I love all the quirky things I learned about the Civil War. Here’s one of them!
The life of a soldier in either army (North or South) was fairly dull between battles. For amusement, they would play games and pranks on one another – all in good fun. One of them was the classic “Mister, here’s your mule!” trick. Peddlers came into camps, looking to sell their wares to the soldiers who were paid (on average) $11 a month. They sometimes brought mules into camp with them. One of the privates would steal the mule or it would naturally go missing, which drove the peddler to go around and ask where his mule had run off to. Then, one soldier would cry out from across the campground “Mister, here’s your mule!” When the peddler would find the mule was still missing, another soldier on the other side of camp would cry out the same. This would inevitably send the peddler on a wild goose chase to find the mule while the soldiers got a good laugh out of it. It later developed into a kind of running joke amongst the army and was later put into a song or two!
This, along with other neat historical tid-bits can be found in my newest release, The Soldier, releasing on the 156th anniversary of the Battle at Antietam. Get your copy preordered today and it’ll be delivered right to your reading device!