Thursday, January 13, 2011

An Incident with a Moral

This is from page 30 of The Civil War in Song and Story 1860-1865 by Frank Moore. It was entitled An Incident with a Moral. The young soldier's attitude was probably more common than Civil War chaplains appreciated, and may be quite the same among soldiers (and civilians) today.

"A chaplain in one of the regiments on the Potomac narrates the case of a sick soldier, which strikingly illustrates the reasoning of many men in the camp and out of it. Some one had mentioned to the soldier the case of the Vermonter who was sentenced to be shot for sleeping on his post. During the evening following, the fever set in violently; the sick man imagined he was the one sentenced to be shot. The surgeon being called, the following conversation ensued: -


"Doctor, I am to be shot in the morning, and wish you to send for the chaplain. I desire to make all necessary preparations for my end." 


"They shall not shoot you; I'll take core of you. Whoever comes to take you from here, I shall have them arrested and put under guard." 


"Will you, dear doctor? Thank you, thank you - well, then, you need not send for the chaplain 'just yet' "

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