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33. “I fights mit Sigel!”

by grant P. Robinson.
I met him again, he was trudging along,
     His knapsack with chickens was swelling:
He'd “Blenkered” these dainties, and thought it no wrong
     From some secessionist's dwelling.
“What regiment's yours? and under whose flag
     Do you fight?” said I, touching his shoulder;
Turning slowly around he smilingly said,
     For the thought made him stronger and bolder:
I fights mit Sigel!”

The next time I saw him his knapsack was gone,
     His cap and canteen were missing,
Shell, shrapnel, and grape, and the swift rifle-ball
     Around him and o'er him were hissing.
How are you, my friend, and where have you been,
     And for what and for whom are you fighting?
He said, as a shell from the enemy's gun
     Sent his arm and his musket a “kiting:”
I fights mit Sigel!”

And once more I saw him and knelt by his side,
     His life-blood was rapidly flowing;
I whispered of home, wife, children and friends,
     The bright land to which he was going;
And have you no word for the dear ones at home,
     The “wee one,” the father or mother?
“Yaw! yaw!” said he, “tell them! oh! tell them I fights” --
     Poor fellow! he thought of no other--
I fights mit Sigel!”

We scraped out a grave, and he dreamlessly sleeps
     On the banks of the Shenandoah River;
His home or his kindred alike are unknown,
     I His reward in the hands of the Giver
We placed a rough board at the head of his grave,
     “And we left him alone in his glory,”
But on it we marked ere we turned from the spot,
     The little we knew of his story--
I fights mit Sigel!”

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