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A Reminiscence

A Reminiscence image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The accounts of the battle of Aguadores teil how skilled mechanics stepped out of the ranks of Michigan volunteers to repair locomotives which Spanish soldiere had tried to ruin. This ií characteriatic of American soldiery. It explains the uniform succe3s which always attends our military movement. The American soldier is armed not only with the brute courage which faces cleath and disaster without fhnching but with an intelligence and skill which at all time places him in a position to make the best use of his native bravery. During the civil war, Di. Dorrance, of the University, was a volunteer in a New York regiment. At Catlett station in northern Virginia, the Federal troops carne into the possession of a long line of freight cars loaded with supplies. A locomotive was attached to the northern end of the train but the engineer had gone with the Confedérate troops. It was necessary to move the captured train at once in order to save it. The colonel called for volunteers to man the engine. Dorrance had never mounted the foot board of a locomotive but he had seen coal and water make the wheels of a stationary engine revolve and understood the parts of those machines. He stepped forward and accepted the task. But no amount of coaxing could make the little locomotive pull the long train. It became necessary to uncouple the train near the middle and then it was moved slowly to a place of safety in the rear. But hardly had this part of the train started on its journey northward when the half which was left began to move south. The enemy had also rnanned an engine and having control of that end of the line of cars, they soon had their portion beyond the reach of amatuer engine drivers. Some years ago Dr. Dorrance was coming up this same line of railroad on this way from Norfalk to Washington. As the train neared the scène of this exploit, the doctor sought information f rom tüe conductor, cadaverous Virginian, and related to hini this adventure. "Yes, and I ran the engine that pulled the rebel half of that train off the battle field," said the Virginian, as the doctor paused. It is unnecessary to add that the veterans at once becarne firm friends and spent many pleasant hours togather during Dorrauce's stay in Washington.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat