War leads to disorder, both in its conduct and its aftermath. Both victorious and defeated armies lack discipline.

Captain F. N. Walker of the Confederate Army recounts this incident that occurred in Newberry as the defeated Confederate soldiers made their way home. The Confederacy, whatever its attitude toward Africans was very welcoming to Jews, both in the highest positions (Judah P. Benjamin was Confederate Secretary of State) and the most humble. This Confederate soldier of the House of Israel perhaps remembered the story of Samson and bees, but with different results.

I will never forget a thing that occurred in Newberry as we came home after the surrender. The soldiers raided the government stores in that town, and in every other town as we came on home. At Newberry they rolled some barrels of molasses into the streets and knocked in the heads, and each man as he passed by dipped in his canteen and filled it with “treacle,” as they call it in England.

We had with us a low, squatty, duck-legged Jew, a jolly good fellow, not more than five feet high, if that tall. Levi was exceedingly anxious to fill his canteen, but the molasses had gotten down so low that he could not reach it over the chime of the barrel, and his taller Gentile friends were too busy helping themselves to wait in him, so he jumped with his stomach on the chime of the barrel and reached down and began to fill his canteen. Some wicked Gentile just behind, with a keen eye for fun, took Levi by the off hind leg and set him square on his head in the barrel, where the molasses was a foot and a half or two feet deep. Some kind friends pulled him out and laid him on a plank to dry. I do not think I would be putting it too strong to say he was the sweetest looking Jew I ever saw. Levi was “as mad as an old wet hen,” as the old saying goes.


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