- Jul 23, 2017
- Southwest Missouri
The roads were ordinary country roads, very muddy after the recent rains and much cut up by the passage of the artillery. Capt. Andrew McGregor was struggling with a captured caisson, which had stuck in the mud and refused to budge, when General Forrest rode up.
General Forrest, thinking the men were not expending sufficient energy in the effort, began to upbraid them.
"Who has charge here, anyhow?" he thundered.
"I have, General," replied Captain McGregor.
"Then why in hell don't you do something?" shouted General Forrest, proceeding to utter further emphatic utterances.
Captain McGregor sprang up. "I'll not be cursed out by anybody, even a superior officer," he roared, and, seizing a torch, he rammed it violently into the caisson.
General Forrest seemed stupefied for a moment by the insanity of thrusting a lighted torch into a caisson full of powder, then clapped spurs to his horse and rode away as fast as he could, shouting a warning to the others.
Reaching his staff, he asked: "What infernal lunatic is that just out of the asylum down there? He came near blowing himself and me up with a whole caisson full of powder."
The members of the staff knew the caisson was empty, and everybody laughed heartily, General Forrest readily joining in as he saw the point.
It was noticed, however, that he never used profanity to Captain McGregor after that.