Monday, April 28, 2014

In Memory of Men I Never Knew.......

One of the apartments Dome rented in Marion, MS was right next to a CSA Cemetery.
The day before we left I took a few moments to visit the cemetery and read the accompanying markers.

You cannot study the Civil war and not be moved by the sacrifices made by the men who fought in this great conflict whether they wore Blue, Butternut or Gray. Here is a small tribute to those whose remains lie here, and those who are remembered in this place. 

Dear Madam,

I am a soldier, and my speech is rough and plain.
I'm not much used to writing, and I hate to give you pain,
But I promised I would do it, and he thought it might be so 
If it came from one that loved him, perhaps it would ease the blow.

By this time, you must surely guess the truth I feign would hide,
And you'll pardon me for rough soldier words, while I tell you how he died.

It was in the maw of battle. Fast rained the shot and shell.
I was standing close beside him, and I saw him when he fell.
So I took him in my arms, and laid him on the grass.
It was going against orders, but I think they let it pass.

'Twas a minne ball that struck him. It entered at his side.
But we didn't think it fatal 'til this morning, when he died.

"Last night, I wanted so to live. I seemed so young to go.
Last week I passed my birthday. I was just 19, you know.
When I thought of all I planned to do, it seemed so hard to die.
But now I pray to God for Grace, and all my cares gone by."

And here his voice grew weaker, as he paused and raised his head.
And whispered, "Goodbye, Mother." And your soldier boy was dead.

I carved him out a headboard, as skillful as I could
And if you wish to find it, I can tell you where it stood.
I send you back his hymnbook, the cap he used to wear,
The lock I cut the night before, of his bright, curly hair.

I send you back his bible; The night before he died, 
I turned its leaves together, and read it by his side.

I keep the belt he was wearing; He told me so to do.
It has a hole upon the side, just where the ball went through.
So now I've done his bidding. I've nothing more to tell.
But I shall always mourn with you the boy we loved so well.

Daisy Turner, Storyteller and Poet,
September 26, 1990

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