Friday Funny - Some 'General-ly' humorous tales


Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Thread Medic
Jul 23, 2017
Southwest Missouri

There were many stills in the sequestered nooks of the mountains, and by noon quite a number of the men were in an exceedingly good humor-a few staggering—and apple-jack and peach brandy could be had out of hundreds of canteens. To prevent the men from getting liquor, General Hood authorized a statement, which was industriously circulated and really believed, that smallpox was raging among the citizens. Whether true or not, it had a good effect; I did not straggle.

Riding along by himself, half a mile in rear of the brigade, General Hood discovered, lying in the middle of the road and very drunk, a soldier of the Fourth. Checking his horse, the General asked, " What is the matter with you, sir? Why are you not with your company? "

The stern and peremptory voice sobered the man a little, and rising to a sitting posture and looking at the General with drunken gravity, he said, " Nossin' much, I reckon. General—I just feel sorter weak and no account."

" So I see, sir," said Hood; "get up instantly and rejoin your company." The victim of John Barleycorn made several ineffectual attempts to obey, and some men coming along just then, Hood ordered them to take charge of him and conduct him to his company.

But as they approached with intent to carry out the order, the fellow found voice to say between hiccoughs, "Don't you men that ain't been vaccinated come near me—I've got the smallpox—tha's wha's the masser with me." The men shrank back in alarm, and the General, laughing at the way his own chickens had come home to roost, said, " Let him alone, then —some teamster will pick him up," and rode on.


"We made a great mistake," said Gen. Lee to Mr. Hill, "in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake."

"What mistake is that, General."

"Why, sir, in the beginning we appointed all our worst generals to command the armies, and all our best generals to edit newspapers. As you know I have planned some campaign, and quite a number of battles. I have given the work all the care and thought I could, and sometimes, when my plans were completed, as far as I could see, they seemed to be perfect. But when I have fought them through, I have discovered defects in advance. When it was all over, I found, by reading a newspaper, that these best editor-generals saw all the defects plainly from the start. Unfortunately, they did not communicate their knowledge to me until it was too late."

Then, after a pause, he added “I have no ambition but to serve the Confederacy; I do all I can to win our independence. I am willing to serve in any capacity to which the authorities may assign me. I have done the best I could in the field, but I am willing to yield my place to these best generals, and I will do my best for the cause editing a newspaper."


Strict orders had been issued that no knapsacks or bundles were to be strapped on to any part of the gun-carriages, but that everything necessary should be carried on the caissons and battery wagons. But one of our batteries had considerable stuff strapped on, contrary to orders; so when Gen. Wainwright came along as we were halted in column in the road he noticed this.

A Lieutenant was at that moment in command. Gen. Wainwright reined up his horse, looked at the battery and said : "Lieutenant, what is this you have here?"

"Why, General, this is Battery —, 1st —."

"Ah, thank you for the information, Lieutenant ; I couldn't quite make it out. You carry too many guns for a baggage-train, and too much baggage for a battery!"

With this the old General rode on, leaving all the men roaring with merriment. It is needless to remark that the resemblance of that battery to a baggage-train soon ceased.


Like many other good soldiers, General Tyler was a good judge of whiskey, and could drink his portion without at all incapacitating himself for military duty. Consequently it was not surprising that he should have a certain amount of liquor as a part of his tent equipment.

One day he received a ten-gallon keg of whiskey, which was safely stored away in one corner of his tent, and which gave promise of many soothing potations and any amount of entertainment. But all these hopes were soon dashed to the ground. That night General Tyler had for a guard a big, raw-boned Irishman, named Kirwin, who, in the drinking line, could give the General points, and even go him one better. Kirwin was particularly instructed to report any trouble without the camp, for General Mosby was prowling around at that time and was making it particularly warm for the Unionists. The General retired; but Kirwin had either seen the keg when it was being brought in, or later, and in his anxiety for its welfare, forgot all about Mosby.

Assuring himself that the General was asleep, he called a council of his bosom companions and told them the status of things. It was unanimously decided to steal the keg, and Kirwin hauled it out from the end of the tent and rolled it down into a near-by ravine, where his thirsty companions were in waiting, like young eaglets in the absence of the motherbird. They made shorter work of the liquor than I can of the story, and all got patriotically drunk.

In the morning, when General Tyler looked for an " eye-opener," he was surprised to find the keg missing. Ascertaining the name of his guard the night before, he sent for Kirwin. The latter was still drunk when he entered the tent, but cleared himself, after denying all knowledge of the whereabouts of the keg, by saying, "General, Mosby must have stolen it." General Tyler smiled and dismissed him.

A few days after, when the men were on dress parade, Kirwin had a place in the front rank, but was now sober. As General Tyler marched down the line, in review, Kirwin endeavored to avoid the keen, searching eye, but to no purpose, for the General stopped directly in front of him, and said, with a smile, "Hello, Mosby, what are you doing here?" He passed on, while Kirwin remained severely quiet.


1st Lieutenant
Mar 16, 2016
On the morning of 28 October 1862, the side-wheeler Caroline was steaming from Havana to Mobile with a cargo of munitions when she was sighted by USS Montgomery. The Union gunboat immediately set out in pursuit of the stranger, beginning a six-hour chase. When Montgomery pulled within range of Caroline, she opened fire with her 30-pounder Parrott rifle and expended 17 shells before two hits brought the quarry to.

Two boats from the blockader rowed out to Caroline and one returned with her master, a man named Forbes, who claimed to have been bound for the neutral port of
Matamoros, Mexico, not Confederate Mobile. "I do not take you for running the blockade," the flag officer, with tongue in cheek, replied, "but for your damned poor navigation. Any man bound for Matamoros from Havana and coming within twelve miles of Mobile light has no business to have a steamer."


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