Thursday, December 30, 2010

Overtime Hunting

Over the weekend no one got a deer, but Spencer, Dad and I stayed down there for a couple of extra days. They were the most perfect days to hunt this year. At 8AM a big buck crossed in front of me. When he came out I pulled the trigger. Wrong Deer! A nice young 8-point. I felt really bad about it, and the deer didn't feel so good himself
That afternoon Spencer went to the Leevee and I went to the Elbow stand. We had not been there 30 minutes when a big buck started out across the cotton field. Boom! Spencer took this really nice 190lb. 9 point. He attributed his success to his new Gilley Suit. Jeez!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Hog For Christmas

While you were sitting around in your bathrobe on Christmas, the famous deer baron, Hershel Howell, was out hunting. This big SOB came out and he made a helluva shot on him and dropped him in his tracks. The damn thing had 3-4 inch tusks! A whopper of a damn hog!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Deer Camp Christmas Card 2010

I swear We need a little Christmas, need a little hunting........

Haul out The Deer Lure
Climb up the tree
Before my Spirit Falls again
Load up The rifle
I may be Rushing things
But Heck with the deer
Again now

For we need A little Christmas
Right This very minute
Hunting In the winter
Stories At the campfire
Yes We need A little Christmas
Right This very minute
It hasn't snowed
bucks aren’t a bit worried
But santa, dear
We're in a hurry

So climb up the oak tree
Shoot at The biggest
rack of horns I've ever seen
Slice up The venison
It's time We hung
Some big deer
On that hanging pole

For i've grown A little leaner
Grown A little colder
Grown A little sadder
Grown A little older
And i need A giant buck
hanging by the campfire
Need a little Christmas now

For we need A little hunting
Need A little laughter
Need A little blasting
Ringing through The forest
And we need A giant buck for a
"happy ever after"
Need a little Christmas now....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Card Update

I am planning on putting up the Christmas Card tomorrow. The card is not as elaborate as in previous years, it has been a tough year for everyone.
I appreciate everyone that has left comments and hope to gain a bunch of new links for next year. I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.
See you tomorrow. Rex

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shopping Afield

I just can't get the hang of this shopping, especially Christmas shopping. I can go into the woods and figure out how the deer are moving, their bedding ground, what trails they are using and how big the bucks in the area are. Then I can figure the exact location for a stand and how to get him. I am lost when it comes to going in a store to buy anything.
I am one of those men that goes in and buys exactly what he needs then gets the hell out. Figuring Christmas presents seems beyond me. Did you know that sometimes you have to go to more than one store?
I am off to shop this afternoon, wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Deer Camp Cristmas Song


Christmas, Christmas time is near,
Time for hunting, time for deer.
We've been good, but we can't last,
Hurry Christmas, Hurry fast.

Want a buck with horns that loop,
(Rex:) Me, I want old Thunderhoof.
We can hardly stand the wait,
Please Christmas don't be late.

(Hershel:) Ok Fellas, Get ready.
That was very good, Paul.
(Hershel:)Very Good Burney
(Burney:) He He He He
(Hershel:)Uh Rex, You were a little flat
So, watch it, Rex...Rex?...REX!!!

Want a buck with horns that loop,
(Rex:)I still want old Thunderhoof.

We can hardly stand the wait,
Please Christmas don't be late.
We can hardly stand the wait,
Please Christmas don't be late.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thunderhoof Confusion

Trent thinks he is a trophy hunter. There is trophy hunting and then there is Thunderhoof. I tried to explain to him that he better leave that damn deer alone or it would make him crazy. Too late. He found a great place to hunt where that evil deer had been hooking big pines and set up a stand in a thick area there. I shook my head and left him alone.
Trent knew he would only get one chance at the monster buck and Saturday morning he sat hunched in his blind watching deer pass in front of him. He saw several nice bucks but Thunderhoof was all he wanted. He got more and more excited with each deer he saw and knew it was just a matter of time. It got quiet and perfect for a big buck to show.
A crunch of a footstep came from directly behind him. He slowly peered over his shoulder. Horns! Oh Crap it's him! He turned and sent a bullet into the brush at the body of the deer, it fell and he jumped from his stand to stand over the fallen monarch of the forest. It was not him. Trent could not believe it. He was devastated to say the least. Here he is with the buck, a nice 8-point. He is still crushed today but hey I warned him.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sneaky Business

