They lay in all positions; some with musket grasped as though still contending; others with the cartridge in the fingers just ready to put the deadly charge where it might meet the foe. All ferocity had gone.
ye rest here now in security!
Your portals whence the spirits fled are as calm and pale as moonlight upon snow — as though no sweet love had ever woven for ye myrtle wreaths, nor death draped your hearts in ivy — as though mirth had never smiled nor sorrow wept where all is now silent.
War with its dangers, earth with its perplexities, neglect and poverty with their pangs, slander with its barb, the dear heart-broken ones at home — all fail to call ye back to strife.
A dark and fearful shadow has crept over the land and gathered ye in its gloom.
O the tears that will be shed!
O the hearths that will be desolated!
Eyes will look in vain for your return to the hearths that ye once gladdened, while Fame crowns ye with its laurels, and the land of the hereafter welcomes ye as “they who saved the land.”
A remarkably sweet and youthful face was that of a rebel boy. Scarce eighteen, and as fair as a maiden, with quite small hands, long hair of the pale golden hue that auburn changes to when much in the sun, and curling at the ends.
He had on a shirt of coarse white cotton, and brown pants, well worn; while upon his feet were a woman's shoes of about the size known as “fours.”
Too delicate was his frame for war; perchance some mother's idol.
His left side was torn by a shell, and his left shoulder shattered.
Poor misguided boy!
Hyacinth was scarce more delicately beautiful than he. Mayhap he had his Apollo
Two men who had caught at a fig tree to assist them up a steep embankment lay dead at its feet slain in all probability by an enfilade fire from their right; the branch at which they caught was still in their grasp.
Some could not be recognized by their nearest friends.
Several were headless — others were armless; but the manner of their death was always plain.
The Minie left its large, rather clear hole; the shell its horrid rent; the shrapnel and grape their clear, great gashes, as though one had thrust a giant's spear through the tender, quivering flesh.
In one trench lay two, grasping the same weapon — friend and foe. Across their hands fell a vine, the end upon the breast of the rebel, where it had fallen with them from an elevation above; the roots still damp with the fresh earth; upon it was a beautiful passion flower in full bloom and two buds; the buds were stained with blood — the flower as bright as was the day when the morning stars sang together.
On the faces of both was the calm that follows sleep — rather pale, perhaps, but seeming like him of old, of whom it was said, “He is not dead, but sleepeth.”
But ah, the. crimson!
All is not well where earth is stained with blood.
In some places the dead were piled, literally, like sacks of grain upon the shore.
It is remarkable with what patience the fatally wounded, they who already stood upon the shore, bore their sufferings.
Some knew that they could not recover, but bore it manfully.
Sometimes a tear, and a low voice would say, “My sweet wife,” or “Darling
,” “Mother,” “God forgive” --a quiver, then all
Let us hope that friend and foe alike found favor in His sight where all is well.
Death is life's mystery — that undiscovered country whence none return — in no place so great and marvellous a study as here.
One would think that war would develop ferocity in hard natures; perhaps it does; but it is not shown in the faces of the dead.
They enter the silent land with eyes open; a stare of surprise is in them; the lines of care are softened upon the brow, and the cheek, when untorn, shows determination, as though they slept where doubt is unknown, where all mystery is revealed; where the reason of our creation, to bear the myrtle leaf of joy or the habiliments of mourning, to reap the golden sheaves of content or gather the mildew of misery, is known.
They have been sent, rather than gone, to the garner where all shall be gathered.
This is the work of treason!
This it is to unroof the temple of law and order, and let loose the demon of discord.
A people more than prosperous have fallen upon evil times.
Murder, arson, theft, all kinds of injustice, follow in the footsteps of war. Nor is the end yet. When shall spears and swords be beaten into ploughshares and pruning-hooks?
“How long, O Lord
?” --Cincinnati Gazette