Sunday, December 5, 2010
Here is a cotton field after the mechanical picker has gone through it. I notice a lot of cotton on the ground and on the stalk. I wonder about this because the focus currently in the manufacturing arena is on efficiency of the machine doing work.
Friday, December 3, 2010
One Sunday morning in Capt. E. B. Smith's log tent--it was in April, 1862, just before the siege at Yorktown, where we were then in camp--thirteen in number besides Mrs. Lieut. Guinn, the following named persons we remember as a part of those present, Capt. E. B. Smith, Lieut. J.M.K. Guinn , Lieut. A. T. Reaves, Lieut. E. M Burgess, Corporal Shelt Savage, Rev. Lewis J.. Black, Private J.. Meachum and Thompson Reaves--in number, the other five we have forgotten--were passing the time talking about our chances in getting home alive, when the subject came up as to where we had rather be wounded. Thompson Reaves, as well as we remember, started the subject by saying, "I had rather be wounded by having my index finger on my right shot off," Then said he, "I would get a discharge and stay at home." John J.. Meachum said, "Thomps, I'll take my big toe and that would give me a furlough, and I'll stay if I once get there." (Meaning home). Shelt Savage said, "I believe I'd take my left side." Capt. Smith said, "Shelt, I am like you. I want; both hands and feet and I'd take my right side." Lieut. Reaves said: "Boys, I'll take my foot. Polly is good company and I had rather be with her than anywhere else." Lieut. Guinn said, "I'll take my left arm between the wrist and elbow; I could come and go when I pleased." Lieut. Burgess said, (suiting the occasion by placing his finger in the center of his forehead). I want to be hit right here and where killed be buried." Rev. Lewis J.. Black said, "I don't care where I am hit, I only pray God, if I am to be wounded seriously to cause my death, I may be killed so dead that not a muscle of my face, arm, leg or body will move. I pray to God that this may be made so as a token and evidence; that you all, my wife, father, mother, brother, the members of my church and everybody else, may know that I am a Christian and that I will meet them in heaven." The scriptures say: "The last shall be first." Lewis Black was the first; while laying behind the breastworks, at the battle of Seven Pines, he was struck by a ball sin the head. Old soldiers know when a ball hits them, it sounds like a marble hitting a board, this was the case with the one hitting Lewis. Every eye near him was instantly turned toward him/ for they all knew and most of them had heard him pray to God that it might be thus--we inquired diligently and critically for we had promised him too, to see if his prayer was answered, and they all testified that not a feature of his person moved that they saw. Lieut. Burgess being next to last selecting, was the next to first killed. On the morning of June 27th, near a cowtrail coming obliquely into the road cutting the space of three or more feet wide through the bank three or four feet high to the level of the road bed, while standing cautioning the boys of the danger in passing it, as the Yankees had one or two pieces of artillery planted to cover it, which had killed Captain Clark and Thad Pool, he was struck with a minnie ball in the forehead just where he had selected and was buried as near the spot as was thought prudent. The last but two and the first but two, Lieut. J.M.K. Guinn was the next. A piece of shell struck his left arm between the wrist and elbow just where he too had selected that fatal Sunday morning. The next was Lieut. A. T. Reaves, shot through the foot as he had selected. Lieuts. Burgess, Guinn and Reaves were shot on the same day--June 27th-- the second day of the Seven Day's battle. The next two were Thompson Reaves and John J. Meachum. Reaves had his finger shot off and Meachum his big toe--just as they had selected. The writer was at home on furlough when they came home, when Mrs. Guinn related the circumstances, calling the names of the entire thirteen and with special attention to the six at that time, wounded as desired and selected. In the spring following Capt. Smith and Sergeant Shelt Savage were wounded each in the side, as they had selected. The other five we have forgotten their names. If we knew where Thompson Reaves and Shelt Savage were, for they were alive when last heard from, we would write them; perhaps they would remember the others.