“That reminds me of Sam Watkins,” said a gentleman present. “The same Sam that wrote that inimitable book on the war called “Company H”—the best book I ever read on the war, for it came nearer to painting it in its true, horrible colors than any of them. Sam tells the story as he went through it, from the standpoint of a common soldier, and the motto of his volume seems to have been General Sherman’s laconic remark that “War is hell.” If the young idiots ever get up a notion to fight again, Sam Watkins’ ‘Company H’ will do more to stop them than anything I know of. Anyway, just before the Battle of Shiloh Sam found himself mounted on the stubbornest mule that ever went to war. He would charge Grant’s whole army when the bugle sounded retreat, and would proceed to fall precipitately back when there wasn’t an enemy in a hundred miles. On the first day at Shiloh, when Johnston’s army was rushing over everything before night, and Buell came, Sam’s mule suddenly decided to retreat—and retreat he did, much to Sam’s mortification and disgust. As he went back full tilt he ran over a gun with four horses attached and before he recovered from the shock of the collision to know which way his rear end was, Sam tied a rope to his neck and the other end of the rope to the caisson’s axle, and having mounted again he got the artilleryman to literally haul his muleship into battle. The fight was nearly over when they finally got to the front, and, General Johnston being killed, Beauregard had ordered a cessation of hostilities till morning. But it suddenly dawned on Sam’s mule that he was expected to charge, and no sooner was he released than he straightened his neck, and before his rider could dismount, straightened his tail, brayed once and charged Grant’s whole army, penned up on the banks of the Tennessee River, and madder than a gored bull in a fence corner. Sam’s captain didn’t understand the mule’s maneuvers, and as he went by shouted to his men:
influence on posterity, of works written three hundred or even one hundred years ago.
"Oh, I don't know about that," said Simon Great.
"And he wouldn't let you become an artist?" Arthur put in.
"I had a feeling I'd get paper instead of action," Retief said. "I thought I'd save a little time all around."
“It is indeed glorious,” continued Michael Meyer. “To be as a god to mankind; to bear in this human body the gift of healing; to know that the riches for which men toil, and pine, and slay one another, are at our will in such abundance that they seem to us like dust. And more than all, to have the power of holding communion with those good spirits which God created as he created man, more beautiful and yet less perfect, for they must remain as first made, while man may rise through various stages of existence, higher and higher, until he reach the footstool of divinity itself.”
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