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  • Rabbit Death at Manassas July 22, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback


    In 1863 some Confederate troops had a horrific experience at Manassas: this is important for understanding the rabbit incident that follows. So steel yourself, reader.

    On the morning of July 21, 1863, our regiment, the 5th North Carolina State Troops, under Col. Duncan K. McRae.  ordered to double-quick across Bull Run and charge a  Battery which had been shelling us for more than twenty four  hours. We had not advanced more than a third of the distance when the order came to fall flat on the ground. Our  colonel had learned that there were many thousands of Yankees between us and the battery. Young James Manning, of  Company C, from Johnson County, stood behind a tree instead  of obeying the order. A solid cannon ball weighing twelve  pounds cut the tree down and cut him in two. He was the  first man of our company killed.

    Enter a preacher from left stage, and a very foolish rabbit from the ground.

    Many of our men saw this shocking sight, and among them  was the captain of a company from Wilson County, a wonderfully good man and a Methodist preacher. During the  commotion a rabbit had been frightened out of his hiding  place and was running hither and thither and at last jumped  with all force against this captain’s side. He whirled over  and cried that a ball had killed him and asked his men  to send his body home. They told him that nothing had  touched him hut a rabbit. This did not convince him, and he  did his level best to die anyway. Failing in the effort, he just disappeared, and we never saw him again.

    The poor old preacher probably wanted to curl up and die. His achievement though was not forgotten

    It was most natural after the war was over, in general  conversation at home or in traveling, for the subject of war  to come up. In the summer of 1868 I met some very pleasant  gentlemen on the train and entered into conversation with  them. One of them asked me in what command I had served; and when I told him he asked me if I knew anything of that rabbit scrape up there at Manassas, to which I responded in the affirmative, laughing heartily. He said: ‘Young man. that preacher is still living, but that rabbit affair will live long  after he is gone.’

    Other rabbit horror stories: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com

    Source: Confederate veteran (1890), 267