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 Posted: Sat Jun 9th, 2007 04:24 am
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Fuller
E Pluribus Unum


Joined: Mon Oct 23rd, 2006
Location: USA
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younglobo,

This thread got a little life in it again and so I though I might add something I found a bit ago.  To your question about "Saw my leg off"...(Gramps wasn't crazy after all):)

From histories of the 13th Mass.,

Various were the devices adopted by the boys to relieve the monotony of weary marches. On these occasions, as conversation was allowed, stories were told, gossip repeated, discussions carried on, and criticisms made on the acts of public men, as well as on the merits of our commanders. An occasional silence would be broken by the starting of a familiar song, and very soon the whole regiment would join in the singing. Sometimes it would be a whistling chorus, when all would be whistling. Toward the end of a day, however, so tired we were all, that it was difficult to muster courage for these diversions, then our only reliance for music would be the band. When a temporary halt was granted, it was curious to see how quickly the boys would dump themselves over on their backs at the side of the road as soon as the word was given, looking like so many dead men. There was one thing we were thankful to the colonel for, and that was his freedom from nonsense on such occasions, No "right--facing, no "right--dressing, no "stacking arms," to waste valuable minutes, but "get all the rest you can, boys," and when the order was given to "forward," each man took his place in line without confusion or delay....
It would often occur, when we were tired and dusty from a long days march, "Old Festive" would ride by, when suddenly you would hear sung:

"Saw my leg off,
 Saw my leg off,
   Saw my leg off--
SHORT! ! !"


 


 

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