Say What Saturday: The Long Roll

lelliott19

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Did you ever hear the long roll? If you have not, let me describe the feelings of a soldier when he hears the long roll before a battle. There is a strange feeling that begins to tug and jerk at his knees and a creeping sensation like something crawling up the back of his head, and it will push his hat up. His mind will take him back to his old home, for he knows that he is not only listening to the long roll, but it may be his last roll --- as it proved to be that day to a great many.... I have told you something about the long roll; but now the crucial time had come. I know some of you have heard the words, "Lie down, militia, I am going to pop a cap." When troops are preparing for action everybody is popping caps. The clatter of the bayonet, as it is being fitted on the guns, the ringing of the steel rammers, as they load their guns, is past description, and the man who has not got the sand will get to the rear. ~ John William Reagin (C/3rd SC)

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The Anderson Intelligencer. (Anderson Court House, SC), August 17, 1904, page 2.
 

lelliott19

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and the man who has not got the sand will get to the rear.
This was the first time I had ever read this --- that the man who has "not got the sand" will get to the rear. I assume this means he was a bit hesitant to go into the fight? Conversely, a man who has "got the sand" would be one who is brave? Has anyone ever heard this expression before?
 

The Walking Dead

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This was the first time I had ever read this --- that the man who has "not got the sand" will get to the rear. I assume this means he was a bit hesitant to go into the fight? Conversely, a man who has "got the sand" would be one who is brave? Has anyone ever heard this expression before?
Yes I have heard the term 'sand' used in this manner.
 
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