The Daily 750

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Memorial Day

Monday, May 29, 2006

Collapsed in ditches or staggering through the woods and sodden fields, near delirium from hunger and fatigue, they not only offered little resistance to being gathered up; they seemed to welcome capture as a comfort. For them at least the war was over, won or lost, and winning or losing made less difference than they had thought before they reached the end of their endurance. Not that all of them, even now, had abandoned the last vestige of that cackling sense of the ridiculous they had flaunted from the start, four years ago. A squad of well-clad, well-fed bluecoats, for example, descended on a tattered, barefoot North Carolina private who had wandered off, lone and famished, in search of food. "Surrender, surrender! We've got you!" they cried as they closed in with leveled weapons. "Yes, you've got me," the Tarheel scarecrow replied, dropping his rifle to raise his hands, "and a hell of a git you got."
April 5, 1865, from Shelby Foote's The Civil War, Volume 3 (p. 915)