Civil War Times

GONE FISHING

THE SEA AND ITS CREATURES WERE OF COURSE FAMILIAR SUBJECTS FOR MOST RHODE ISLAND SOLDIERS.

It wasn’t surprising, therefore, that the Ocean State boys of the 2nd Rhode Island Cavalry chose to pass the time with a little “fishing” as they sailed through the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans in the summer of 1863. Captain William Stevens, of Company C, recalled that his fellow troopers decided to alleviate their boredom during the voyage by tying chunks of meat to strings and throwing the lines over the side of their transport ship, hoping to entice sharks to bite and perhaps grab on for a ride. For the accidental sport fisherman, the pastime would prove unsuccessful. Stevens, however, couldn’t help lament that several of the regiment’s horses had died during the voyage and were thrown overboard. The unfortunate beasts, he noted, provided

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