What Union General Curtis and Confederate General Price shared in common

SWMODave

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Soldiers in active service, as well as sailors, develop a remarkable fondness for pets among the brute creation, and they even introduce them to the battle-field.

I saw, on one occasion, near Vicksburg, a battery of guns hurrying into position for real work, the horses in a gallop, and the cannoneers being bounced about in their seats, holding hard to prevent being thrown off; and at the same time two squirrels and a coon fastened by small chains to the "limbers," who seemed not at all put out.

General Curtis' love for pets developed itself in getting up a headquarters train of white mules; sixteen teams, each of six white mules, carefully selected as to size and other good points, and the train presented a very beautiful appearance.

Military History and Reminiscences of the Thirteenth Regiment of Illinois

The sad ending of the Confederate cause had demoralized many of the boys in gray, who were down in Louisiana and Arkansas, very seriously, and it is said they would steal or take anything in the way of a four-footed beast that would carry them back to their home in old Missouri. Even the property of their honored and honorable old leader, " Old Pap Price," was not secure.

Shortly before he started from Shreveport for Texas and Mexico, Gen. Price had two pairs of white mules and a wagon, about all the property he possessed, and with these he calculated to make the trip. The night before he started, some of the disbanded troops stole his mules, leaving the general afoot. The next morning he assembled his soldiers, and made them a speech about his mules, saying to them that he had been with them since the opening of the war, sharing their dangers and trials; that he was now an old man, and poor; that he could not walk to Texas, and they must help him find his mules.

The "boys" could not resist this appeal, and the mules were found hid in a cane-brake, and restored to the kind-hearted but brave old warrior.

History of Saline County, MO
 
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