Webfoot

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donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
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May 12, 2010
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30,757
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
According to "The Language of the Civil War" by John D. QWright page 321:

webfoot

1. A nickname for a sailor. When praising his army in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln added, "Nor must Uncle Sam's web-feet be forgotten.

2. A jocular nickname for a common infantryman, often hurled by a cavalryman.
 

diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
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20,556
Location
State of Jefferson
Oregon is the Webfoot State and the citizens are Webfoots, because of the rain. Oregonians don't tan - they rust! It goes back to around 1862. Legend has it that a visitor staying with a family on the Long Tom, a tributary of the Willamette River, was so disgusted with the soggy weather that he remarked all Oregon children should be equipped with webbed feet like a duck. "We have already thought of that," said the lady of the house and produced her baby - who had webbed toes!

And it hatched out a sports team - the Oregon Ducks...and some, ahem, rhyming war cries from their opponents the Oregon Beavers.
 
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gary

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Feb 20, 2005
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How did the term webfoot get to be applied to the infantryman? Was it all because of Lincoln?
 
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