A COMPANY OF MOUNTED MEN ENJOY A LIVELY TIME WITH A
HERD OF DEER IN WAR TIMES
By S. C. Turnbo
Meeting something in war times was not so monotonous to the soldiers. Mr. Steve Friend, son of Peter Friend, informed me that one day during the latter part of the war between the states while he was serving in Capt. William Pilands company of union men they met a herd of 40 deer on the right hand prong of Big Creek. This was in 1864. We were riding along in 200 yards of the deer when we first noticed them and the men were so elated at the sight of them that for the time they forgot they were soldiers and their minds reverted back to the time when peace reigned among the inhabitants of the Ozarks and they had tramped the woods in search of game. The Capt. told the men not to shoot at the deer for things were too equally and ammunition was too scarce to waste it in shooting at game. But the men disobeyed him. The entire company cheered the deer and more than 60 men broke ranks and shot at the deer without bringing down a single one. As the fast fleeing animals were getting away the officers did all they could to prevent the boys pursuing them. But their efforts were all in vain, for the majority of the men spurred their horses and urged them by other means forward in following the deer a few hundred yards and yelling like Indian warriors. The frightened deer retreated as fast as their legs could carry them. When the deer passed from view the soldiers returned and took their respective places in ranks and marched on laughing and talking about their sport with the herd of deer."
Springfield-Greene County Library