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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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The Civil War etched two men into history,
Head, shoulders o’er the rest, two of our nation’s best –
A president and gen’ral: Lincoln, Lee.

Men came to recognize their pedigree;
They were a different breed; both in their roles could lead.
The Civil War etched two men into history.

One led the North and let the slaves go free;
One led the armed in gray, a fox in ev’ry way –
A president and gen’ral: Lincoln, Lee.

Less Lincoln, North might cave and bend the knee;
Lee knew what Grant would do, as though the future knew.
The Civil War etched two men into history.

One set a course midst scorn like scalding tea;
The other sat astride the route the Blue would ride –
A president and gen’ral: Lincoln, Lee.

Men fell; some soared, and blood became a sea
As two great men arose midst all a nation’s woes.
The Civil War etched two men into history,
A president and gen’ral: Lincoln, Lee.


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© Dennis 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.”

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

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Who knew one fallen leaf upon the grass
Could trip, at once, a hundred thousand men? –
One white canary singing with some sass,
Betraying him who wrote it with his pen. 

To trap the Union army was Lee’s plan.
Three generals, a pitchfork with three tines,
And fat would fry in Harpers Ferry’s pan.
There was no flaw but man in Lee’s designs. 

A copy of his orders for each chief
And Stonewall Jackson made one for his kin.
A copy came; an aide would keep that sheaf –
A souvenir he lost for Union men. 

The wrapper of cigars, a paper small,
Fell to the ground; caused many men to fall.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Order_191

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

 

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The turtle from the North was small and fast,
The southern one not wieldy ‘cause of size.
Though they were lately species closely classed,
They pounded at each other ‘neath torn skies.

The day before, the southern turtle showed
That iron was far superior to wood.
That lesson was the first at Hampton Roads.
The second? Iron ‘gainst iron and both withstood.

Four hours hammering upon the hull.
The metal held; concussions racked the men.
They bled from nose and ears, their hearing dull –
Against the cannon balls, mere bowling pins.

The navies of the world now saw wood’s lack
Thanks to the Monitor and Merrimack.

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

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Mid-February, and it seems
We bask in April’s heat.
The sullen gray, the cold, the mist
Are in a long retreat.

And while we welcome warmth’s advance,
We wonder if this spell
Of early conquering means that
July we’ll be in hell.

And too, what if the sleeping trees
Come forth to celebrate,
And Winter marches south again
To freeze, and subjugate?

I fear that, though it’s pleasant now,
Of warmth, the tale is more,
And Northern cold and Southern heat’s
A weather Civil War.


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

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A blue wave
Of Union soldiers
At the gray.

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Sides engage;
The fighting rages –
Red carpet.

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Then, the graves
Both Union, Rebel
Flower strewn.

photo by Phil Edon at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mXPElMW/Bluebell+woods

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* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed: https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

 

 

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The north wind blew a single leaf,
Dried like a golden harvest sheaf,
Across my driveway’s cool hard sheet,
Near where the grass and concrete meet.

I heard its scuttle’s scratchy call
Before I saw that beetle crawl.
It was as though a finger nail
Across a chalkboard scraped a trail.

I shuddered as I heard the sound;
I shivered as the wind blew ‘round.
I knew within my still warm heart
That both were signs of Winter’s start.


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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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