Thread: Random Thoughts
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:52 AM   #62
We have to go back, Kate!
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 25,634
From the published recollections of a Peninsula war veteran:

A grenadier of the 88th regiment (I think it was) had come over from his own division, to endeavour to prevail upon his wife, who had deserted him and taken up with a sergeant of our first battalion, to return with him, she having, as I understand, left him with one or more children, the first of their marriage, which he was anxious she should come and take care of.

They had often, I fancy, quarrelled, and he had probably used her ill, but he was now desirous of a reconciliation, and entreated her to return with him to his regiment. He prevailed upon her to accompany him to some distance from the bivouack, that they might the more freely discuss the subject, for she had hitherto refused to agree to his request, being probably better provided for by the sergeant than she had been with him.

While walking in a field close to the wood in which the bivouack was situated, and arguing the point with some heat, and she still persisting in remaining where she was, he became so exasperated at her continued refusal, that he, in a rage of jealousy and anger, drew his bayonet and plunged it in her bosom.

Her cries soon brought people to the spot, who at once secured him, and he was instantly committed to the provost prison tent, and her body of course brought in and buried. Poor creature! she was one of the gayest of the females which graced our rural balls near Ituera only a short while previous, and had often danced with old General Vandaleur on those occasions.

I believe he was not brought to trial for it, as her ill conduct probably had been considered as in some measure palliating what he did, and that he might be supposed to have been irritated to a degree of madness when he perpetrated the fatal act.
You'd think my first reaction, on reading that, would be some sense of human compassion or outrage. But my actual first reaction was to punch the air and say 'yes! that's brilliant'.

Historical research can warp the mind.
There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
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