4The Confederates Show Mercy at the Battle of Fredericksburg
The Battle of Fredericksburg was one of the most one-sided battles of the American Civil War. The South was defending a stone wall at the base of Marye's Heights, and it must have been a pretty damn important stone wall, because they shot 8,000 Union soldiers in just one morning to stop them from getting to it.
It's OK as walls go, we guess.
Sergeant Richard Kirkland decided enough was enough. So Kirkland walked up to his general and calmly stated that he couldn't bear to hear the cries of the wounded soldiers.
He pleaded with the general to let him go out and give the wounded enemy soldiers some water. The general, who knew it probably wasn't a brilliant idea to go running headlong into the line of fire, tried to talk him out of it. But Kirkland was so insistent that the general offered a compromise: He could go, but he couldn't take a white flag, the general opting instead to see whether God would protect him. It's fortunate for the Confederates that he didn't extend this logic to taking the soldiers' weapons away to see if God would shoot the Yankees dead.
God has an amazing kill ratio, but really lets himself down when he teabags whole countries.
Kirkland left the trenches and started pouring water into the mouths of wounded Union soldiers. When the enemy saw what was happening, they stopped trying to annihilate him as he moved from body to body. When he was done, he returned to safety behind the lines.
Richard Kirkland died a year later at the Battle of Chickamauga because the universe hates good people. But at least he got a statue.
Here he is, apparently shoving a whole canteen down a guy's throat.
3Aaron Burr Makes a British Friend During the Attack on Quebec
During the American War of Independence, the Americans, led by a not-yet-traitorous Benedict Arnold, waged war on British-loving Canada. Specifically, the cheese-eating Frenchy British-loving region of Quebec.
It was probably a matter of who the French hated least.
Aaron Burr was on the march to Quebec when he stopped by a Kennebec Indian party. Burr's group was carrying plenty of rum, and they were warmly welcomed by the Kennebecs. Soon, alcohol did what it does best, and Burr met and knocked up an Indian woman named Jacataqua. Obviously, pregnant women aren't the most able of combatants in a battle, so Burr was concerned about her safety. But Jacataqua so endeared herself to the regiment that they paid her the courtesy of not eating her dog.
"Wow, I, uh ... thanks, I guess. Not eating my dog should really be a given."
Before the final assault on Quebec, Burr was walking unarmed by himself in the woods near the army camp. He was thirsty, so he started to drink some water from a nearby brook. By the sort of chance rarely found outside Hollywood, an enemy British officer arrived at the other side of the brook at that time and didn't immediately kill the shit out of him. Instead, they politely saluted each other and the British officer offered Burr his cup.
He couldn't get those sideburns wet for fear of being pulled under the water.
The two soldiers declared a private truce between themselves and got to know each other. They met up again a few more times before the attack on the city and promised to stay good friends once the war was over. The British officer also pledged to bring Jacataqua and Burr's child to safety if the Americans were defeated at Quebec.
And defeated they were -- horribly and embarrassingly. But the British officer kept to his promise. Jacataqua was placed in a nunnery in the city, where she gave birth to her child in safety. Aaron Burr went on to become the Vice President of the U.S. under Jefferson, during which time he became famous for straight up shooting a dude.
"May all my offspring kill a man for slights upon their manhoods!"