The Still season at the Christmas Place is reserved for members only and is usually the best time to hunt all year. Most of the time this is when the full rut is going on and the big bucks are moving and chasing does everywhere. It is also the time when the members try to get in a few extra days of hunting. That damn Trent has already gone and hunted this morning, Dad is gone and I am leaving tonight to get that extra day. Burney is leaving tonight also.
The Mailrider is shopping at the Mall.
It is warm and raining today but hopefully it will be clear and still in the morning so I can get that boat moving up the lake. Cross your fingers for me!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Swedes Hate Hogs Too

I have linked up with a guy named Anders over in Sweden and those guys hate hogs too! Phillip would be so proud!
Go over and visit Anders Hunting and Fishing Blog from my links and look at how they hunt. There is a great translation button you can push if you don't speak Viking.
Hopefully he will send a pic of himself for the Christmas Card. Everyone needs to hurry!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Antler Bowl 2010

The Antler Bowl starts this Thursday as the Bucks take on the Marauders again for the Championship. Coach Thunderhoof of the Bucks has an experienced team this year and expects to run circles around the Marauder team. Coach Hershel Howell says "This year those bucks are going to get blasted to smithereens!"
Last year the Bucks won 42 to 29.
It was a humiliating disaster for the Maruaders but this year, running back Paul Howell is in rare form and hopes to score often on the hated Bucks. Should be a bloody game.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Do you know what is worse than your brother killing a nice buck? When he kills another one. A big 10 point! He got this really nice buck off of the Spike Camp field in his blind lucky way. Afterwards he was filled with hunting knowledge that he was glad to share with everyone. Daniel Boone would have been proud of the hunting lore he spread around until I threw up.
On the bright side David Hyde got this horrible looking 232 lb. hog at the Gamewarden Stand.
PS- the Mailrider spent the weekend in Memphis shopping at the Mall.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Off To Deer..Er..Hog Camp

What in the hell is happening to the famous Christmas Place Deer Camp. No deer and everyone wants to talk about hogs. Their color, the size of their snouts and tusks, how big they are and where are they hiding. Does anyone else see a problem here?
It is time to get back on track and this weekend the bucks are going to fall like dominos.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Silvery horns
Silvery horns, silvery horns
Ev'ryone wishes for silvery horns
How do you measure its worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth.
Silvery horns, silvery horns
Mean so much more when I see
Silver and gold antlerations
On ev'ry hanging tree.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christmas Card Update

The Christmas Card is coming along but please send in your pic or a link to a good pic of yourself. I have many already. Jody, Othmar, the jeep dude, Becky, Matt, Ralph, Marian and Bob, and a few others; so it is shaping up nicely.
Many of my links have not posted this year and I would still like a pic anyway, so please send one. New links, here is last years card.
PS- if you just read the blog, send me a pic and I will add you too.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

First Deerses

There is something wonderful and exciting about seeing someone get their first deer. It brings back old memories and you also get to see the total excitement of someone learning about the success of hunting.
A couple of weeks ago Stuart Allen and his stepson Jack Hanson were our guest and they both got a deer. Congratulations Stuart and Jack!

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Hogathon

Phillips Dream, MS> The muzzleloading season was strange this year as no big bucks were seen but we killed 4 wild hogs. Yes four of the varmints. What the hell is going on?
DAD GOT A HOG! For all you naysayers that thought he was washed up, old Dad has come through with a great shot over at the GameWarden Stand.

