View single post by ole
 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 01:59 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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Actually, there were likely more judicious men than profane. When a man was pretty good at profanity, it was usually noted.

I've never read an account of the big guys using profanity, although the annals do recount some who could curse the ears off a mule. But they were considerably lesser in rank and tended to be in Division and Brigade command.

In fact, I can think of only one time when Grant lost his temper and that was when he caught a teamster abusing his animals. I don't recall a time when Lee lost it, or Sherman, or Longstreet, or Jackson, or Thomas. Now Sheridan was a fractious person, but it seems that public cursing was not in vogue. "You, sir, are a damned fool!" was simply not said.

Much has been said about Forrest's plain-speaking, but little evidence exists that he actually said those things. You might be sure that, in the field, some candid phrases were exchanged, but that sort of thing was not recorded. It might be said that the commander responded in "strong language," but that's about as far as it went.

So much so that when a commander was given to profanity, it was noted. Like, he was different. It's not like none of them ever uttered a profane curse, but they seem to be not recorded.

Bottom line: they were not all that much different emotionally than we are, so most of them most certainly said the equivalent of manure more than once. It just simply was not recorded.


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