Who knows how many soldiers in the Civil War were captured by the opposing side during picket duty? No doubt, there were thousands upon thousands.
A story handed down about the 90th Ohio is amusing. Seems on May 4, 1864 the 90th Ohio Infantry ( a unit that fought at Franklin-Nashville) were encamped at Ringgold Gap. During the night, while many Union boys were still awake, they heard some cow-bells ringing out from the wooded cover nearby. Rather than raising an alarm, one of the Bluecoats piped in that some crazy cows apparently have gotten lost and are making their way back home via the woods.
What really happened? After the war it was discovered – apparently by accident – that the sounds of the bells were made from cow-bells that some Graycoats had tired around their necks to disguise their identity as they made it back to their encampment, having to pass nearby the Federal encampment of soldiers from the 90th Ohio Infantry.
Saved by the . . . ur . . . cowbell!
Source: North & South Magazine, Vol. 12. Number 2 | April 2010: p. 8.