Didja ever wonder whence came the word?


An inspection report by Confederate captain Walter Bowie to Brig. Gen. R. H. Chilton, inspector general, dated May 10, 1864, used the term to describe the line over which prisoners were forbidden to go. In it, Bowie wrote: “On the inside of the stockade and twenty feet from it there is a dead-line established, over which no prisoner is allowed to go, day or night, under penalty of being shot.”

Ideally, everything that’s to be shot has already been shot.