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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

salient

At Spotsylvania in ’64,
I fought and somehow lived to fight some more.
I fought near very center of the front –
The Bloody Angle of the salient,
A fingernail that tore, and torrent bled –
From wounded Blue and Gray and from the dead.

The Angle was the likely weakest spot,
Which both sides knew, so armies formed a clot,
With wave and wave of Blue prepared to send,
And Gray entrenched at all costs to defend.
I fought there and its horrors know too well;
Yet you will think it bloody lies I tell.

So massive was the steady charge of Blue,
For twenty hours we could not subdue,
Or stop the penetration of our line
Till Blue and Gray did equally combine
With shots close range and fighting hand to hand –
A horror only Satan could command.

The terror that we had to stay alive
Fueled strength to make the weary strive
Against exhaustion of our flesh and soul
To try and keep our lives, keep body whole,
Not like the thickened oak* that, riddled, fell
By all the bullets flying in our hell.

Rain reigned and trenches softened into mud
Soaked by the falling water, flowing blood.
The mortal blows were given face to face
And wounded fell among them in that place.
Five deep the bodies were, dead or alive,
While we fought on above them to survive.

I sob to tell you of this ghastly day:
The Blue, still charging, and we standing Gray,
Had fought from dawn and still fought toward the night
And trampled dead and wounded out of sight!
Both armies killed men with their hands and feet,
The nightmare that my nightmares still repeat.

I fought there and its horrors know too well;
Yet you will think it bloody lies I tell.

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The battle at the salient was a 200 yard wide stretch.

*Federal fire was so heavy and some over the confederate troops in trenches that an oak tree two feet in diameter was felled by chipping bullets.

https://ironbrigader.com/2014/04/22/union-soldiers-recall-fighting-mule-shoe-salient-spotsylvania-courthouse/

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© Dennis Allen Lange, 2020.

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This earthly life is a test to find
Which ones of us are the heavenly kind.

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The photo is mine – early morning in the Shenandoah Mountains.

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© Dennis Allen Lange, 2019.

 

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(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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I just made a trip to Virginny,
And saw all the sights – there were many.
Now after the roam
I’m headed for home.
There’s no better sight – No, not any!


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

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Carry me back to old Virginny,
There’s where the cotton and the corn and taters grow,
There’s where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time,
There’s where the old darkey’s heart am longed to go,
There’s where I labored so hard for old Massa,
Day after day in the field of yellow corn,
No place on earth do I love more sincerely
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born. 

Refrain:
Carry me back to old Virginny,
There’s where the cotton and the corn and taters grow,
There’s where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time,
There’s where the old darkey’s heart am longed to go.

Carry me back to old Virginny,
There let me live till I wither and decay,
Long by the old dismal swamp have I wandered,
There’s where this old darkey’s life will pass away.
Massa and Missis have long gone before,
Soon we will meet on that bright and golden shore,
There we’ll be happy and free from all sorrow,
There’s where we’ll meet and we’ll never part no more.

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Hear the song sung:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmI-PfF-8k

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