Charlie cox. He had his top garments off and was busy slaughtering in the usual way, by pressing them between his thumb nails." " Hello, Charlie ! What you doing ? " " Mending my shirt," was the prompt reply and slipped on his shirt. " Now, old boy," I replied, " you know you were killing lice. I am full of them and so are all the boys in the company. No more lies; we are in for it and you know it, so let's own up."
After this there was no more retiring out of sight. The boys would strip off and go to killing in the camp. This was a slow process. Building a blaze, holding the garment over it and scraping them off we found was the best method, and usually did it at night before retiring. They would pop like salt. When near the enemy we had to be wary; a fire would invite a minie ball from their long-range rifles and when one of these balls interviewed you it was not always attended by a thirty-day furlough.
It was impossible to destroy them. One filthy man would scatter them over the whole regiment. They were very prolific, and no man ever saw an unfertile egg. The season of incubation was every day in the year the nights between the days and their appetite was never satisfied. To crawl and bite and bite and crawl over one's anatomy was their incessant delight to your great discomfort. The good Lord never created anything in vain but the Confederate soldier never appreciated this blessing. A chinch stops biting when he gets full; flea is satisfied on a dog, but a louse is never full, never tires and is never satisfied. They were not confined to the rank and file. The company officers, the field officers and the generals attested the ubiquitousness of this infernal, shameful, but not disgraceful pest.
Charles H. Cox