And the row we suffering hero-martyrs made about it!


Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Thread Medic
Jul 23, 2017
Southwest Missouri
2 donkeys.jpg

Photo source
After the battle of Nashville, December, 1864, we marched in pursuit of Hood as far as the Tennessee River. There, for more than a week, we subsisted on corn—not canned corn and not even popcorn, but common, yellow, field corn on the cob.

And the row we suffering hero-martyrs made about it!

A soldier was carrying a couple of ears of corn to a camp-fire to parch for his supper. A mule tethered near by saw him and lifted up its dreadful voice in piteous braying. The indignant warrior smote him in the jaw, crying, “You get nine pounds a day and I get only five, you long-eared glutton, and now you want half of mine!”

The Drums of the 47th



Brigadier General
Forum Host
Jul 19, 2006
New Jersey
(Disclaimers: 100% not discounting slaves and slavery) but in battle, in camp and on the march the animals were the only true innocent victims in the conflict. They didn't ask to be there and didn't deserve to be overused and put in harm's way as they were.


First Sergeant
Aug 17, 2017
They are bigger and more hungry. No wonder they wanted more.
I do not know if this is true but I have been told by family that should know, as they had both horses and mules and worked the land with them, that a horse will eat itself sick and founder on sweet feed or grain (it can't on grass alone) if you let it but that a mule will not. A mule will eat a certain amount and quit.

I also was told a story by an older black man that worked on a farm in Florida, he had grown up in GA and was working for a farmer there and was instructed by the farmer to feed the plow mule a certain number of dried corn cobs every evening when he put the mule in the barn. After the first day of plowing, he said he felt bad for the mule as hard as he had worked and fed him more corn than he was told too. The next day, the farmer asked him why he had fed the mule more than he had told him too, he explained that he felt bad for the mule and as hard as he worked etc, then asked how did the man know that he had fed the mule more? The farmer took him back to the stall and told him to look in the feed bucket, and there was the extra corn he had given the mule, the farmer explained that the mule would only eat so much then quit feeding.

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Jan 16, 2015
From History of the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry, by Parker, Carter and the Historical Committee: The mule was given a big feed of salt and tied to a sapling. Hungry and thirsty, it commenced on the foliage and ate the tree, limbs, and trunk by morning. The mule traveled well on his hearty meal.


Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
May 12, 2010
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Some animals will just keep eating until they pop. The only ones I know who will get just what they need are cats. You can put food out for them. They eat what they need and have rest for next day. You could never do that for dogs.

I always notice when there is nature film of the big cats, leopards, tigers, etc. They will kill animal. Drag it back and then eat part and save parts for another day.

I love this picture of the mules. They are so sweet looking.