Posts Tagged ‘Blue Gray’


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.




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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:


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

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(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.)


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.



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.

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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.


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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.




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

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The Union soldiers heard and knew,
E’en if they could not see,
A tidal wave was rolling forth
To pound them dreadfully.

The Gray began their fearsome charge
With a blood-curdling yell.
Like Furies, they came screaming forth,
Like demons out of hell.

‘Neath Union blue, it tingled spines;
‘Neath caps, their hair would stand.
Relentlessly, the tide surged ‘cross
The narrow strip of land.

Today, the Rebel yell seems lost;
We have no certain sound.
For though they screamed into the past,
No echo does rebound.


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

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Fort Fisher

Boom, boom!  Boom, boom! The Union navy fires!
Boom, boom!  Boom, boom! – the Civil War’s bass choirs.
Boom, boom! Fort Fisher’s what the cannon’s see
As North tests its invincibility.

Boom, boom!  Boom, boom! Shells whistle, fall, and crash!
Boom, boom!  Boom, boom! They fall like fists and smash!
Boom, boom! Boom, boom!  And one by one the guns
Within the fort become exploding suns.

Boom, boom!  Boom, boom! The navy’s cannons roar!
Boom, boom!  Boom, boom! Can ears take any more?!
Boom, boom!  Midst shells, the fort can see (boom, boom!)
The blue ranks forming in the smoke and gloom.

Then silence yawns –
…………………………………..a bird, if live, could sing,
Be clearly heard if ears did not still ring.
A caterpillar, in his softest crawl
Would sound like chalk that screeches on the wall.

Did some slip to the ugly booming brutes
And quickly push on all the buttons – Mute?
Or did the noisy nightmare swiftly end
And all awake at once, calm comprehend?

And then –
…………………shrieks, moans, and whistles – boats begin!
Shriek, shriek! Whistle, whistle! A hellish din!
And all the demons in the devil’s hell
Were screaming, shrieking, moaning – whistles tell

Two armies of the blue to charge the fort
That guarded well the Carolina port.
A rata, a rata, a rat tat tat!
Crescendo swells! A rata tat tat!

Shriek, shriek! Whistle, whistle! They blow and moan!
Guns roar! Men yell! They fall dead with a groan.
The cannons more selective now – boom, boom!
And midst the sounds, Fort Fisher meets its doom.


Another poem of mine about Fort Fisher:




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

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Atlanta lost, like some prized wedding ring
Whose bride can ne’er recover from the sting,
Hood’s Rebel army marched to Tennessee
To search the western vales for victory.

And on the trek, Pat Cleburne saw a place
So beautiful a smile came on his face –
A church and cemetery, and Pat swore,
“Why, this is almost worth one’s dying for!”

Just two weeks later, it became his bed
For he, at Franklin, was among the dead.
And though he laid there, blind to e’en the stars,
The nations foolishly keep fighting wars.


The picture is mine of a mural of General Pat Cleburne
that is on a wall of a building in downtown Cleburne, Texas.


Cleburne was at first buried elsewhere, but someone
remembering his words urged that he be buried at that
site.  He was, but was later buried in his “hometown” of
Helena, Arkansas.


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

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At Griswoldville, Blue’s Howard left behind
Rear guard to watch as his men moved away.
Some Rebels sniffed them out as hounds will find
The wily fox who is the hunters’ prey.

In close formation, Gray made its attack
With courage, but without a bit of art,
Straight toward the waiting guns which drove them back,
To charge twice more, and failing, then depart.

The Union soldiers went into the field
As victors, cheering loudly with broad smiles.
But what to them had till then been concealed
Froze lips – the fallen Gray in many piles.

As Southern cause was close to its last breath,
Youth and the age-ed for the war were grist.
Six hundred lay, in agony or death,
So green, these Gray, that Blue troops rarely missed.

At Griswoldville, one viewed the grisly scene
And grieving, said, “There is no God in war.”
And thinking of a mother’s mournful keen,
He said, “War’s what the devil wishes for.”


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

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