18 January 2010

A History Lesson From My Husband...

While on a trip to Rhode Island not long ago, my husband was having a most interesting conversation with our daughters.  It was mostly about the history of the Civil War period... And Darn!  I wish my history teachers had been this informative and funny...  (And I just know that Eric will get such a kick out of this story!)  :O)

I'm not sure where the conversation began but eventually they were discussing the weapons used during the Civil War time period.   Did you know that black powder and ball muskets made you thirsty to load them? (I certainly didn't... must be something lacking in my superior education...)  

According to my husband, the black powder was stored in paper tubes that you ripped open with your teeth. Loaded the rifle with ball and powder, tamped, fired, then repeated the process.  Black powder, which is made of saltpeter, Sodium Nitrite and Potassium, (don't quote me as my memory for such nitnoid details can be off) got in your mouth and the paper tube sucked the moisture out and contributed to extreme dry mouth.

Did you know that black powder rifle barrels get very hot when used and do you know how they use to get cooled? (I probably could have passed on this part of the lesson...)

The soldiers would urinate down the barrels. OK, that could be effective but it still has a major ICK factor. One of the girls, of course, had to ask what would happen if they didn't have to go to the bathroom. My husband, of course, said, "Well I guess they'd have to ask a friend to help them out." (Double.Ick.Factor)

What is saltpeter made of? (OK, I did know what this was but am still in the dark as to HOW it is made...)

Animal pee.  Danielle just HAD to ask how they got the animals to donate their pee? Want to know what my husband said? (His humor had been mostly checked at the door up until this time) "They put the cows in a warm barn and play the soothing sounds of moving water. They put one hoof in a pan of warm water and then they encourage them with Pee Bessy, Pee Bessy, Pee Bessy in a hypnotic tone of voice." (By this time I am laughing too hard to continue hearing the rest of the story.)

QOTD:  "All is not butter that comes from a cow."  Proverbs


  1. ... hahaaha..... classic!...


  2. LOL That's great :) The fun you can have when talking history :)

  3. Your husband and mine are not allowed to be with my boys for any period of time. Oh my...

  4. Eric - See? I knew you would get a kick out of that story. You have the same warped sense of humor as my husband!

    Julie - When my husband finally retires from the military, he wants to teach high school history. Don't you wish YOUR kids could have him? Rolling my eyes because if you've read anything of my family's conversations here on this blog, you might wonder when anyone could stop laughing long enough to take notes!

    VW Bug - Yeah, I don't have to ask if you would demand the school change teachers if your kids got him for history. Since you live with one of 'those' kind of guys like I do, you know the problems inherent with this kind of personality! (I'll be sure to let you know what high school hires him...) :)

  5. You say that as if that's *not* how you get a cow to pee...


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