Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.

By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired

About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.

XXXV. The Death of Private Shmitt

     As I have stated earlier, we in Eden have a rich civil war heritage and many of out ancestors served with the 51st Virginia Regiment. My hobby is geneology and Civil War History. Some years ago, I came across this tale of battle. It is not funny...but it is too..
     Sometimes in 1862 the 51st Virginia found itself in some bitter fighting along Topowattomy Creek in Northern Virginia. Our boys were in trenches at Topowattomy, barely hanging on by their fingernails, The Yankees were shelling our boys unmercifully and no boy dared raise his head above the trench, lest he be killed. Because of the heavy fire, the boys did not get much to eat, the cook tent was set up several hundred yards to the rear out of range of yankee artillery and when the shelling slowed a soldier was selected to go back to the cook tents to bring foreward some gruel in buckets.
     One morning, Private Shmitt was selected to go fetch the morning's breakfast and Private Shmitt must have been a fairly brave soldier. He took the two empty buckets and dodged Yankee shell and balls and made it to the cook tent. Pvt. Shmitt got two buckets of watery gruel and ran back to the front lines, dodging federal balls and shells but one Yankee shell landed between his feet and Pvt. Shmitt was no more.
      The lads were getting about a half a cup of gruel every two days and things soon became desperate, the sergeant soon selected another brave lad to go see what had become of Shmitt. This boy crawled out of the trenches and made his way back, but soon returned to report.....Suh! I found durn Shmitt is all mixed with our breakfast and haint none of it fit to eat!!!!!

Michael D. Martin

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