Brave Deeds of Union Soldiers
Thanakorn Papan
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Brave Deeds of Union Soldiers by Samuel Scoville

Kipling wrote one of his best stories on how Mulvaney and his captain with an undressed company swam the Irriwaddy River in India and captured Lungtungpen. It was a brave deed. The average man can't be brave without his clothes.

In the Civil War there was one unchronicled fight where a few naked, shoeless men swam a roaring river, marched through a thorny forest and captured a superior and entrenched force of the enemy together with their guns. This American Lungtungpen happened on the great march of General Sherman to the sea. He had fought the deadly and lost battle of Kenesaw Mountain, and failing to drive out the crafty Confederate General Johnson by direct assault outflanked him and forced him to fall back. Then the Union Army celebrated the Fourth of July, 1864, by the battle of Ruffs Station and drove Johnson back and across the Chattahoochee River. The heavy rains had so swollen this river that all the fords were impassable, while the Confederates had destroyed all boats for miles up and down the river to prevent them from being used by the Union Army and had settled down for a rest from their relentless pursuers. General McCook was commanding the part of the Union line fronting directly on the river. Orders came from General Sherman to cross at Cochran's Ford and Colonel Brownlow of the First Tennessee Regiment was ordered to carry out this command. He was the son of Fighting Parson Brownlow and had the reputation of not knowing what fear was. The attempt was made at three o'clock in the morning. It was raining in torrents and the men at the word of command dashed into the river. The water kept getting deeper and deeper and the bottom proved to be covered with great boulders over which the horses stumbled and round which the cross torrents foamed and rushed. When the men had finally reached the middle of the river and were swimming for dear life, suddenly a company of Confederates on the other side opened up on them at close range. As the bullets zipped and pattered through the water, the floundering, swimming men turned around and made the best of their way back, feeling that this was an impossible crossing to make. Once safely back they deployed on the bank and kept up a scattering fire all that morning against the enemy.

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