Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Doing some Maynard research . . .

Dug this up in the bowels of the archives. Enjoy.
[LITTLE ROCK] WEEKLY ARKANSAS GAZETTE, June 15, 1861, p. 1, c. 8
From the Oxford (Miss.) Intelligencer.

Toby's Experience with a Breech-Loading Rifle.—Toby is a high private in the first regiment of the Mississippi army. His company is armed with a breech-loading Maynard rifle, warranted to shoot twelve times a minute, and carry a ball effectually 1600 yards. Men who fought at Monterey and Buena Vista called the new-fangled thing a "pop-gun." To test its efficacy, Toby's Captain told the men they must "try their guns." In obedience to command, Toby procured the necessary munitions of war and started with his "pop gun" for the woods; saws a squirrel up a very high tree; took aim; fired—effects of shot immediate and wonderful; tree effectually stripped, and nothing of the squirrel to be found except three broken hairs; "pop-gun" rose in value; equal to a four-pounder. But Toby wouldn't shoot towards any more trees, afraid of being arrested for cutting down other people's timber; walked a mile and a quarter to get sight of hill; by aid of a small telescope saw hill in the distance; saw large rock on hill; put in a big load; shut both eyes—fired. As soon as breath returned opened both eyes; could see, just could, but couldn't hear—at least couldn't distinguish any sounds; thought Niagara had broken loose, or all out-doors gone to drum beating; determined to see if shot hit; borrowed horse and started towards hill; after traveling two days and nights reached place; saw setting sun shining through hill; knew right away that was where his shot hit; went close; stumbled over rocky fragment scattered for half a mile in line of bullet; come to hole; knew the bullet hit there, because saw led on the edges; walked in and walked through; saw teamster on the other side "indulging in profane language"—in fact, "cussin' considerable" because lightning had killed his team; looked as finger directed; saw six dead oxen in line with hole through mountain; knew that was the bullet's work, but didn't say so to angry teamster; thought best to be leaving; in consequence didn't explore path of bullet any further; therefore don't know where it stopped; don't know whether it stopped at all—in fact, rather think it didn't; mounted horse; rode back through the hole made by the bullet; but never told Captain a word about it; to tell the truth, was rather afraid he'd think it a hoax. "It's a right big story, boys," said Toby, in conclusion, "but it's true, sure as shooting. Nothing to do with Maynard rifle but load her up, turn her North, and pull trigger; if twenty of them don't clean out all Yankeedom, then I'm a liar, that's all."
And now I have such a weapon. So I got THAT goin' for me . . . which is nice.

"I'll just use my Maynard on that pesky ol' varmint poontang."

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