Union Soldiers, Confederate Soldiers Friendly Between Battles

Coming of their trenches, Union soldiers and Confederate soldiers often exchanged chewing tobacco and other items.

| Good Old Days

I'm sure it was not true in all places, but I have heard my grandfather tell about Union and Rebel soldiers being friendly with each other, when there was no battle being fought.

They would come out of their trenches, when the lines were close, lie in the sun and talk to each other, sometimes exchanging chewing tobacco. Then someone would say, "Well, it's about time for the battle to start; everyone hunt his hole." Then the shooting would start.

It was not unusual for civilians to come out and watch the fighting. Occasionally a man would bring his musket, get in a few shots and go back home.

In some cases, under a flag of truce, each side would pick up the dead and wounded, then resume the battle. Sometimes they would even borrow shovels from each other to bury their dead.

The Rebels also dug trenches and rifle pits while they had the shovels. It wasn't unusual during a lull in battle for both sides to pick blackberries, gather wild onions or get anything else they could find to eat between the lines.

Often a stream divided the battlegrounds and during a "quiet," men from each side would bathe in the stream at the same time. All this was forbidden by the officers but there probably has never been another army where individuals made as many decisions for themselves.

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