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At Camp Ilasie, Flat Creek, every few days the men were put through the battalion drill and practiced firing at a target. The arms were the old-fashioned United States flint-lock smooth-bore musket and Belgian musket, both altered to cap lock and rifled to sixty-nine calibre, and the recoil in firing was fearful. The men had to clean, load and fire them off nearly every day. Jack Sanders, of Company E, declared he did not want his shoulder bruised into a jelly holding his musket, and said to his chum, Soper, of the same company : " Let me fasten it to your back with your belt, and you get on your hands and knees and fire it off that way." "All right," says Soper, and proceeded to put it into action. The muzzle happened to be close to Soper's ear, and when it went off nearly deafened him, and in the recoil the gun jumped back and sideways, just missing Sander's shins and sending Soper sprawling over sideways.
The 21st of January, at Moscow, a scouting party of Company E, who were out, had two of their men captured, Privates Joseph Soper, Jack Sanders, James Wilson, D. F. Smith and Finch escaping.
Jack Sanders aka Jackson Hastings, private, , First Missouri Engneers Co. E., enlisted July 13, 1861, Adrian, Mich., dead.
Joseph Soper, private, First Missouri Engneers Co. E., enlisted July 13, 1861, Adrian, Mich.