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Posts Tagged ‘union’

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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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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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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With Stonewall Jackson hurt, but not yet dead
Though surgeon-fit for that, his final bed,
Lee heard the cutting news and said aright,
“He’s lost his left arm but I’ve lost my right.”
And when the life of Jackson ebbed away
Like timid tides retreating from a bay,
Robbed Lee, at Gettysburg, was then alone –
He’d lost his eyes and ears beneath a stone.

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

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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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John Sedgwick, to his frightened men,
“Why dodge a single bee?
What will you do in battle, boys,
When swarms come after thee?” 

“At this range, e’en an elephant
Would certainly be missed.
Why think ye then your rosy cheek
Could possibly be kissed?” 

And he sat tall upon his mount
To prove what he had said,
Until the sniper shot at him
And Sedgwick fell down, dead.

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The ironic death of Major General John Sedgwick
of the Union army came on May 9, 1864 at the
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia. 

http://www.civilwarhome.com/sedgwickdeath.htm

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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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