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[63]

Aftermath of Spotsylvania Court House

If we should take out the grim reminder of war's horrors, the dead man on the litter with the stiff upturned arms, we should have a charming picture of a little Virginia farm, a cozy little house with its blossoming peach trees in the garden and the big Chinaberry tree shading the front yard. But within a stone's throw lie scores of huddled heaps distressing to gaze upon. Only a few hours before they had been living, breathing, fighting men; for here occurred Ewell's fierce attack on the 18th of May. The little farm belonged to a widow by the name of Allsop, and the garden and the ground back of the barns and outbuildings became a Confederate cemetery. Soldiers grow callous to the work of putting friends and foemen to rest for the last long sleep. Evidently this little squad of the burying detail have discovered that this man is an officer, and instead of putting him in the long trench where his comrades rest with elbows touching in soldierly alignment, they are giving him a grave by himself. Down at a fence corner on the Allsop farm they found the dead Confederate of the smaller photograph. He was of the never-surrender type, this man in the ragged gray uniform, one of the do or die kind that the bullets find most often. Twice wounded before his dauntless spirit left him was this gallant fellow; with a shattered leg that he had tied about hastily with a cotton shirt, he still fought on, firing from where he lay until he could see no longer, and he fell back and slowly bled to death from the ghastly wound in the shoulder. There was no mark on him to tell his name; he was just one of Ewell's men, and became merely a number on the tally sheet that showed the score of the game of war.

Digging a lonely grave — after Spotsylvania: Allsop's farm.

Just “one of Ewell's men” : dead Confederate at Allsop's farm after Spotsylvania.


 

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