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Old 12-23-2008, 10:19 AM
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Default Benjamin Franklin Cheatham

When I was going through Officer Candidate School we had a staff ride to this battlefield. A staff ride is usually to a battlefield and a guide shows you around and there is a discussion of tactics and terrain. Each candidate was given a topic to discuss. For some it was the rifled muzzle loader, cannon, or one of the particular leaders. I drew Cheatham. He was an interesting guy. After the war he was a prison superintendant in Tennessee and the Nashville Postmaster. I am sure that many of you have heard during the Civil War and the Revolutionary War that sometimes there would be something of a "time out" to recover the wounded and dead. Our guide told us that during one time out the troops from both sides did some mingling and bartering. Cheatham went with them and was wearing no rank and was talking with some of the Union soldiers. When they found out who he was they were stunned. It seems that he was quite a charactor.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Benjamin Franklin Cheatham

Interesting Brents. I look forward to hearing more on Cheatham. What a name the poor fellow had.
But you are suggesting that the war was indeed civil. I had never heard anything about breaks. Sounds kinda like a football game.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Benjamin Franklin Cheatham

From what I understand after they cleared the battle field of the wounded/dead they bartered coffee and tobacco.

I guess it was something of an honor thing among soldiers.

We often think of the opposing force as the enemy, but what was this war like? It was Americans fighting Americans. The enemy looked like you, spoke your language and worshipped your same God.

I guess to a degree there was some civility amongst the troops despite the circumstance.
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Benjamin Franklin Cheatham

A wonderful book named Co. Aytch by Sam Watkins (a private in the Army of Tennessee) gives some details of the intermingling between the forces. While moving down through Georgia, Sam was sent several times to evesdrop on the Hated Yankees (as I was taught to call them). He simply walked into their camps and listened to their conversations. He was once recognised by a Union officer who asked "What's that Reb doing here?" Since no one knew, they made him leave the camp. In most of the books written by Vets after the war, there are similar accounts.
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