Burney got two hogs this weekend and the most importand news is that....
Yes this is my first hog and as you can see it is a rare Blue Grunter, the most aristocratic and desirable of the wild hog family. A true trophy!!!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christmas Card Reminder

Heading to camp today but if you have time please send a pic of yourself for the Christmas Card. Last years was great and I hope this year will be better.
Good luck this weekend!
PS that stupid Thunderhoof is going to get a hole blown in him this weekend!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Blunderbuss Season Underway

For those of you researching or thinking about the use of the .45/70 for use during the Primitive Weapons Season, don't worry. It is just about like shooting a cannon. If your bullet hits something it will kill it and probably anything within 10 yards of it. It is an awesome weapon.
The season starts today and we are headed to camp tomorrow to give it a try. My blunderbuss is sighted in (thank God) and I am ready to head up the lake again.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Return Of The Jones Gang

Greg, Kyle and Tyler Jones just returned from a mule deer hunt in South Dakota. A crazy mule deer fanatic would love this.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Thanksgiving Hunt

It was a nice Thanksgiving and I will be posting pics of the meal and everyone that came later. Right now, the important stuff. Austin started the weekend by getting a doe and the big trophy hunter, Paul Howell, brought in this little 8-point off of the Point stand.

Later, Spencer took this hog off the Dove Field.

Last, but not least, Trent took this absolutely beautiful 10-point over at the Secret Field. A really good start to the season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Over The River.......

Over the river and thru the wood,
To the hunting camp we go;
My Dad knows the way
To track the deer all day,
Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!
Over the river and thru the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and thru the wood,
To get that buck today;
Oh, hear the guns ring,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!
Over the river and thru the wood,
To find a buck of gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hog Gone

Hillary took her boyfriend (John Ward) hunting with her this past weekend at the famous Christmas Place. They hunted the Box Field and late in the afternoon, 12 hogs came out in front of them. After this there is some confusion about what happened next, but most of us agree that Hillary probably saved his life when Hog Fever struck him. John pulled the trigger on the biggest, most horrible of the hogs and they disappeared into the woods. Here is a pic of Paul and Hillary down in the deep ravine that the hog landed in.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nada Opener

It was cool opening morning, but the temperature climbed rapidly and stayed in the mid seventies all weekend. The breeze gusted from every direction and it just was not condusive to a great opener. we got nada in the way of deer.
Drew got a (doe), 2 hogs were shot at and Paul saw one average racked buck. We only had one near knife fight. No bucks were injured in the making of this fiasco.
Thanksgiving is coming and I am going up the lake again like I did last year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Deer Eve

Today is Deer Eve and we will be heading to camp right after lunch. There is an excitement in the air here in Water Valley as everyone is spending the morning getting prepared. You can hear the distant BOOM of rifles being sighted in and every truck has a 4-wheeler on it. Tomorrow is the big Day.
Just to fire you up, Clint sent this picture from Nebraska. That's What I'm talkin' about!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Interview With Thunderhoof

(for your info) Thunderhoof is the biggest whitetail buck in the world and the leader of the deer herd in the Mississippi delta. He is hundreds, maybe thousands of years old and lives on the famous Christmas Place. They say that when he runs you can hear Thunder and lightning flashes from his hooves. He is extremely smart and may be a pooka in disguise.
Here is his annual interview.
ed- Saturday starts deer season, what do you expect from the hunters at the Christmas Place?
thoof- The same ole thing, a few bucks here and there but they still haven’t gotten one of my record book boys.
ed- Will they get you?
thoof- hahahahahahah
ed- what about Stewart, he’s a member of the 10 point club now?
thoof- perennial loser
ed- Rex swears that this is the year.
thoof- Please, he or his dog can’t even come close.
ed- Hershel says he will hunt this year and you are his #1 target.
thoof- he would be better served getting that garden going so I can have fresh greens.
ed- Paul saw a big buck the other day and says that he will limit out this year.
thoof- his idea of a big buck and mine differ by about a million miles.
ed- Trent is persistent and hunts hard, any chance that he could get you.
thoof- No, he hunts the same old stands and is hard of hearing too. I will probably tinkle on his tree while he is hunting.
ed- Ok, what is the state of the herd on the Christmas Place?
thoof- there are more big bucks than ever and the hunters should have a great year, of course Burney had his last year. I expect them to take about the same number of bucks but it will take something special for them to get a record book deer. Ain’t gonna happen.
ed- goodbye and good luck
thoof- see you in the funny pages
PS- no matter how many times I take that worthless deers' picture, it comes out as a pink rabbit.????????????????

