Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 09:05 AM.

One particular letter caught my interest.

It was from a captain in the 25th Alabama Regiment.  The war was coming to an end, the fighting was still fierce, but this fellow kept a sense of humor about some things and spoke fondly of those in his command.  His leadership ability was admirable.

On one occasion around Christmas of 1864, the captain had to choose 40 of his men to go immediately to fight on the front lines. The captain called it a “peculiar trial.”  Why was it peculiar?  

It was difficult.

The captain’s brother was in his command and he had to be fair about which 40 men he chose to go to the front.  He held a raffle or lottery, putting the word “front” on 40 tickets and making the rest blank.  The men drew blindly from a hat and the captain’s brother had to go to the front.

He did not note that his brother was killed; I would have to assume that he was not. 

The captain noted another incident that happened during the winter of 1864-5.  He wrote, “Some time during the winter, two young men, who had been brought in as Yankee prisoners, and who expressed a willingness to take the oath and join our army, rather than remain prisoners of war.  So they took the oath and joined my company.”  He also went on to say the fellows were from New York.

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