The colonel of a volunteer regiment camping in Virginia came across a private on the outskirts of the camp, painfully munching on something. His face was wry and his lips seemed to move only with the greatest effort.
"What are you eating?" demanded the colonel.
"Good Heavens! Haven't you got any more sense than to eat persimmons at this time of the year? They'll pucker the very stomach out of you."
"I know, sir. That's why I'm eatin' 'em. I'm tryin' to shrink me stomach to fit me rations."
On the occasion of the annual encampment of a western militia, one of the soldiers, a clerk who lived well at home, was experiencing much difficulty in disposing of his rations.
A fellow-sufferer nearby was watching with no little amusement the first soldier's attempts to Fletcherize a piece of meat. "Any trouble, Tom?" asked the second soldier sarcastically.
"None in particular," was the response. Then, after a sullen survey of the bit of beef he held in his hand, the amateur fighter observed:
"Bill, I now fully realize what people mean when they speak of the sinews of war."—Howard Morse.