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General Gordon, the Confederate commander, used to tell the following
story: He was sitting by the roadside one blazing hot day when a
dilapidated soldier, his clothing in rags, a shoe lacking, his head
bandaged, and his arm in a sling, passed him. He was soliloquizing in
"I love my country. I'd fight for my country. I'd starve and go thirsty
for my country. I'd die for my country. But if ever this damn war is
over I'll never love another country!"
A snobbish young Englishman visiting Washington's home at Mount Vernon
was so patronizing as to arouse the wrath of guards and caretakers; but
it remained for "Shep" Wright, an aged gardener and one of the first
scouts of the Confederate army, to settle the gentleman. Approaching
"Shep," the Englishman said:
"Ah--er--my man, the hedge! Yes, I see, George got this hedge from dear
"Reckon he did," replied "Shep". "He got this whole blooming country
Speaking of the policy of the Government of the United States with
respect to its troublesome neighbors in Central and South America,
"Uncle Joe" Cannon told of a Missouri congressman who is decidedly
opposed to any interference in this regard by our country. It seems that
this spring the Missourian met an Englishman at Washington with whom he
conversed touching affairs in the localities mentioned. The westerner
asserted his usual views with considerable forcefulness, winding up with
"The whole trouble is that we Americans need a ---- good licking!"
"You do, indeed!" promptly asserted the Britisher, as if pleased by the
admission. But his exultation was of brief duration, for the Missouri
man immediately concluded with:
"But there ain't nobody can do it!"
A number of Confederate prisoners, during the Civil War, were detained
at one of the western military posts under conditions much less
unpleasant than those to be found in the ordinary military prison. Most
of them appreciated their comparatively good fortune. One young fellow,
though, could not be reconciled to association with Yankees under any
circumstances, and took advantage of every opportunity to express his
feelings. He was continually rubbing it in about the battle of
Chickamauga, which had just been fought with such disastrous results for
the Union forces.
"Maybe we didn't eat you up at Chickamauga!" was the way he generally
greeted a bluecoat.
The Union men, when they could stand it no longer, reported the matter
to General Grant. Grant summoned the prisoner.
"See here," said Grant, "I understand that you are continually insulting
the men here with reference to the battle of Chickamauga. They have
borne with you long enough, and I'm going to give you your choice of two
things. You will either take the oath of allegiance to the United
States, or be sent to a Northern prison. Choose."
The prisoner was silent for some time. "Well," he said at last, in a
resigned tone, "I reckon, General, I'll take the oath."
The oath was duly administered. Turning to Grant, the fellow then asked,
very penitently, if he might speak.
"Yes," said the general indifferently. "What is it?"
"Why, I was just thinkin', General," he drawled, "they certainly did
give us hell at Chickamauga."
Historical controversies are creeping into the schools. In a New York
public institution attended by many races, during an examination in
history the teacher asked a little chap who discovered America.
He was evidently thrown into a panic and hesitated, much to the
teacher's surprise, to make any reply.
"Oh, please, ma'am," he finally stammered, "ask me somethin' else."
"Something else, Jimmy? Why should I do that?"
"The fellers was talkin' 'bout it yesterday," replied Jimmy, "Pat McGee
said it was discovered by an Irish saint. Olaf, he said it was a sailor
from Norway, and Giovanni said it was Columbus, an' if you'd a-seen what
happened you wouldn't ask a little feller like me."
Our country! When right to be kept right; when wrong to be put
Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be
in the right; but our country, right or wrong.--_Stephen Decatur_.
There are no points of the compass on the chart of true
patriotism.--_Robert C. Winthrop_.
Patriotic exercises and flag worship will avail nothing unless the
states give to their people of the kind of government that arouses
patriotism.--_Franklin Pierce II_.
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