He poohpoohed the idea that immodest dancing with frisky matrons or abandoned spinsters was necessary to restore the shell-shocked nerves of temporary captains, locally-ranked majors, or the recently-joined subaltern. He was far too busy for twaddly tea-fights and carping at hard-worked generals who were doing their best and a good best too.
"I must have a talk with him," the colonel said, "after the campaign is over, and find out something about it. It is quite evident that his pluck is as great as his cheerfulness, and it is certainly very extraordinary that a young and recently-joined soldier should have such an influence with men many years older than himself.
It is said that Captain M l has been engaged in several similar encounters, and is famous for his skill with the pistol. The affair began, we understand, at a mess-dinner of the cavalry depôt a few days since, at which several well-known gentlemen of the town were present. Captain M l used insulting language to a recently-joined young officer of the Dragoons. Mr.
Now, as a full-blown Company Commander, he was officially precluded from exposing his own most responsible person to gratuitous risks. So he chose out that recently-joined enthusiast, Angus M'Lachlan, and put him over the parapet on the dark night in question, accompanied by Corporal M'Snape and two scouts, with orders to probe the mystery to its depth and bring back a full report.
In the early summer of 1846, after the victories of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, the United States Army, under General Zachary Taylor, lay near the town of Matamoras. Visiting the hospital quarters of a recently-joined volunteer corps from "the States," I remarked a bright-eyed youth of some nineteen years, wan with disease, but cheery withal.