Civil War soldiers emboldened by canteens of courage

“Many of the Civil War’s legendary charges in the face of the enemy were made by soldiers who had been drugged into near insensibility by the liberal dispensing of hard liquor….

“The 16th North Carolina went into action at Seven Pines [Henrico County, Virginia] after the company commissary ‘hobbled down with several canteens of “fire water” and gave each of the men a dram. He knew we needed it, and the  good angels only smiled.’ ”

— From “Fateful Lightning: A New History of the the Civil War and Reconstruction” by Allen C. Guelzo (2012)

 

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