A rebel yelled at Antietam: ‘Boys, she’s a Confederate cow’
Scott L. Mingus Sr. has produced another book in a series capturing little-known or unknown stories surrounding famous battles.
His “Human Interest Stories from Antietam” Antietam book is now available, complementing his work on the Battle of Gettysburg.
Here are two examples from his Antietam work, including the story about a Confederate cow:
General Lee, normally stoic and calm as battle loomed, allowed his emotions to betray him. As he was riding in the rear lines, he encountered a soldier surreptitiously toting a freshly killed pig. Enraged, Lee ordered the thief to be arrested. As an example to discourage other pilferers, he was to be escorted to Stonewall Jackson and shot for his wanton disobedience of Lee’s strict orders against foraging. Short of men already, Jackson soon commuted the execution sentence, and instead ordered the man to be sent straight to the front lines. He was to be placed in a position where the odds were highest he would be shot by the Yankees. The culprit fought well, survived the battle, and redeemed himself through his bravery under the scathing fire. He later became regarded as the man who had lost the pig, but “saved his bacon.”
Other animals weren’t as enthralled as the dogs with the sound and terror of battle. As Capt. James Dinkins and his comrades in the Eighteenth Mississippi advanced though the West Woods towards the distant Yankees, men were falling at every step as shells and shots pounded the earth and cut down the timber. A spotted cow rambled through the line, going to the Mississippians’ rear, desperately running like a race horse with her tail high in the air. A Federal artillery shell struck the ground a few feet in front of her and exploded, splattering dirt in all directions and leaving a large hole. The terrified bovine plunged in the hole, but soon scrambled out. Kit Gilmer of Company C hallooed, “Boys, she’s a Confederate cow; she’s going South!”