Volume III No 10
Vic Reinhardt, Terrell, Texas, relates a little incident of the Georgia campaign: At the time I weighed probably eighty pounds, and learning that there was a need for important information, I donned a farmer boy's suit, and secured some "ancient" butter and started out as a market boy. This was at Dalton.
I was informed General Johnston believed that beyond Dug Mountain there was a flanking party, and I was asked if I could ascertain the facts. This was in my element. By various means, routes and devices, after awhile I found myself sitting on a log with the "Billies" all about me. I tried to sell my butter, but there was no use, for even hungry soldiers could not tackle the stuff. During the stay in this place I was especially guyed by a certain soldier who had the appearance of having imbibed freely of Georgia corn-juice. His remarks and teasing were so severe that I pretended great fright and cried piteously, threatening the soldier with my "Ma" and "Aunt Sarah," and it was apparently so real that the tipsy soldier quit. After securing such information as I could, I made my way back to our lines and to camp.
Now the peculiar part comes in. The war had closed, I had returned to Alabama, moved to Texas, had lived in different places in this state until I finally moved to Sulphur Springs, in Hopkins county, where I had once before told a small crowd of citizens the incident above related. One afternoon, in 1874, while sitting in front of Childress Bros', store, I soon became interested in the company of storytellers of the war, and Captain Spence asked for my trip beyond Dug Mountain, as he remembered the particulars.
I complied with his request and had progressed far enough to get in camp with the butter, when a stranger who had been listening and had recently moved to the town, said: "Say, halt a minute, mister."
Of course I halted, when the stranger continued the story as I had previously told it, though he had never heard it before, and then stated that he was the drunk "Billy" that twitted me so. His name was Carr, and we became strong friends after that. He was living at Greenville, Texas. He has two sons living in Terrell, whom I see every few days. Thus the gray and the blue meet under the most unexpected and peculiar circumstances. Several have asked: "Are you the boy that belonged to the Twenty-fifth Alabama?" Yes, I am the same scrap of a boy, and could prove it to my old comrades, if I could talk with them. The trouble, or, at least one trouble, is this:
During the war I had so many nick-names that it took a good memory to keep up with all of them. I was called "Lum," "Dutch," "Fiz," "Leafy," "Rattle," "Merry Cuss" and "Victory." The last name followed me home and stayed with me during reconstruction days, and until my father told me to have my original initials (C.W.) dropped, which I did at Sulphur Springs, Texas, in the presence of Captain Spence, of my old regiment. My old name on the company roll is C.W., but I was known as well by almost any other initials or nick-name as the real. General Frank Gardner gave me the name "Merry Cuss." I wish also to say further that when I enlisted in 1861 I weighed seventy-two pounds, scant. When I returned home after the surrender in 1865 weighed eighty-five pounds. I hope my old comrades will remember me as the same scrap of a boy that marched with the Alabama Brigade from the organization of the Twenty-fifth Alabama Infantry, at Camp Memminger, below Mobile, until the surrender at Greensboro, North Carolina. I would like to hear from any of the boys.