Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blue and gray’

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 »

quantrill

When William Quantrill, in the Civil War,
Led his gray troops, like swarming ants, in raid
On Lawrence, citizens died by the score –
Unarmed.  A battle, or just vengeance paid?

John Morgan, likewise, was a Southern pride;
But to the North, his acts were piracy.
His men would conquer, taking all they spied –
An army’s pillaging?  Or robbery?

The line between an army waging war
And scoundrels, murderers, and common thieves;
Between a wicked gang and army corps
Is thinner than a person oft believes.

To see this truth is but to know the names:
With Quantrill rode both Frank and Jesse James.

—————————————-

The picture is of William Quantrill.

—————————————-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantrill%27s_Raiders

—————————————

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

Read Full Post »

gall-civil-war

The Southerners had Jackson
And Jeb-led cavalry,
And none who was as crafty
As gray fox Robert Lee.

The North looked for a hammer,
And Lincoln fired the soft,
Until Grant, made of metal,
Would lose, but battled oft.

The rebels had the leaders;
The Union had the men.
The war was thus attrition:
It was not which, but when.

————————-

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

Read Full Post »

Jeb Stuart, in the midst of war,
Rode by his family.
While on his horse, he kissed his wife –
Goodbye in brevity.

Mere two days later, he was dead,
Kissed by a sniper’s bee.
It was a single touch that took
Him to eternity.

Of Stuart, Sedgwick later said,
“He ruled the cavalry.
He was the greatest officer
That we will ever see.”

The bullet, kiss, the spoken praise
Were each a single tick,
Upon the ages’ lumb’ring clock,
From one life that we pick.

How quick a stroke a brush may make
And change fore’er a hue
On which the wind will blow all day
And fall, in mornings, dew.

——————————-

© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

Read Full Post »

With Stonewall Jackson hurt, but not yet dead
Though surgeon-fit for that, his final bed,
Lee heard the cutting news and said aright,
“He’s lost his left arm but I’ve lost my right.”
And when the life of Jackson ebbed away
Like timid tides retreating from a bay,
Robbed Lee, at Gettysburg, was then alone –
He’d lost his eyes and ears beneath a stone.

————————————–

© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

Read Full Post »