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Hunting Blogger Reminder

Deer season starts Saturday morning but I want to let you know what is happening with my blog right now. An interview with that pesky Thunderhoof should be posted tomorrow and then it is Deer Eve.
I want everyone to send me a new picture for the Christmas Card. If you are a new link go look at December archives, then send me a pic. It takes almost a month to put it together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Meeting Of The Ten Point Club

Skull, MS> In the secret labyrinth beneath the unpretentious camp house of the famous Christmas Place Hunting Club the members of the Ten Point Club filed into the stone meeting room next to the torture chambers. All members were dressed in their regal attire to begin the somber conclave. The bar was opened of course and everyone relaxed to enjoy the evening. Most threw darts at the cutout figure of Thunderhoof while they waited and soon the Big Magumba approached the podium. This caused a cheer and then a chant started to grow in the crowd.
"Fine Paul, fine Paul, fine Paul!" The noise grew in volume as the leader took another drink and raised his hands to quiet the crowd and start the meeting.
"The first order of business is to fine Paul for stupidity!" the crowd went wild, antlers were thrown into the air, there was a rush to the bar as free booze was passed around and everyone toasted the great news. Paul was not impressed.
After control was reestablished the Chief said "The second order of business is to induct Mark Stewart into the Ten Point Club." There were many hoots and catcalls of disbelief and beer cans were thrown in his general direction while many demanded a recount, but Mark was led to the sacred altar and given the Blood Rituals and a great round of applause greeted him as he was led back to his seat.
A bounty of a million dollars was put on the head of Thunderhoof (again), the rules were laid down of how many deer could be taken and by whom and Trent got a chance to bitch at everyone about all the other rules. By the time he wound down everyone was drunk and (blue deer hunting videos) were started for referencing future tactics. Everyone had a good time and Burney got the Best Deer Award for his 13-point. Now the season can start.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Massive Success!

Saturday morning we got 4.

Saturday afternoon we got 4.
Bob (Lazurus) got one and so did my old friend Marian. Terry Cutrere did too!
We finished with 8 for the day.
That night Burney cooked a whole hog and we had a roaring fire to sit around. IT WAS GREAT! The next morning we got four more and Jeffrey Hollis got this big hog.

What a weekend! Will have more pics and stories later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

We're Off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All the posturing and bitching is finished, bags are packed, rifles sighted, and trucks are loaded to go. Heading to camp in a few minutes to enjoy the first weekend of the early muzzle-load season. Taking my camera for camp pics and if I see that damn Thunderhoof. Hopefully everyone will have a full cooler of deer (or pork) to bring back.
See you Monday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Get Behind Me Satan!

The mad scramble to get to camp has started and I am having all kinds of hell to deal with. Thanks to the Great Satan, no my other brother Paul, whispering his evil, my kids are trying to bail on me from coming up. So far Burney, Matt Lammey and Austin are coming, me, Jeff Hollis, Marian, Bob and their grand-daughter, and Satan and half the people on the coast. If my kids don't make it I will be some kind of upset so I can imagine that it is going to be a real ring-dang-do this weekend. Hope I can make it through deer season without killing my evil brother, no, in fact, both of them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Who is the short, dark stranger there?
Lazurus is the name.
Huntin' hogs from who knows where,
Death is his companion,
Shootin’ hogs is his game.
Smooth as the handle on a gun.
Lazurus is the name.
Raised from the dead with a hot gun,
Shootin' up a big ole tusker,
Easier to tame.

Riverboat, ring your bell,
Blastin’ hogs all to hell.
Bacon is the food he loves the best.
Natchez to New Orleans
Livin on pork and beans
Lazurus is a legend of the west.

Riverboat, ring your bell,
Fare thee well, Marian.
Pork chops are what he loves the best.
Natchez to New Orleans
Livin on pork and beans
Lazurus is a legend of the west.
Lazurus is a legend of the west.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

2009 Deer Sheet

Buck count is down, hog count is up!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Who's Coming To Camp?

