Monday, October 10, 2016

Whiskey Time

Wading through some regimental books recently at the National Archives, I found this random nugget bobbing amid some mind-numbing minutiae:

Record Group 94, Regimental Books, National Archives.

"Officers of this Regiment who feel the necessity of getting drunk will notify the Adjt and he will designate a suitable time, but not on a march or move. By command of Col Geo W Cole, Comdg Regt."  

          This amusing document aside, George W. Cole, a New York physician, provided extensive service to the Union cause during the war.  He fought at First Bull Run and served throughout the conflict in several different regiments, suffering a serious leg wound in 1862.  The next year he was instrumental in raising the 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry at Fort Monroe,Virginia.  He led the unit, whose officer's apparently enjoyed their drink, through to the war's end.  In 1867, he killed a man who had been involved in an affair with his wife.  Charged with murder, Cole was acquitted.  He died in New Mexico in 1875.