The Wrath of the Public on One Who Stayed Behind

Contributed by Ray Crippen

To read more about the ill-fated 1th Minnesota, Company H, click here!
To read an Acount of the unit's farewell dinner, click here!


The following article appeared in the Minnesota Signal of Bigelow, Minnesota on July 15, 1898. It relates the story of a member of the 15th Minnesota, Co H, was treated when he tried, at the last moment, to avoid being sent to war. Many of the men were undoubtedly fearful, but few acted on their fears. This shows the fate of one who did!

The Article:




Last Saturday night was a wild and woolly one for Bigelow, and eggs were in great demand. The facts as near as learned are as follows: A young man of this city, if such he may be called, joined the Nobles County Volunteer Company, making a great display and show thereby, but when said company was called to St. Paul last Wednesday, week, to be mustered in and become a part of the 15th Regiment, Minnesota Volunteers, said young man, at the last moment, pleaded sickness, whether real or imaginary, we know not, and sneaked out in the most cowardly manner, preferring to remain at home. Indignant citizens, however, concluded to give the boy a taste of what they thought of such unprincipalled conduct and accordingly lined up along the streets, concealed in potato patches, alleys, etc., late last Saturday evening to intercept him as he returned after accompanying his "adored one" to her fathers house. About 11 oÕclock, night, the manly form of the soldier  who  fought in his mind, loomed up at the head of the street, the shriek of "Spaniard" pierced the atmosphere from a dozen throats, as ker-biff an egg caught him just below the right ear. He stopped, surveyed the surrounding landscape as would a hunted stag, gave a startled snort and bounded forward, filling the eyes of his pursuers with sand and roots as he cleared ten feet at a jump. As the patter of his feet vibrated through the silent city, ker-swat, biff, biff, ker-smash came the joyful sound of hen fruit, as it played a tattoo on the fleeing form of the sham volunteer. He paused not for fences, doors or ditches, but would drive his body right up against them as would a housed bird against a window pane. As he reached his own door, his father appeared, anxious to discover the occasion of the turmoil, just in time to receive an egg square in the mouth, rattling out a hat full of teeth, more or less. It is a shame that the old gentleman got hit, and those participating in such riotuous proceedings should be more careful in the future. While the bombarding brigade was concealed in a potato patch hard-by, the hour being 11 o'clock at night, a woman of questionable repute, from Worthington, drove up to a batchelors shanty and playfully rapped on the door, and it is quietly rumored that more eggs will probably be in demand. Next morning a broad smile graced the features of many citizens.


Minnesota Signal, Bigelow, Minnesota, July 15, 1898.

Back the Home Front Page

Return to First-Hand Action Accounts

Return to Main Page