Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Civil War Poems’ Category

salient

At Spotsylvania in ’64,
I fought and somehow lived to fight some more.
I fought near very center of the front –
The Bloody Angle of the salient,
A fingernail that tore, and torrent bled –
From wounded Blue and Gray and from the dead.

The Angle was the likely weakest spot,
Which both sides knew, so armies formed a clot,
With wave and wave of Blue prepared to send,
And Gray entrenched at all costs to defend.
I fought there and its horrors know too well;
Yet you will think it bloody lies I tell.

So massive was the steady charge of Blue,
For twenty hours we could not subdue,
Or stop the penetration of our line
Till Blue and Gray did equally combine
With shots close range and fighting hand to hand –
A horror only Satan could command.

The terror that we had to stay alive
Fueled strength to make the weary strive
Against exhaustion of our flesh and soul
To try and keep our lives, keep body whole,
Not like the thickened oak* that, riddled, fell
By all the bullets flying in our hell.

Rain reigned and trenches softened into mud
Soaked by the falling water, flowing blood.
The mortal blows were given face to face
And wounded fell among them in that place.
Five deep the bodies were, dead or alive,
While we fought on above them to survive.

I sob to tell you of this ghastly day:
The Blue, still charging, and we standing Gray,
Had fought from dawn and still fought toward the night
And trampled dead and wounded out of sight!
Both armies killed men with their hands and feet,
The nightmare that my nightmares still repeat.

I fought there and its horrors know too well;
Yet you will think it bloody lies I tell.

————————————————————————

The battle at the salient was a 200 yard wide stretch.

*Federal fire was so heavy and some over the confederate troops in trenches that an oak tree two feet in diameter was felled by chipping bullets.

https://ironbrigader.com/2014/04/22/union-soldiers-recall-fighting-mule-shoe-salient-spotsylvania-courthouse/

————————————————————————–

© Dennis Allen Lange, 2020.

Read Full Post »

Lincoln inaugural

It looked dim for Lincoln’s election
To second term till changed complexion.
Sheridan o’er Early won;
Atlanta burned till it was done.
The army assured Abe’s selection.

———————————————-

© Dennis Allen Lange, 2019.

 

Read Full Post »

appomattox

Along the banks of Bull Run lived –
At what became the scene
Of two Manassas battlefields –
A farmer named McLean. 

The fighting was so near, a shell
Crashed through a window pane.
It did not kill a man that day,
But Wilmer’s hopes were slain. 

Then, Wilmer had enough of War
And he moved far away
Where battle’s sounds would never reach,
Untouched by Blue and Gray. 

‘Twas Appomattox Court House where
He chanced to choose a farm.
No bullets flew to chase men there,
In its calm rural charm. 

But Lee, outnumbered by Grant’s men
Like fox by many hounds,
Fled to the new place Wilmer chose –
Onto its very grounds. 

At Appomattox Station was
The nearest shot and shell.
And Lee, surrounded, his men starved
Gave up the Civil Hell. 

Into the parlor first was Lee,
And Grant soon took a chair.
War-weary Wilmer hosted them,
And Gray surrendered there. 

McLean fled War, but following
It acted with caprice.
Though War came to his farm’s door, it
Became a house of peace.

———————————————–

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2019.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Fort Fisher


Ben Butler called Fisher too solid.
Grant fired him, which Ben thought was squalid.
He showed a committee
His proof, wanting pity.
They listened, their faces all stolid.

But news came, and streets filled with cheering.
Fort Fisher had fallen; the hearing
Was filled with great laughter
Which Butler joined after,
Concluding that Ord was unfearing.

————————————————————————–

After the Union’s General Benjamin Butler was removed by Grant and replaced by Ord, Butler went before a Congressional Committee to plead his case. In the midst of that hearing, while Butler was explaining with charts and graphs and maps that Fort Fisher was impregnable, newspaper boys began shouting the headline that Fort Fisher had fallen and cheering began in the street. “Impossible!” was Butler’s first response but a message was soon sent into the room confirming it. Laughter spread through the room and Butler finally joined in. He concluded with, “Thank God for victory.”

