Amusing and Odd Stories of the 74th


In the course of working on this website, myself and others have found amusing or odd stories that were shared amongst the 74th descendantís e-mail ring.Well, some thought has been given to share those on this site as well.None of these are meant to offend or upset!If you happen to have another one to share let Rod know.


The Fortune Teller

In the book The Sigel Regiment by James S.Paula, there is a reference about a 74th member in the diary of one of the 26th Wisconsin soldiers.The setting is the winter camp after the "Mud March".It states, "Some of the soldiers found diversion, and perhaps comfort, by frequenting a fortune teller in the 74th Pennsylvania who for twenty five cents will let everyone who desires to do so look into the future.The tent of this fortune teller is a veritable place of pilgrimage, to which many who are credulous go and then return with transfigured faces for this wonder worker, this modern prophet has clearly proven to them from the constellation of cards that within two months at most the war will come to an end." Any idea who this character was?- Thanks to Bob Cooper for sharing this.


Private Ritterís Opinion of his Lieutenant

This one comes from The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell - Sex in the Civil War by Thomas P.Lowry.†† Fortunately, it is the only story about a 74th member in the book!From the Blue with Oaths chapter,dealing with cussing and the penalties to it had the following to note:


"David Ritter, whom the court described as a "good man when sober," was a private with Company B of the 74th Pennsylvania.While not sober, he called his lieutenant "a loafer, a rowdy and a son of bitch," thus earning fifteen days at hard labor." The citation was the Records of the Judge Advocate General, NN808.


The Private that would be an Emperor

One of the more amusing incidents so far is the Private, Fredík Fischer who changed his name later to Julius Caesar.Now without a doubt this manís family would be great to find and learn more about the name change.It is listed in two sites and you kind find those sources in the Reconstructed Muster list.


General Schimmelfennig in verse

The following poem was published in a Boston paper in the Spring of 1865 when Gen. Sherman put Charleston under Gen. Schimmelfennigís control and quoted in Standard History of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania [Chicago: H.R. Cornell & Co., 1898] at page 587:


The gallant Dutchman Schimmelfennig

Holds Charleston as he would a hen egg;

He grabs the traitors by the ear,

And brings them to their lager beer.

We wish we had a millon such men

As this bold, rebel-hating Dutchman.