Comic Relief In The Thick Of Battle, Thanks To A Mule


Sergeant Major
Aug 8, 2011
Gettysburg area
The long-suffering yet plucky mules who supported the war effort for both sides sometimes contributed a bit of levity—even while bullets flew around them. This anecdote was related by Capt. Theodore Hanscom of the 6th New Hampshire Regiment:

"The boys were quick to see anything funny, at any time or place. We had fired nearly all our cartridges, and lay hugging the ground and watching brigade after brigade come in, when a stray mule loaded with blankets passed along. The Minies were flying, and one of them cut the rope which fastened the blankets, causing them to fall on the animal’s heels. He began to kick, and for a time the air was full of blankets and mule, while a shout went up from the boys that outsiders might have thought more appropriate for the camp-fire than the battle-field.”​

From “History of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment,” by Lyman Jackman, 1891.​