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Si had never seen a hardtack before.
Si felt a little blue as he lay curled up under his blanket with his head pillowed on his knapsack. He thought some about his mother, and sister Maria, and pretty Annabel, but he thought a good deal more about the beef and potatoes, the pies and the puddings, that were so plentifully spread upon the table at home.
Then, he thought hardtack would be excellent for half-soling his shoes. He didn't think they would ever wear out.
Si's mother, like most of the well-to-do farmers' wives in Indiana, was undoubtedly a good cook, and she trained up her daughters to do honor to her teachings, so that Si undoubtedly knew what properly-prepared food was. From the time he was big enough to spank he had fared sumptuously every day. In the gush of patriotic emotions that prompted him to enlist he scarcely thought of this feature of the case. If it entered his mind at all, he felt that he could safely trust all to the goodness of so beneficent a Government as that for the preservation of which he had offered himself as a target for the rebels to shoot at. He thought it no more than fair to the brave soldiers that Uncle Sam should furnish professional cooks for each company, who would serve everything up in the style of a first-class city restaurant. So, after Si got down among the boys and found how it really was, it was not long till his inside was a volcano of rebellion that threatened serious results.
Si had always been used to speaking right out when he had anything to say, and had not yet got his "unruly member" under thorough subjection. He saw that it wouldn't do to fool with the Drill Sergeant, however, and he held his peace. But Si kept thinking that if he got into a fight he would ram in the cartridge and fire them out as fast as he could, without bothering his head about the "one time and three motions."
"Well, Josiah," said the Captain, after a brief inspection, "I presume I don't know quite as much as some people think I do; but I guess I can tell you something about that insect. I never had any of them myself, but I've read of them."
"Was that what ye went to see the Cap'n 'bout?" he asked as soon as he could speak.
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