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Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

Confederate_Rebel_Flag

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.

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© 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.

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http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/fortfisher/history-articles/fort-fisher.html

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

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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.

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The picture is of William Quantrill.

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

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

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robert-e-lee

The gray-haired man on the iron-gray horse
Toward Pennsylvania led his gray-clad force.
And a Union lass in the Union land
Said, “I wish he was ours – he’s handsome and grand.”

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*A Union lass did say that.


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

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custer


In West Point class, he was the bottom dweller,
And sought thereafter to escape that cellar.
His road, in Civil War, was thus the rougher,
And Michiganders led by him would suffer.
So no surprise in Little Big Horn’s battle:
He and his men were slaughtered much like cattle.
George Armstrong Custer’s love of war and glory
Made blood and death his most enduring story.


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*The Michigan men led by Custer in the Civil War
suffered a larger number of killed and wounded
than any other cavalry brigade in the Union army.

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

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26553457804_3221f8f300_o

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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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Life’s vibrant green they were, but brittle.
With flowing red, they fell.
No wind, yet some still moved a little;
Some screamed their private hell.

Some lay there lifeless, growing colder,
To Winter sacrificed.
The meek nor brave would get no older –
They found Fall over-priced.

Some leaves were left till wind stopped blowing;
They raked those in the morn.
Now in their beds, they’re no more growing
Till Gabriel blows his horn.

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

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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.

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

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(after visiting with Lincoln before the fall of Richmond)

Of all the men I ever met
None other comes to mind
Who had both greatness and the grace
In such amount combined.

I once looked down on him in scorn;
I judged him on a word.
And looking back, I understand
Such judgments are absurd.

You ask, “What is the difference?”
I am ashamed to say.
I judged him when I knew him not;
I know him well today.


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

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