Friday, September 30, 2011

The Bell-Wether

This entry is from the Louisville Journal as related in The Rebellion Record:  A Diary of American Events, Volume II, 1862 edited by Frank Moore.
Among the Tennesseeans now in camp in Kentucky is a little fellow of about five feet four inches, with gray and grizzled beard, dilapidated nose, and an eye as keen as a fish-hawk's. The manner of his escape was remarkable and highly ingenious. He headed a large squad of his neighbors, and eluded the rebel pickets by wearing a big sheep's bell on his head, and bleating away over the mountains, followed by a herd of men who did likewise. By this stratagem he deceived the rebel scouts, and passed within a few feet of them through one of the most important mountain passes. Old Macfarland (for that is the name of the hero of the bell) thus won the sobriquet of the bell-wether, by which name he passes all through the camps. He is a rough and good-humored old man, with a full supply of mother wit, and speaks of himself as ‘under size and over age for a soldier,’ which he literally is.
Unidentified soldier in Union cavalry uniform and Hardee hat with European import saber
and French LeFaucheux pinfire revolver from the Library of Congress Collection

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