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At last they requested Colonel Lawson himself to make out the parole and sign it. He immediately wrote an agreement, solemnly pledging himself never to take up arms against the United States of America, or in any way give aid and comfort to their enemies,—signed it, and was set at liberty. He made the best of his way to our lines, and was not overtaken.
It is surmised that when that parole fell into the hands of some Rebel officer who could read, it evoked a good many maledictions upon the head of the “Yankee trickster."
A PRACTICAL JOKE ON GEN. NELSON'S MULE TEAMSTER.
Our boys are furious for practical jokes, and are constantly on the watch for subjects. One was recently found in the person of a new teamster, who had the charge of six large, shaggy mules. John was the
proprietor of two bottles of old Bourbon-a contraband in camp-which a wag discovered, and resolved to possess. Being aware that the driver's presence was an impediment to the theft, he hit upon the following plan to get rid of him :
Approaching the driver, who was busy currying his mules, he accosted him with—“I say, old fellow, what are you doing there?”
“Can't you see?" replied John, gruffly.
"Certainly,” responded wag, “but that is not your business. It is after tattoo, and there is a fellow hired here, by the General, who curries all the mules and horses brought in after tattoo."
The mule driver bit at once, and desired to know where the hair-dresser kept himself. Whereupon he was directed to General Nelson's tent, with the assurance that there was where the fellow “hung out."
You can't mistake the man,” said wag; “he is a large fellow, and puts on a thundering sight of airs for a man in his business. He will probably refuse to do it, and tell you to go to the devil; but don't mind that, he has been drinking to-day. Make him come out sure."
Jehu posted off, and entering the tent where our Napoleon of the 4th Division sat in deep reverie, probably considering the most expeditious method of expelling the Rebel Buckner, from his native State, slapped him on the back with force sufficient to annihilate a man of of ordinary size. Springing to his feet, the General accosted his uninvited guest with—“Well, sir, who are you, and what the devil do
“Old hoss, I've got a job for you now; six mules to be curried, and right off, too," said the Captain of mules, nothing daunted at the flashing eye of the General.
“Do you know whom you are addressing, sir?" asked the indignant commander.
“Yes,” said John, elevating his voice to a pitch which rendered the words audible a square of; "you are the fellow hired by Uncle Sam to clean mules, and I won't have any foolishness. Clean them mules and I'll give you a drink of busthead.”
"You infernal villain !" exclaimed the General, now perfectly furious, “I am General Nelson, commander of this Division !"
John placed the thumb of his right hand against his nose, and extending his fingers, waved them slowly, in a manner supposed by some to be indicative of great wisdom. The General's sword leaped from its scabbard, and John from the tent just in time to save his head.
Our boys drank the “big mule driver's health" in the Bourbon, the story soon got out, and became the popular joke of the season.
A COSTLY MISTAKE. 1862.
AMONG the civilian prisoners captured at Rogerville, East Tennessee, was a gentleman from Connersville, Indiana, who had been visiting Richmond on army business. He seemed to be impressed with the belief that the Rebels regarded it as an offence worthy of death, to hail from a Northern city, and that when he fell into their hands, the hour of his dissolution drew nigh.
During Saturday night, while we were all quietly bunking in a corn-field, guarded by Confederate cavalry, the unsophisticated hoosier determined to rid himself of all the "evidence of his guilt," which he had in his possession. The night was very dark and cloudy. Indiana drew out his pocket-book, and after fumbling over it for some time, took therefrom what he thought was a pass from Governor Morton, authorizing him to leave his native State.
He had now, as he thought, got hold of the instrument destined to betray him even unto death. He resolved to annihilate it, and placing it in his mouth, set his vengeful teeth to work to reduce it to a state of undecipherable pulp. This done, with one masterly exhalation, he sent the "quid” over a neighboring fence, and with an easy conscience slept till morning.
During Sunday he had occasion to look over his private papers, and soon found, to his dismay, that Governor Morton's pass was still in his possession, but that a bank draft for three hundred dollars was missing! He had masticated the wrong document, much to his own pecuniary loss.
A TALK WITH A REBEL AT FORT DONELDSON.
WHEN I got back to my command, I found one of our lieutenants had Colonel Hanson, of the Kentucky 2d, in custody. He was a rough-looking customer, dressed in citizen's dress, short, muscular, and blear-eyed-he looked to me as a fit person to command a band of pirates. He said he wanted somebody to tell him where to march his men, that he was tired of waiting.
He acted and talked like one having a “heap" of authority, and not much like a prisoner. Finding no one to give him, immediately, the information he desired, he became sociable.
“Well," said he," you were too hefty for us."
“Yes, but you were protected by these splendid defences.”
“Your troops fought like tigers.”
you think now one Southern man can whip five Northern men?"
“Not Western men,” he replied, doggedly. “Your troops are better than Yankee troops-fight harderendure more.
The devil and all hell can't stand before such fellows. But we drove you back."
“Why didn't you keep us back ?”
“But we had no more troops engaged in the fight than you had."
“Well, you whipt us, but you haven't conquered us. You can never conquer the South.”
“We don't wish to conquer the South; but will restore the stars and stripes to Tennessee, if we have to hang ten thousand such dare-devils as you are."
“Never mind, sir, you will never get up to Nashville.” “Then Nashville will surrender before we start."
“Well, well, the old United States flag is played out -we intend to have a right Government down here."
“What am I to understand by a right Government ?”
“A Government based on property, and not a damned mechanic in it."
“Do these poor fellows, who have been fighting for you, understand that they have no voice in the right Government' that you seek to establish?"
“They don't care. They have no property to protect."
Fling the striped bunting out!
Never, never let it drag!
Underneath the starry ilag !