.  Yet no one seemed to know anything about it.  Finally there was a purse made up for the poor man, which fully reimbursed him for the loss of his pig, and afterward the men were reprimanded generally.  It was believed that some of the officers had a piece of that pork.

 

Source:  Hyland C. Kirk, Heavy Guns and Light, A History of the 4th New York Heavy Artillery, New York, 1890, Pp. 38, 41.  Image source:  P. 17.

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