First Bull Run “Commemorating” Bull Run

Peace Society

Jun 25, 2019
Ark Mo line
Wednesday, April 9th, 1862

Rain and snow to-day. I was not able to get my wet boots on, this morning, and was obliged to lie in my ‘dog tent’ until afternoon. As I could not stay in the tent without continually lying on the bunk, it was tedious. The rain and snow storm has continued all day, confining all the men to their shelter tents. We have no mail, no papers, no literature of any kind. The men beguiled the weary hours, by croaking like frogs, quacking like ducks, and barking like dogs. …

One performance of our men; in these dismal rain storms, was quite comical. It was called, “The bull frog of Bull Run.” A leader would shout: “When our army marched down to Bull Run, what did the big bull frog say?” Hundreds of men would respond in deep bass, bull frog croaks: “Big thing! Big thing!!” Then the leader would ask, “When our army came back from Bull Run, what did the little frogs say?” “Run Yank! Run Yank!!” would be screeched in response, in excellent imitation of a swamp full of frogs. “What does the bully Sixth say?” Again the bull frog bass would respond, “Hit ‘em again! Hit ‘em again!!” Brave boys! How they contended against adverse circumstances, with their cheerful and courageous spirit.

Rufus R Dawes

Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers