Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: Loved Soldiers’ Humor

Lincoln loved anything that savored of wit or humor among the soldiers. He used to relate two stories to show, he said, that neither death nor danger could quench the grim humor of the American soldier:

“A soldier of the Army of the Potomac was being carried to the rear of battle with both legs shot off, who, seeing a pie-woman, called out, ‘Say, old lady, are them pies sewed or pegged?’

“And there was another one of the soldiers at the battle of Chancellorsville, whose regiment, waiting to be called into the fight, was taking coffee. The hero of the story put to his lips a crockery mug which he had carried with care through several campaigns. A stray bullet, just missing the tinker’s head, dashed the mug into fragments and left only the handle on his finger. Turning his head in that direction, he scowled, ‘Johnny, you can’t do that again!’”