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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886355704

From: "Robert T. Hilliard" <>
Subject: RE: Ornery
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998 12:55:04 -0500

Maybe you'll appreciate this mule tale -
In one of the battles in the western theater of the Civil War, things were going badly
for the Union Army, then under the command of U.S. Grant before his promotion
to commander of the Army of the Potomac. As the Blues were beginning to fall
back from the battlefield under a Reb advance, a Union teamster (I couldn't resist
using this phrase which now has a quite different meaning) lost control of his team
of mules and they charged forward towards the advancing Greys.
In the confusion of battle, the Union soldiers took this as a rally so they reformed
and charged, retaking the field and eventually winning the battle (I think this was
at Chattanooga).
When the battle was later being discussed and field brevets (promotions) were
being handed out, the subject of the teamster and his heroic mules came up.
The commanding officer suggested that the entire team be given a promotion...
to horses!
This is apparently a true story that I'm recalling from memory from the book,
"Campaigning with Grant", written by Horace Porter, and aide to Grant, after
Grant's death in the late 1800s.

From: Joseph Fowler
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 1998 6:19 PM
To: Suzanne B Sommerville
Subject: Re: Ornery

I really hate to get back into this after having started it,but not
badly enough not to do so. I just could not pass up the example of the
"ornery mule".As any ole'country boy(or girl) (see I AM learning) knows
a mule is strong of body AND strong of will,very much his own master and
when ever the mood strikes him,will sound off loudly and can be heard a
far piece.Resists being put upon by planting his feet and refusing to
budge, Are much quicker to learn than a horse,and has sense enough to
stop eating before he founders and quite literately blows up. And
last but not least,his forebearers transported our Lord and HIS dear
mother,a very close relationship. In a lighter vein, How many of you
know that the "mule" capitol of the world is Columbia,Tenn.? Take care
all, Joe PS in case you might think otherwise,I loved my
ole' mule.Just cause I could'nt recognize him coming toward me,doesn't
mean that I didn't know him going away,which is how I saw him 99% of the

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