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When General William Nelson’s division arrived at Shiloh in 1862, Lieutenant Joseph Hinson, commanding the Signal Corps attached to it, crossed the Tennessee and reported to General Buell, after which he established a station on that side of the river, from which messages were sent having reference to the disposition of Nelson’s troops. The crowd of stragglers (presumably from Grant’s army) was so great as to continually obstruct his view, and in consequence he pressed into service a guard from among the stragglers themselves to keep his view clear, and placed his associate, Lieutenant Hart, in charge.

Presently General Grant himself came riding up the bank, and, as luck would have it, came into Lieutenant Hinson’s line of vision. Catching sight of a cavalry boot, without stopping to see who was in it, in his impatience, Lieutenant Hart sang out: “Git out of the way there! Ain’t you got no sense?” Whereupon Grant very quietly apologized for his carelessness, and rode over to the side of General Buell. When the lieutenant found he had been addressing or “dressing” a major-general, his confusion can be imagined.

from “Hardtack and Coffee” – John D. Billings (1887)

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