In the course of researching something else, I ame across this fascinating detail from history, which I lift verbatim from another website.
Throughout the day and night of January 28, a heavy snow fell in the
Rappahannock Valley and settled into drifts up to several feet deep. At
mid-morning of January 29, a large group of First and Fourth Texans
pelted the huts of their neighbors, the Fifth Texas with ice balls made
from tightly packed wet snow. The outnumbered Fifth Texas managed to
drive their assailants back into their camps. There the unified Texans
planned a snowball attack on the unsuspecting Third Arkansas. The
Arkansans were caught unaware and quickly surrendered their entire
encampment to the Texans. Inspired by their success, the Arkansans
joined the Texans and plotted to attack the camp of Gen. ``Tige''
Anderson's Georgia Brigade, situated on a hill three-quarters of a mile
away across the Massaponax stream. With haversacks full of snowballs,
officers in front, battleflags unfurled, and drums and bugles sounding,
the 1500-man Texas Brigade moved against the Georgians.
Georgians, forewarned of the impending attack, were ready for the fray.
The battle up and down the hillside raged for over an hour. Groans were
heard as rocks disguised as snowballs hit their marks. Finally, the
Georgians, with both superior numbers and position, drove back the
Texans and Arkansans. The Texas Brigade, boosted by reinforcements,
rallied and drove the Georgians into their camps, where they gallantly
surrendered their forces. The two brigades then combined forces to march
against Gen. Lafayette McLaws' Division. Soon 9000 veterans of the Army
of Northern Virginia were engaged in a snowball battle royal. Thousands
of snowballs were tossed back and forth. At the close of the prolonged
struggle, Hood's Division emerged victorious. Thus ended the ``Great
Snowball Fight of 1863.''
The Confederate high command was not
pleased with the outing. Although only two men were severely injured
during the fracas (no doubt the victims of rock-centered snowballs),
many soldiers were temporarily laid up with ``black eyes, bloody noses,
ragged ears and sadly disfigured physiognomies.'' More important, the
noise and mass movement during the fight had caused quite a commotion in
the Federal camps across the Rappahannock. Union cavalry, fearing an
attack, had become active along the river. Shortly after the fight, Gen.
Longstreet issued an order ``prohibiting general snowballing'' in his
Source: An Illustrated History of the Fourth Texas Infantry.
A bit like the "Christmas 1915" truce that Tommy Fleming and several other Irish singers have sang about so nicely.ReplyDelete
If it hadn´t been for the mentioning of Hood and Longstreet towards the end I thought it had been all invented as a joke.ReplyDelete
You should realize I never joke!Delete
all but all for real jokes :-DDelete
long live the Southern Snowmen!