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Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

 
(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.)

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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

 

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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.

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© 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.

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

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

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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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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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