Toad Legs-Virginia Style

A trooper on picket duty. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Recently I was combing through a memoir from an officer in the 5th Michigan Cavalry, Robert C. Wallace. I came across a little nugget that I wanted to share. To set the scene, it is late July 1863 and the Gettysburg Campaign has recently come to an end. Wallace has just bedded down for the evening outside Amissville, Virginia. He writes:

“I remember while lying asleep on the road something cold lit on my mouth. Starting up, I found that a large toad had hopped onto my face. Had my mouth been open at the time and big enough to take the toad, it would have been my first taste of toads’ legs raw.”

Personally, I have never sampled toad or frog legs. I am certainly not opposed to the idea. When and if I do, I definitely do not want to experience it in the same way this Union cavalryman almost did.

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