With the U.S. annexation of Texas in 1846, tensions with Mexico had reached a critical point. At the same time, many Irish Catholics were immigrating to America in the wake of famine and unrest in Ireland.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
The enlisted barracks always reminded me of what fraternities would be like if they weren’t affiliated with a college. The drinking often starts at the smoke pit as soon as you’re cut loose from work and usually ends with a few stragglers arguing over who gets the last beer, with one guy randomly falling over because he fell asleep standing up.