ARMY OF THE POTOMAC ENEMY #8: "RIGOR MORTIS REB"
Was there ever as much of an impediment to victory in the field and to restoration of the Union as Rigor Mortis Reb? His fiendish method involves participating in a major battle, then feigning being killed. He then stiffens his body into a close resemblance to rigor mortis (hence his name). Lying on the ground he composes his facial features into an image of pathos, and his large, (apparently lifeless) soulful eyes look up in a gaze of mute supplication. The natural tender feelings of the Federal soldier are thus invoked, causing him to halt in mid charge and gaze at what he thinks is a battlefield image of abandoned humanity. It is then that this snake in the grass attacks!
Rousing himself, Rigor Mortis Reb surprises the unwary Yank by his sudden vigor and rolls over the hapless soldier. The first roll merely weakens his prey - it is the repeated rolling and smothering that kills his victim. Having thus revealed that he is very much alive - other Federal troops are usually watching on in horrified amazement at this point - he knocks down other soldiers, gains momentum and rolls quickly towards the regimental color bearer.
Eyewitness reports of an immense rolling juggernaut of grey wool striking color bearers with a resultant flinging of arms, legs, heads and shreds of red, white and blue silk into the air bear testament to the battlefield efficiency of this Southern wrecking machine. With the regimental colors destroyed, the unit becomes panicky and useless. His mission accomplished, Rigor Mortis Reb rolls back into his own lines (taking care not to roll over any Confederates). On the way, he trips up Yanks causing company formations to become disordered as the troops forget if they are a "1" or a "2."
Obviously, Rigor Mortis Reb's great exertions on the field require massive amounts of food. Investigation by Pinkerton's agents have determined that Rigor Mortis Reb is a member of the 22nd Confederate Food Preparation Battalion. It is this unit's constant food output that enables Rigor Mortis Reb to maintain his "fighting" weight.
CONFIDENTIAL: Army of the Potomac High Command has determined that the only counter-tactic to Rigor Mortis Reb is to instruct Federal troops to bayonet any apparently lifeless, exceptionally pathetic, bloating dead they see on the field. While this will no doubt result in many battlefield atrocities as a result of mistaken identity (with possible adverse publicity by the press), this approach will eventually result in the death of Rigor Mortis Reb and an assured Union victory.