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Pinned A Woman To The Ground

Pinned A Woman To The Ground image
Parent Issue
Day
14
Month
August
Year
1891
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Richard M. Sommers, the foreinan of the roller departmenl in the ïnhit, was ; recently chatting with some of the men who had seen service in the late war, and, af'ter relating an interesting adventure that had occurred in 1862, said: But I never was so frightened in my iife as I was the day I pinned a fair young rebel to the ground with my bayonet. I thought I had killed her. The circumstarjces were these: In August, 1863, when the Philadelphia brigade was moving toward Mine Run, Va., I was detailed f rom my command, the Seventy-first Pennsylvania volunteers, known as Baker's California regiment, to watch a farmer who was believed to be a spy. In order to throw him off his guard and also to enable me to learn the better whether he was a spy or not, I was instructed to report at his house, on the Mountain View farm, in Fauquier connty, and state that I had come there by command of Colonel W. Penn Smith, in in order to protect his home from any straggling soldiers that might trespass with a view to foraging on the premises. I was well received by the faruily, who, living in that out of the way country, were quite timid and in constant fear of the passjftg troops. I was housed there, and fed ai their expense, and soon I realized that the hospitality of Virginia's first families was all that it was reported to be. The two pretty girls, sisters, one a blonde and the other a brunette, were at first a little shy of the "wild Yankee," as they called me, but we soon became friends, however, although they would persist in telling me the Confedérate cause was just, and that the Union troops were invaders, and all that sort of thing. The Mountain View farm covered a good many acres of ground, but the owner was poor at that time, and "sweet sixteen," as I called the pretty blonde, had no shoes with which to cover her well shaped little feet. Now I had a brand new pair of army shoes in my knapsack and a fairly good p;úr on my feet. I asked her if she would wear my new pair if I would make her a present of them. She seemed a little loath to accept them at first, not because of pride, but because she thonght it unfair to take them from a soldier who might soon stand in need of them himself. But at last she did accept them, and was real well pleased to do so. Of course, they were a mile too big for her, but that didn't matter. She soon got used to thein. It used to be her custom to watch for foraging soldiers and then to send me after them to drive them away. One morning she said: "Oh, Yank! there is :i forager out there. Don't yon see him? There he goes under the trees over there." I started ont after the intruder, but I ran all over the part of the fann indicated without seeing any one. It was very warm, and I was very warm and tired when I returned. On seeing her 1 told her that I could find no one, when she laughed right in my face and said: "I just fooled the wild Yank for fun.' It was fun for her, but not for me. However, I laughed with her. Jnst then 1 put my gun down on thè ground, as was my habit, bayonet downward, intending to stick it into the ground and thus let the piece stand reversed, but instead of that I stuck it through her shoe and pinned the beautiful girl f ast! I was never so frightened in my life as I was then. I would not have harm ,- the young woman for the world; she hac become to me like a sister. Maybe I wasn't glad when I saw a twinkle in her bright, blue eyes, anc heard her sweet voice ringing in "Well, Yank, you did not hurt me a bit; you know these shoes are a trifle large for me, and yourbayonet just went through the upper and sole without graz ing my toes." I was rejoiced to hear her talk tha way, 1 assure you. I was taken away from there in a few days af ter that, i having been f ound that her father was not what he was suspected to be. But I often thought about that familyespecially of one member, in my marches and in later years, but I never met again with any member of it. Not even with my pretty "sweet sbcteen" friend, for '. was engaged in a great deal of active service in the anny, and when I wa mustered out of it I returned to Phila delphia and never went back to Virginia.