————————————————————————-

Another poem of mine about Fort Fisher:
https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/fort-fisher-sounds-by-dennis-allen-lange/

————————————————————————-

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

Read Full Post »

sherman

(General William Tecumseh Sherman)


Some thought that Sherman was insane
In early days of war.
Though at the end most didn’t, while
Atlanta thought it more. 

He mused, when he in triumph stood
Before a nation, glad,
“I stayed by Grant when he was drunk,
And he while I was mad.” 

They thought he’d make a president,
A leader, great, of men.
He said, “I’d rather choose instead
Locked four years in the pen.” 

Most likely, he was crazy then,
Just crazy like a fox,
To not let people lock him in
A presidential box.

—————————————-

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

 

Read Full Post »

hatteras

At Galveston, the Brooklyn saw a ship,
A merchantman? Sent to investigate –
The Hatteras, lest Union blockade’s grip
Be loosened like the shattered ship of state.

The Hatteras gave chase; the sun
Was setting both the sea and sky afire
Until it sank beneath the brine to shun
The same world it had beamed upon as squire.

Into the night, from safety of the day,
The phantom flitted like a butterfly,
Till Union sister ships were far away.
Then stopped, said, “I’m a bee; prepare to die!”

The ship was Alabama from the South.
The Hatteras sank quickly like the sun.
She took the bait till hook was in her mouth,
Then ‘Bama reeled her in and she was done.

———————————————————————-

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

Read Full Post »

(In the Civil War battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia, Burnside sent Union troops again and again across an open field toward the Southerners behind a wall on the Sunken Road and perched above on Marye’s Height. The Union was slaughtered before retreating, 13,300 casualties vs.4500 for the South.)

30122008953_f5b6f4c4ae_o

The sunken road.  The Union attacked across open level ground from the right,
suffered many losses, and were repelled each time.  Marye’s Height (pictured below) is a steep hill to the left.  Confederate cannons fired down on the Union from there.

30673881481_0c5271ba51_o

 

Did you, with ease, your blue waves send
To beat the shore that would not bend,
To paint their blood upon the wall
They battered ‘gainst, that could not fall?

Did you e’er feel the bullet’s pain
So they would not roll forth again
To-ward the South perched on the height,
No chance to win within blue’s sight?

Did they give their brief lives in vain
So you’d not have to bear the pain
Of facing Lincoln’s pressure to
Press on and fight, or bid adieu?

————————————————————-

The pictures are mine, taken a couple of years ago to a trip to Virginia where I
saw 5 major Civil War battlefields including Fredericksburg.

————————————————————-

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

Read Full Post »

john bell hood

Hood battered Sherman’s men to no avail,
Gave up Atlanta, fled, and forged a trail
To Tennessee, his thirty thousand worn
By war and miles, a cob with half its corn.
 

At Franklin, Union lines were fortified,
Which checked not John Bell Hood’s aggressive side.
As futile as the clapper ‘gainst the bell,
Hood hammered and six thousand Rebels fell. 

A dozen generals were dead or gone,
And fifty leaders more lay on the lawn.
But Hood was like a moth drawn to a flame,
And hemmed in Nashville with his army lame. 

Blue’s Thomas, turtle-like, took his sweet time,
Then poured forth from the city at his prime.
Gray’s west was flanked; the Rebel line was rolled,
And Hood was done, a story finished, told. 

Hood’s army’s head at Franklin was bereft.
Now, half of half was all that he had left.
Post-Nashville, fewer feet by far remained,
And Hood resigned, his honor ever stained.

————————————————–

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

 

Read Full Post »

Atlanta

One year, a present Sherman gave
To Lincoln for the Yule
To cheer the dour president
In his long arduous rule.

It was the perfect offering,
And not from ease or thrift,
For William gave to Abraham
Atlanta as a gift.

———————————————-

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

 

Read Full Post »

civil war deaths

When brother North fought brother South
Oft in the other’s home,
The bodies fell on battlefields
In woods and fields and loam.

The red plague on the battlegrounds,
Spread by the buzzing bees,
Was still but half the total brought
At rest, by dread disease.

—————————————————-

https://www.phil.muni.cz/~vndrzl/amstudies/civilwar_stats.htm

—————————————————

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »