The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 525
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Melville, "was my Yale College and my Harvard." Whitman
and Twain, similarly, are alumni of the fragrant editorial office
and composing room.
Twain's days in New Orleans, Professor Leisy believes, were
given over to a passing flirtation with Confederate army life,
which he soon decided he did not like. From this small segment
of his many-sided career we derive additional useful knowledge
about his personal adventures, but more particularly about his
pre-Californian literary 'art. It was conventional enough, in all
conscience: wordy, heavily allusive, almost entirely lacking in
the later genius for uninhibited talk. Still, it held its own with
other humor of the time.
The Letters of Quintus Curtius Snodgrass, beyond reasonable
doubt the work of Twain, though unacknowledged 'by him, are
ten in all: four miscellaneous sketches and six worked into a
unit called "Hints to Young Campaigners." They appeared
between January 21 and March 30, 1861. The "Hints," in which
Snodgrass tied himself to the discipline of parody (Hardee's
Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics, 1856, was the victim), are
decidedly the best. Their reflection of the easier days of military
glory (pre-combat) will suggest to many readers the "Dere
Mable" rookie of World War I or Private Hargrove of more
recent fame. A few excerpts will indicate the quality and direc-
tion of the satire:
All orders should emanate from the officer in command, and no sugges-
tions of corporals or privates be adopted. These orders should be given in
a mild but firm tone of voice, distinctly, and with the proper emphasis.
Although it is unquestionably the duty of each man to remember his
number in the ranks as well as that of his musket, etc., there is a number
more important, and one that the author is specially anxious that young
soldiers should not forget, if they have any regard for their personal
comfort, and that is number one.
We think, also, that it would be well in view of some of the late appoint-
ments, if the privates of the companies would devote an hour or two of
their leisure each day to instructing their officers in the manual at arms
and other duties of their newly adopted profession. This, however, is
merely a suggestion.
It is gratifying to privates to know that in these skirmishes their officers
are entirely out of harm's way, remaining either with the reserve, or, at
all events, so many paces to the rear as to be undiscernible to the naked eye.
Always leave all your small change and trinkets also behind, as it will
prove a great satisfaction to you, should you be killed, to know that your
comrades derived the benefit from your decease, instead of the enemy, and
it will be such an excellent joke on them, after they have put a ball through
you and come to rifle your pockets, to find that you have nary a red.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/636/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.