"I Sing of the Mule, the Army Mule ..."

John Hartwell

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The "Business End" of a Tough Customer
by Edwin Forbes
[LoC 2004661601]
By George L. Spining, ex-7th Kansas Regiment, an ode to the Army Mule, read at the 1892 G.A.R. National Encampment in Washington D.C.

An Old Friend Made Up of Ears, Heels, and Throat
I sing of the mule, the army mule,
The butt of all jokes, but nobody’s fool;
A four-footed Solon, who knew his own mind,
And wisely kept part of his foresight behind.

A general guarding his forces from fear
By keeping a battery close to his rear;
A strategist keeping his plans under cover
By marching one way and fighting the other.

A tactician of whom we all will agree
That he taught the whole world -- including Hardee --
The science of meeting the battle’s fierce brunt
By swinging his rear quickly round to his front.

A musician of note who never was paid,
Though he led every charge of the Hard Tack Brigade.
A song-bird wearing his wings on his head,
A player of bones, when we thought he was dead;
The only recruit wearing Uncle Sam’s brand
Whose heels were drum-sticks, and his head a brass band.

[Coleman's Rural World, November 1892]
 
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Fairfield

Sergeant Major
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Dec 5, 2019
But isn't it fine that these four-footed beings were loved and appreciated?

At Gettysburg, Col. Tilden of the 16th Maine was among those taken to Libby Prison. After his release, he rejoined the regiment and the men were so delighted to have him back that they purchased a fine new horse for him. After the war, Lt. Frank Wiggin (of the 16th) wrote: "I think every soldier of the command would have followed him and his rider wherever they might have led". When the horse eventually died, Rev. Butler wrote a long poem entitled "Death of an Old War Horse". It ended,
God hath made us both, and we have marched
Firm friends while thou wast here;
I only know I should not blush
To meet thee anywhere.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
@Viper21 ,

I just found another observation about the mule.

From the book, The Story of Camp Chase, by William H. Knauss, chapter 18, Plain Living At Johnson's Island, pg. 237-238, comes an account of one Confederate officer, Lt. Cunningham, wherein he describes an interesting insight from the siege of Vicksburg:

"...For nearly two months we successfully resisted all efforts of the Federal troops to effect an entrance. But the end was near. Short rations and constant fatiguing duty in the trenches were doing their work, and the fall of Vicksburg simply hastened the inevitable. We were constantly on duty, and our foodwas neither savory nor plentiful.

And right here I wish to placed on record by stating that the patient mule as an eatable is a pronounced failure and no addition to an army bill of fare."


The poor animal just can't seem to catch a break!

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Viper21

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
@Viper21 ,

I just found another observation about the mule.

From the book, The Story of Camp Chase, by William H. Knauss, chapter 18, Plain Living At Johnson's Island, pg. 237-238, comes an account of one Confederate officer, Lt. Cunningham, wherein he describes an interesting insight from the siege of Vicksburg:

"...For nearly two months we successfully resisted all efforts of the Federal troops to effect an entrance. But the end was near. Short rations and constant fatiguing duty in the trenches were doing their work, and the fall of Vicksburg simply hastened the inevitable. We were constantly on duty, and our foodwas neither savory nor plentiful.

And right here I wish to placed on record by stating that the patient mule as an eatable is a pronounced failure and no addition to an army bill of fare."


The poor animal just can't seem to catch a break!

Sincerely,
Unionblue
So basically, Army food has always sucked..! Even well before you & I, ever tasted any....lol.

A neighbor about a 1/2 mile down the road, always has a dozen or two heads of cattle. If it's real quiet out, & something irritates him, I can hear his donkey carrying on. I know several people that have em. They're way smarter than people give em credit for. Though, I must confess, I've never looked at one & thought, they looked edible...lol.
 
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