It took us days to repair the damage


First Sergeant
Forum Host
Jul 23, 2017
Southwest Missouri

One evening Andy and I were going to have a feast, consisting in the main of a huge dish of apple-fritters. We bought the flour and the apples of the sutler at enormous figures, for we were so tired of the endless monotony of bacon, beef, and bean-soup, that we were bent on having a glorious supper, cost or no cost. We had a rather small chimney place, in which Andy was superintending the heating of a mess-pan half full of lard, while I was busying myself with the flour, dough, and apples, when, as ill-luck would have it, the lard took fire and flamed up the chimney with a roar and a blaze so bright that it illuminated the whole camp from end to end.

Unfortunately, too, for us, four of our companies had been recruited in the city, and most of them had been in the volunteer fire department, in which service they had gained an experience, useful enough to them on the present occasion, but most disastrous to us. No sooner was the bright blaze seen pouring high out of the chimney-top of our modest little cabin, than at least a half-dozen fire companies were on the instant organized for the emergency.

The " Humane," the " Fairmount," the " Good-will," with their imaginary engines and hose-carriages, came dashing down our company street with shouts, and yells, and cheers. It was but the work of a moment to attach the imaginary hose to imaginary plugs, plant imaginary ladders, tear down the chimney and demolish the roof, amid a flood of sparks, and to the intense delight of the firemen, but to our utter consternation and grief.

It took us days to repair the damage, and we went to bed with some of our neighbors, after a scant supper of hard-tack and coffee.

Recollections of a Drummer Boy

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Sergeant Major
Jan 15, 2014
My grandparents used to tell me that they fried everything in lard when they were young. My grandmother worked for a cardiologist, and she used to shudder when telling me about it. But, she said the fried fish tasted so much better.

BTW, they were not overweight, and they lived into their 80s.


Feb 20, 2005
Chimney fires were not unknown in camps. I read in the history of the 104th Penn Vet. Vol. Inf. that they had a lot of backdrafts blowing smoke down their chimneys on Morris Island.

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