Billy Carlin, The Fighter

Billy Carlin, who visited here last summer, was a Steuben County boy who enlisted in the 44th Indiana Regiment early in the war.  He was a little fellow, the shortest man in the regiment, being only a trifle over five feet and stood on his toes to pass the examiner.  Another peculiarity of his, was his mustache, which was so heavy and long that he could tie it behind his neck.  Like the other boys, he went out determined to fight.  
While on the way to the front his company stopped for several days in Fort Wayne, and on Sunday morning Billy attended Catholic church and manifested his amusement so much that the priest ordered him out of the church.
The next morning the priest had occasion to visit the boys in camp, and Billy was on guard.  He demanded the countersign, but the priest, thinking himself a favored character, attempted to pass without giving the word, so Billy lit into him and threshed him good and plenty.  This caused such a commotion that he was sent to the guard house, and when called up to answer to the charge of disorderly conduct, his plea was: “They sent me down here to fight and now won’t let me fight.”  
Billy was always saying: “I wish I was a little taller; I wish I was a little taller.”  But during the Battle of Shiloh, when the bullets were flying thick and fast, one of them scraped the hair off the top of his head, and then he changed his tune and said: “I’m glad I wasn’t any taller: I’m glad I wasn’t any taller.”

Submitted by Kay Lash
Source: Steuben Republican, 22 May 1907