Army Sports

            The following extract is from the letter of a soldier in the army of the Potomac:"I was accidentally a witness of a most interesting scene the other day, which occured close to the camp of the 141st New York regiment. It was a rabbit hunt, in which a whole company participated, and conducted it on strictly military principles. They first deployed as skirmishers, and each with a stick in his hand, moved in good order through a piece of land from which most of the wood had been taken; heaps of branches and limbs scattered here and there, afforded excellent retreats for the game in question. As they marched along, each one beat every bush within reaching distance of his. stick, until a rabbit was started. This was announced by a yell, that instantly put every one on the alert, and the scene that followed was exciting and ludicrous in the extreme; the yell was caught up by every soldier, and a chase of the most vigorous description was the rapid result. The flankers strained every nerve to flank or surround the terrified creature, who, bewildered by the tumult on every side, would double at each point where a soldier opposed him, until his retreat was effectually cut off, and he was either caught alive or felled by a blow of a stick. Where the rabbit was an old one, he often escaped by fleeing to the cover, yet undisturbed by the axe, and the chase would have to be abandoned. I stood on a small hill for more than an hour, watching them, and the shouts of the men, the efforts of the quarry to escape, which was almost always in sight, the agile movements of the soldiers and the roars of laughter which followed when one less cautious or more excited than the others, tripped and fell his length in the bushes, while his companions either ran over him or around him, (never stopping) making altogether a most pleasing spectacle.  Although ten blows hit a soldier where one hit the rabbit when he was surrounded, still the utmost good humor prevailed, and the fallen ones took the laugh of their comrades without the slightest sign of anger or ill feeling. Such little episodes in the life of a soldier are, not only invaluable as regards his health and the important part they take in preventing a depressed state of mind, but furnish also a welcome change in the place of "hard tack," and salt beef, which comprise the staple  articles of the soldier's food, for the company  just mentioned caught eleven in less than two hours, which was about one half the number started."  


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