If this manuscript should ever be published, it will go to the world without any apology or commendation from me whatever. It is, though, only fair to say that I make no pretensions to being a "literary" man. This is simply the story of a common soldier who served in the army during the great war, and who faithfully tried to do his duty.
k Hawk racket, or the Mexican war, was regarded as fit and desirable for a commissioned officer, or, at the least, pretty high up in the non-commissioned line. But, as it afterwards turned out, that was an erroneous notion. There were exceptions, of course, but in any event, as regards the Black Hawk episode, service during it was of no practical benefit whatever to a man who became thereby an officer in the Civil war. Capt. Reddish was kind hearted, and as brave an old fellow as a reckless and indiscriminating bull dog, but, aside from his personal courage, he had no military qualities whatever, and failed to acquire any during his entire service. He never could learn the drill, except the most simple company movements. He was also very illiterate, and could barely write his name. And his commands on drill were generally laughable. For instance, in giving the command of right or left wheel, he would supplement it by saying, "Swing around, boys, just like a gate." Such directions would mortify us exceedingly,