Left Handed in the ACW

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Pvt.Shattuck

Sergeant Major
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I soon discovered after starting to reenact that EVERYTHING in the CW was right handed- left handedness was simply not recognized back then. I challenge all you righties to try and load and fire a musket left handed, or write a letter with a dip pen, pushing instead of dragging. I can't tell whether this writing contest held by The Soldier's Friend magazine was for natural lefties or amputees.
left hand writing.jpg
 
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diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Jan 23, 2010
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Everybody knows left-handed people are the only ones in their right minds. :geek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=bcYppAs6ZdI&feature=fvwrel

Forrest was a leftie, all right, but he couldn't have entered the contest. He couldn't write left-handed. When he mostly lost the use of his right arm, he had his wife or son write for him. He could do everything else with either hand, though. But left-handedness was sometimes regarded with superstition and Forrest had 'signs' all over the place - he was left-handed, a twin and born on Friday the 13th!
 
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diane

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Think he missed the 7th son thing by being the first born - he'd been marked for sure then! (Wouldn't be surprised if it was a full moon, either...)
 
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It's been reported in writings that although Bedford was a leftie, he was also ambidexrous, able to use either hand equally in battle.
It's rather common for lefties to have more dexterity in their non-dominant hand than a righty would in their non-dominant hand. Being a left hander in a right handed world, we shift back and forth more as needed. While I'm a left handed writer, left eye dominant, and shoot rifles left handed, I do many other things with the right.

I've typically shot pistols with either hand although I favor the left. I box righty although I can switch to lefty to mess with left handers. So when I take up a tool, sport, or weapon type I've not used before I try both right and left before settling in. (Folks ask, "are you right handed or left handed?" My response is, "show me what I'm supposed to do first, then I'll decide.") When it comes to throwing things I use my right arm which coupled with being left eye dominant seems to give me some advantage tracking and leading targets.
 

damYankee

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Aug 12, 2011
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Well then the smartest man who ever sat in the White House was James Garfield. If asked a question he could answer in writing simultaneously with right and left hand, and he would write in Latin with one while writing in Ancient Greek with the other, a parlor trick he used to entertain people through out his adult life.
 
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damYankee

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BTW, my grandmother could write with both hands at the same time, and the really strange part is, she could write two letters at the same time with different topics in each. It was freaky!
We would marvel at her ability to write two different Bible versus from memory at the same time...
 

tmh10

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BTW, my grandmother could write with both hands at the same time, and the really strange part is, she could write two letters at the same time with different topics in each. It was freaky!
We would marvel at her ability to write two different Bible versus from memory at the same time...
I would pay money to see that, quite a talent.:smile:
 
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diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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BTW, my grandmother could write with both hands at the same time, and the really strange part is, she could write two letters at the same time with different topics in each. It was freaky!
We would marvel at her ability to write two different Bible versus from memory at the same time...
Mozart could do something similar. He could write out two different compositions perfectly at the same time with both hands while composing another in his head! (Think what he would have done if he could have written with his toes...)
 
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damYankee

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A funny story I like to share. My grand parents had a ranch, down below the ranch was a mine that went out of business in 1947, my grandmother would bake bread, biscuits and pies and sell them at a little country story near their house and sold them to the miners.
In 1980 I was hiking down the canyon below the old place, maybe three miles below the old mine when I saw smoke in the distance and decided to get out of the place, so I'm hike up this old abandoned mining road when I hear a truck pulling up behind me. It's a US Forestry truck, and the Forestry Agent has an old man in the passenger seat, they stop and ask me how I got down the canyon?
I said " I'm Carl and Emma Hollenbeck's grandson" .
I swear to God, the old timer looked at me and said.... "THE BEST DAM PIE I EVER ATE!"
He had been a miner, and some 40 years after the mine closed he remembered those pies!
She was good!
They gave me a lift out of the canyon.
 

tmh10

Major
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A funny story I like to share. My grand parents had a ranch, down below the ranch was a mine that went out of business in 1947, my grandmother would bake bread, biscuits and pies and sell them at a little country story near their house and sold them to the miners.
In 1980 I was hiking down the canyon below the old place, maybe three miles below the old mine when I saw smoke in the distance and decided to get out of the place, so I'm hike up this old abandoned mining road when I hear a truck pulling up behind me. It's a US Forestry truck, and the Forestry Agent has an old man in the passenger seat, they stop and ask me how I got down the canyon?
I said " I'm Carl and Emma Hollenbeck's grandson" .
I swear to God, the old timer looked at me and said.... "THE BEST DAM PIE I EVER ATE!"
He had been a miner, and some 40 years after the mine closed he remembered those pies!
She was good!
That is good stuff. I would loved to have had one of those pies.
 
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