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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2024 10:20 am 
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Location: Tennessee
As I sit here in North Carolina, all I hear is the continual drone of Cicadas outside. Apparently this is the largest Cicada emergence since the 19th Century and the largest until 2241 or something like that. I've also been finding an excessive number of ticks outside this spring. Couple those with the usual hornets, centipedes, and various other spiders, leaches, and lizards, and you begin to miss winter.

Makes me wonder about Civil War soldiers camping out in the wilderness year after year and dealing with these things. I wouldn't imagine they checked for ticks at all and lyme disease is no joke. All of the other annoyances that come along with insects and amphibians must have driven them crazy at times. I'm reminded of the story of Sherman's gunboats on the Yazoo River having to continually sweep snakes overboard as they fell from the trees in the bayou.

At least Lions, and Tigers, and Bears you can see coming. Ticks, Mosquitos, and Lice... must have been maddening.

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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2024 1:39 pm 
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Blake,

I'm sitting here in North Carolina as well until Monday. The critters are bad. Western Pennsylvania is loaded with them as well. I wonder how many troops had Lyme's disease. And the doctors had no clue then either.

Rick

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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2024 4:06 pm 
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You never read about an ACW soldier getting snake bit, but that is bound to have happened with them running through woods and bushes. Can you imagine a skunk trapped between advancing lines at Shiloh or Antietam because dead or alive it was going to stink up the area and maybe change the direction of the charge.

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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2024 6:41 pm 
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nsimms wrote:
You never read about an ACW soldier getting snake bit, but that is bound to have happened with them running through woods and bushes. Can you imagine a skunk trapped between advancing lines at Shiloh or Antietam because dead or alive it was going to stink up the area and maybe change the direction of the charge.


Here's one for you (found at https://www.battlefields.org/learn/head-tilting-history/civil-war-soldiers-encounters-with-nature):
Private Theodore F. Upson, 100th Indiana Infantry Volunteers, near Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 27, 1863

“I heard a racket yesterday and went to see what it was all about. I found that some of the boys had captured one of the big yellow rattle snakes that are found here and had built a pen of sticks at the foot of a white oak tree that had a limb sticking out over the pen and snake. When they had got it all fixed a man from the 8th Wisconsin came bringing the eagle they carry instead of a Regimental flag ... When he came the boys were betting on the result of the encounter between the eagle and the snake ... The man with the eagle (he is named Old Abe) was taking all bets that were offered saying the eagle will kill the snake ... Finaly the carrier gave Old Abe a little toss and he flew up on the limb where he sat turning his head first to one side and then the other, looking down at the angry rattler below. Then his keeper said, ‘Take him Abe.’ And before I could see how it was done he gave a scream, droped from the limb, and with one claw seized the rattler by [t]he head, and with the other on his body literaly tore his head off, then hopped up on the limb again. I would have lost my money sure. The rattler had no chance to bite.”

It seems snakes were not a primary concern of some:
Captain Charles B. Haydon, 2nd Michigan Infantry, near Vicksburg, Mississippi, on June 27, 1863

“The country is not so bad after all as I was at first led to believe. There are not so many snakes or other infernal machines as was represented. The alligators eat some soldiers [!] but if the soldiers would keep out of the river they would not be eaten.”

Still, I suppose they were lucky not to fight the war here in Australia. No alligators but plenty of crocodiles in the northern parts. Serpents abound.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 8:06 pm 
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Quaama wrote:
Still, I suppose they were lucky not to fight the war here in Australia. No alligators but plenty of crocodiles in the northern parts. Serpents abound.


The highest number I found online for "Number of Crocodiles in Australia" was 300,000. Louisiana and Florida have about 3.3 million alligators by themselves :mrgreen:

Crocodile or Alligator... I will not be the one volunteering for swamp duty.

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