Battles and Leaders – Joe Johnston on Handcuffs at Bull Run

13 02 2010

Joe Johnston’s defense of his actions before, during and after First Bull Run as presented in Responsibilities of the First Bull Run includes this tidbit:

Mr. Davis (“R[ise] and F[all of the Confederate Government],” I, 359) expresses indignation that, as he says, “among the articles abandoned by the enemy . . . were handcuffs, the fit appendage of a policeman, but not of a soldier.” I saw none, nor did I see any one who had seen them.

I think what he’s saying here is that Davis was full of something, and it wasn’t Shinola.

I’ve written about the rumor of handcuffs on the field here, and James Longstreet’s aide T. J. Goree mentioned them as well.

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One response

13 02 2010
Chris Evans

In ‘The Private Mary Chesnut: The Unpublished Civil War Diaries’ edited by C. Vann Woodward Chestnut also mentions the handcuffs. This was her original diary that was later used for her massive book. You mentioned in the other posts Chestnut’s later mentions of the handcuffs in ‘A Diary from Dixie’.

The mention of handcuffs is on page 106 of the ‘Private Mary Chestnust’ book and the date from the diary is July 26, 1861 and be brought up by looking inside the book at and typing handcuffs.



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