Yes, it's Paul Howell the original Mack the Knife

Friday, November 05, 2010

Camp Honey-Do's

Since the hunt this weekend has been cancelled, it gives me an extra week to get everything ready. I still lack repairing about half the stands and I still need to find a hot place for me to hunt. Camo wants to ride in the boat up the lake and look at our old hot spot. I am sure I will have to tie a big buck to a tree for the Mailrider. I need to stop at Walmart and buy some camo netting to take too.
It is about to get cold tonight and the big deer are going to move. Will give a big mule report when I get back!
(Yes, that really is Paul's picture)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Big Mamba-Jamba Backyard Buck

Clint Hutcherson (one of the Tennessee contingent) sent me this. WOW!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hunt Cancelled??????

Looks like the youth hunt scheduled for this weekend is going to be cancelled. All of our boys are now 15 and chasing girls as hard as they can. They are busy; too busy to get to camp this weekend to hunt. I might be able to get Erin and Spencer up here but the Youth Hunt is going to be moved to next weekend at the best.
We are expecting a real crowd for that hunt and the more the merrier.
This will at least give me an extra week to get stands ready.
Stay tuned this may change in the next five minutes.
If only Matt had decided to come..........

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Rain Voting

The rain started during the night and is exactly what we needed. A slow drenching, soaking rain. This should really end the drought and get our food plots up and going if the turkeys haven't eaten all the seed. I would sit in the office all day drinking coffee and watching it come down but I need to go VOTE. You make sure to vote today too.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A Passel (?) of Squirrels

see more of the squirrel hunt from Thomas Card

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Huntus Interruptus Blitzus

Looks like I am going to skip going to camp this weekend and will head down next week for the Youth Hunt. Everyone wants to go to the ballgame this weekend to try and pull a halloween trick on Auburn. That would be some trick. Deer season is right on top of us and next week we will finally get started.
The Ole Miss Rebels could use a ballroom blitz like this..

We need a Black Mamba as our mascot!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Halloween Hunt

We usually spend most weekends during deer season hunting at our camp on the edge of the Mississippi Delta. These few weekends each year are totally committed to hunting and the camaraderie that goes with it. Every few years though, we make sure to cut our afternoon hunt short. The local people in the area had warned us to be careful at that time and none of them go into the woods on that day.
This is always a Friday or Saturday afternoon when it falls on Halloween. Late in the evening on that day as the sun falls behind the hills and shadows grow deep in the woods, you will hear a bone chilling howl and you will know that the Halloween Hunt has started.
The year we learned that it was real, I had set up at the head of a long wide hollow to hunt that afternoon and Dad was below me a few hundred yards in a big Hickory. Trent was hunting down near the end of it at the Pond Stand and just at dark that afternoon we learned first hand about the Halloween Hunt, the terrifying Hell Hounds and the Wicked Creatures that drove them.
The sun was falling, and the woods seemed empty and lifeless that afternoon and it was right at the time to get down from my stand when I heard the blood curdling howls start. not the baying of hounds but something filled with hate and longing that instantly froze me in my stand. It was so evil and terrifying that I was afraid to get down; and then I heard the cry of the dogs getting closer to me. I could tell it was a pack of dogs but their sound left me with my mouth dry and heart pounding as they poured over the ridge and down into the hollow in front of me.
One terrified deer came by so fast that I could not tell what it was in the fading light, but a few seconds later I could clearly see the enormous black hounds that came after it. They were large and rangy beast that seemed to shine with a greenish glow. Evil looking, gigantic wolf-like creatures with enormous fangs and red eyes caught the deer’s trail and moved as fast as the deer through the woods.
Seconds later a flicker of dark movement behind them and three mere shadows seemed to move purposefully through the woods behind them. Dark twisted shapes with large claws that held whips. I did not move or even dare to breathe. I thought I had been scared before but these shadowy shapes paralyzed me. They passed within 20 yards of my stand and I felt I had escaped death as they moved on. I waited till the howls had moved a mile down the hollow and ran out of the woods to the truck where I hoped Dad waited.
He was out of his stand and had seen the hellish hounds at a distance. He had felt the same overpowering fear as I did and had hurried back to the truck. Trent had heard the awful howling but they had turned before reaching him. Back at camp we talked about the horrible looking hounds but I never mentioned the dark shapes that followed them, but several of our neighbors talked of the rumor of demons that held a Halloween Hunt each year.
Some of the members and guest laugh about it but we don't. Halloween afternoons are for relaxing, drinking and listening to ballgames. We do not hunt on the Halloween afternoons of October 31st.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We Are Fired Up Now !!!!!!

