Or so Clinton Hatcher of the 8th Virginia Infantry told lady friend Mary Sibert in an August, 1861, letter. He was speaking of their brigade drills under Colonel Nathan “Shanks” Evans at Leesburg.
“The men have just been drawing comparisons between the line of battle marching of our regiment and the 13 th Mississippian. Our regiment really beats them awfully. In fact we have been drilling over rocks and hills so long that now our men are getting to be quite soldierlike.”
Hatcher, who apparently alternated between a hotel in Leesburg and the regiment’s camp, wasn’t any more prejudiced against the Mississippi frontiersmen than most Virginians and perhaps even less so. He had stopped to pick up one of them who had fallen out on a march.
“…as he got in the carriage with me to ride I recognized him to be one of Judge Ferry’s sons whom I had met at Georgetown college. One of the old Columbian students is also in our brigade from Mississippi. It is so pleasant to meet old acquaintances in that way out in the army.”
Read more of Hatcher’s opinions at the Valley of The Shadow web site at the University of Virginia, a collection of Civil War era letters, diaries and memoirs by Virginians and Pennsylvanians.