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Posts Tagged ‘pneumonia’

At eighty-four, he stood in winter’s cold
And rain to honor foe who died as friend.
“Put on your hat,” he worriedly was told.
“No, he would not wear hat at my life’s end.”

Pallbearer, later he caught cold that day;
Pneumonia was the price of honor paid.
And like the one he helped to put away,
In weeks, with honor, was in his grave laid.

A score and six years after civil war,
The one who lost Atlanta by retreat –
Gray’s General Joe Johnston suffered more
At Sherman’s hands and grave: a last defeat.

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It was at the Union’s General Sherman’s death that Johnston, as a pallbearer, stood bareheaded in New York’s February winter, caught a cold, and died from pneumonia.

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

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At Chancellorsville, the light was all but lost,
Except the stars that peered out o’er the dead
Who had no twinkle left; their holocaust
A battlefield which was, this night, their bed. 

The General rode out into the night
To scout himself the land before his men.
Returning, friendly fire from blinded fright
Stung thrice the Bull Run Battle’s paladin. 

He could not walk the way because he bled
His strength from shoulder and a useless arm.
A stretcher manned by friendly men instead
Moved him, but one drop caused his ribs some harm.

The arm went first; that seemed to be enough –
A sacrifice acceptable to Death.
But Death said no, in voice grim and gruff,
And Jackson’s light was lost in his last breath. 

Though Chancellorsville was its great victory,
Black draped the Gray in mourning o’er the cost
That none more keenly felt than Robert Lee
Who knew that for his own eyes light was lost. 

And like the life of Jackson ebbed away
So, too, did Southern hopes begin to fade.
And at the end, the General and the Gray
Less life and cause, were in a grave both laid.

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

 

 

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