We found this deer head up by the lake. A nice 7-point with a seventeen inch spread.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Repairing Stands

Mark, Burney and I worked on repairing stands, replacing camo, and repairing gun rests in stands this past weekend. We got about half of them done and time is running out. Halloween is next weekend and then the Youth hunt. Here are some pics of us hard at work.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Before I Go

Denise, Camo and I are packing up to go to camp this afternoon. Mark is supposed to meet us and go shoot our rifles with Greg out at his property. I imagine that will take awhile.
Than you Michael Still. I stole your rebel bear pic. Hope you don't mind.
Our object this weekend is to beat the damn Razorbacks and to repair all the stands with new gun rests and camo. That will take awhile too.
Two weeks 'till the Youth Hunt! Then a big muzzle-load hunt for all our friends and finally gun season will be here. Matt says he can't make it.
Thank you Mr. Porter for reminding me that in my Mississippi Bears story I forgot to mention that that is where the expression loaded for Bear came from. as in "if you come down to Mississippi to mess with us, you better be loaded for Bear."
Another sidebar is that the unit also became known as the "Bloody Bears".
The article about the bears ran in the Daily Mississippian and we have had a tremendous amount of interest in it and our research. Once again the cracker jack research team at the Bodock Times is ahead of their competition.
Will give a deer report when I get back and remember "You can't change the spots on a bear."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Mississippi Bears

The true story of the Rebel Bears.
In 1901 when President Roosevelt came to Misissippi on his famous hunt, the legend of the Teddy Bear was born, but the true story of the Mississippi Bears did not really start there. The real story started with General Grant and the seige of Vicksburg. During the Civil War the Mississippi Delta was still a tremendous and forbidding wilderness with few towns or roads and in the winter it was nearly impassible. This helped protect the city of Vicksburg during the assaults it undertook as the Union army tried to take control of the Mississippi River and complete the blockade of the South.
The famous ditch known as Grant’s Canal was started in an effort to cut a loop out of the river and bypass the ferocious shore batteries established at Vicksburg. The Confederate Army was heavily entrenched and no end was in sight as General Grant gave the go ahead to restart work on the project once he took command of the Federal forces.
A large contingent of pressed labor and 3000 soldiers restarted the excavation under General Grant that had ended in July and by January of 1863 they had dug a large canal 18 feet wide and 13 feet deep. The Union army believed that if they cut open the channel the Mississippi River would flow through the gap changing the route of the River and bypassing Vicksburg completely. As the Confederates watched the work from behind the city walls, it began to look as if it would succeed.
Finally a small detachment of volunteers under the command of Colonel James Pembroke was selected to try and disrupt the heavily guarded canal. Colonel Pembroke had been recently hired at the University of Mississippi before it closed and had been named a Colonel in the Mississippi Rifles made up of Ole Miss students and other young 17-20 year old men from across the state that had been unable to enroll at the University because of the War.
Under cover of night some 200 of these Confederates crossed the river five miles below the work area and made their way into position for an attack at sunrise. They were 200 hundred against 3000 but hoped that the shock of an attack could halt excavation until the Spring thaw would cause the River to rise and put and end to the digging for at least another year.
As the Confederates prepared to sound the charge something totally unexpected happened on the south end of the canal. Workers digging into the bank broke through a large underground chamber and as it was just breaking day, one of the workers threw a torch into the black opening to see what was inside. This elicited loud growls and roars from the hole and three large, enraged black bears that had been hibernating came boiling out into the bottom of the canal. Terrified soldiers and workers scattered in all directions and seeing the disruption taking place, Colonel Pembroke sounded the charge. The Confederate forces easily reached the trench and fell in behind the angry bears that were working their way up the canal scattering men and horses in every direction. In less than an hour of hard fighting, the Confederates had control of the area and the bloody bears had disappeared back through their lines apparently unharmed. The terrified Yankees were forced to retreat upriver and never returned to finish their work because of their fear of the Rebel Bears.
For their heroism,, this unit became known as the Mississippi Bears or Rebel Bears and were known for their Tough and Ferocious nature and refusal to quit even when pitted against overwhelming odds.