Dumb Mules! or are they?????


Dec 1, 2009
Lake Villa, Illinois
Reading online my sought after Memoir by Horace Porter, I read this passage about opening the Cracker Line around Chattanooga - which goes to show the serendipitous nature of battle........ha ha ha

As soon as the enemy recovered from his surprise, he woke up to the importance of the achievement; Longstreet was despatched to retrieve, if possible, the lost ground. His troops reached Wauhatchie in the night of the 28th, and made an attack upon Geary's division of Hooker's forces. The fight raged for about three hours, but Geary succeeded in holding his ground against greatly superior numbers. During the fight Geary's teamsters had become scared, and had deserted their teams, and the mules, stampeded by the sound of battle raging about them, had broken loose from their wagons and run away. Fortunately for their reputation and the safety of the command, they started toward the enemy, and with heads down and tails up, with trace-chains rattling and whiffletrees snapping over the stumps of trees, they rushed pell-mell upon Longstreet's bewildered men. Believing it to be an impetuous charge of cavalry, his line broke and fled. The quartermaster [10] in charge of the animals, not willing to see such distinguished services go unrewarded, sent in the following communication: “I respectfully request that the mules, for their gallantry in this action, may have conferred upon them the brevet rank of horses.” Brevets in the army were being bestowed pretty freely at the time, and when this recommendation was reported to General Grant he laughed heartily at the humor of the suggestion. Our loss in the battle, including killed, wounded, and missing, was only 422 men. The enemy never made a further attempt to interrupt our communications. - Campaigning With Grant, Horace Porter......:laugh1:

K Hale

Annual Winner
Aug 10, 2009
Author Unknown

Half a mile, half a mile,
Half a mile onward,
Right through the Georgia troops
Broke the two hundred.
"Forward the Mule Brigade!
Charge for the Rebs," they neighed.
Straight for the Georgia troops
Broke the two hundred.

"Forward the Mule Brigade!"
Was there a mule dismayed?
Not when their long ears felt
All their ropes sundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to make Rebs fly.
On! to the Georgia troops
Broke the two hundred.

Mules to the right of them,
Mules to the left of them,
Mules behind them
Pawed, neighed, and thundered.
Breaking their own confines
Breaking through Longstreet's lines
Into the Georgia troops
Stormed the two hundred.

Wild all their eyes did glare,
Whisked all their tails in air
Scattering the chivalry there,
While all the world wondered.
Not a mule back bestraddled,
Yet how they all skedaddled --
Fled every Georgian,
Unsabred, unsaddled,
Scattered and sundered!
How they were routed there
By the two hundred!

Mules to the right of them,
Mules to the left of them,
Mules behind them
Pawed, neighed, and thundered;
Followed by hoof and head
Full many a hero fled,
Fain in the last ditch dead,
Back from an ***'s jaw
All that was left of them, --
Left by the two hundred.

When can their glory fade?
Oh, what a wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Mule Brigade,
Long-eared two hundred!