.... he never used profanity to Captain McGregor after that.

SWMODave

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cannon sketch.png


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.
 

SWMODave

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We found the roads in very bad condition, for the moving artillery. Our horses were fresh and fat, and we had but little trouble, as to bogging. The day before we joined Gen. Hood it rained on us all day. At one steep hill several wagons were stalled, and as we came up to the foot of the hill and halted, Gen. Forrest with a few of his staff, were standing by a small fire in the rain, he still looked mad and dangerous, and was watching the stalled wagons on the hillside, in their efforts to get up. Noticing our battery halted on account of the wagons, he turned to Lieut. Harris who was in command, and whom we boys nicknamed "Little Toby", as he was small and a rather vain weak man, and commanded him to "Throw down that rail fence and take your battery through that field, and around those wagons". Lieut. Harris said in reply, "General I can't go through that field - my guns will bog".

Forrest as quick as lightning, jerked his sword from the scabbard, and with a horrible oath said, "If you tell me you can't do anything, when I tell you to do it I will cut your head off right here" and moving toward Lieut. Harris as he said it. Harris without uttering another word plunged his spurs into the flanks of his horse, and made for the fence, and in five seconds had it down, and we were moving through the cultivated fields and reached the top of the hill, ahead of the wagons without a hitch, and resumed our march. We boys laughed over that affair until we cried.
 

Carronade

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Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
My first thought would have been the same as Lt. Harris. Perhaps the field was more passable because it had not yet been churned up by horse teams and wagons. Also the battery's horses were in good condition. And the guns and battery vehicles may have been lighter than the bogged-down wagons. Seems like some good quick thinking by Forrest.
 

TerryB

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Dec 7, 2008
Location
Nashville TN

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.
One of my favorite stories about Forrest!
 
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