11th NJ Employs An Assistant Cook
This incident occurred shortly after the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. I personally think it's a bit on the comical side.
"About this time we met an intelligent contraband who wanted to come North. We engaged him to assist our cook, black our shoes, keep our tents in order to make himself generally useful. He wanted to know what we were willing to pay for his services. Captain Smith suggested that if we fed and clothed him $100 per week would be about the right figure, and as no one objected, he thought that he was properly installed into a good job at a pretty fair income. After a while he began to look around for some money, but he never could seem to meet the particular officer whose duty it was to pay the assistant cook for that particular week. There was a good many of us, and somehow he always tackled the wrong one. The one he wanted to see always happened to be absent when he wanted to see him; or; if he found him, it was not his week for paying the assistant cook. We brought him along to Trenton and left him there, but he never could learn the proper method for collecting an assistant cook's salary."
© Dan Moran - 2001