The Old Confederate’s Story: Chapter 3

This is the third chapter to Robert Carden’s story. Chapter 3 covers drunken high jinks, unscrupulous dealings and battling with William Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are available on our website.

From Cumberland Gap we went to the railroad above Knoxville and took the cars to Tullahoma and went into camp where we stayed for some time. I was then within 14 miles of home and I visited home quite often. Our adjutant liked a drink of applejack quite well and as there was a still near my home I would get a pass frequently. I suppose our Colonel did not know anything about it, so I would run up home, visit the folks and lay in a jug of brandy.

I remember on one occasion while we were camped there one of our company had been out about five miles to visit his people and a night or so later four or five of us went out to where this fellow reported that his brother-in-law, a preacher at that, had a lot of liquor on hand and was selling it. As we did not want to buy any, one of the crowd acted as officer, and he told the preacher we wanted some liquor, and as he said he had some the officer told him we would have to take him to camp together with what liquor he had. If you ever heard any begging that preacher did it. As we didn’t want the preacher some of us told the officer that if he would promise not to sell any more we would let him off but we would be compelled to take what liquor he had, which we did, and let him go.

As quick as we got started we commenced to store it away and when we got back to camp we were a lively set. It was a cold frosty night and the first thing I did after getting to camp was to try to catch a dog. We had an old fellow in our company who had a little wooly dog. I had a big fish hook and baited it with a piece of meat and proceeded to catch the dog. He did not take hold of it for some time