He would sit for hours together on the color line or in the neighborhood of camp, with a pole, and imagine himself fishing. He was at length discharged, and when leaving his camp, one of his old company said to him: "Bill, what did you make such a d-d fool of yourself as to sit out in the sun all day pretending to be fishing." Pulling out his discharge papers he replied, with a quiet smile, "I was fishing for these papers."
Excerpted from: The Medical and Surgical Reporter, August 15, 1863
IMAGE: "My Civil War Obsession": Patriotic Cover: Uncle Sam Goes Fishing