Hidden in a Hogshead

I’ve been finding some historical gems in the archives of the Perryville Weekly Union as of late. Some are rare historical finds while some are are historical and humorous. This is of the humorous variety.

The May 29, 1863 edition of the paper carried the story of a Mr. Herwig who was arrested by Sheriff McBride un suspicion of stealing a mule. Herwig aroused the suspicion of the sheriff because he was riding the mule bareback.

The Perryville Weekly Union reported:

“A man by the name of Dr. Herwig was arrested by Sheriff McBride last Monday morning, some ten miles from Perryville on the road leading to Chester and brought here.- At the time he was arrested he was riding a mule bareback, which was believed to be stolen property. On Tuesday evening Herwig asked the sheriff to allow him to go to Cook’s and get some beer, which was granted, when he went off and hid himself in a large hogshead [barrell] in the cellar of Mr. Cook’s.”

Herwig was soon found and “lodged in the jail” until the matter could be resolved, which it eventually was when Mr. Masterson, the rightful owner of the mule arrived in Perryville. The paper ended the article by declaring, “the prisoner we guess will not go unpunished.”

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