‘Herbert Cline!’—At the call there came
Two stalwart soldiers into the line,
Bearing between them this Herbert Cline,
Wounded and bleeding, to answer his name.
‘Ezra Kerr!’—and a voice answered ‘Here’
‘Hiram Kerr!’—but no man replied.
They were brothers, these two; the sad wind sighed,
And a shudder crept through the cornfield near.
‘Ephraim Deane!’—then a soldier spoke:
‘Deane carried our regiment's colors,’ he said,
“When our ensign was shot; I left him dead,
Just after the enemy wavered and broke.
‘Close to the roadside his body lies;
I paused a moment and gave him to drink;
He murmured his mother's name, I think,
And Death came with it and closed his eyes.’
'Twas a victory, yes; but it cost us dear:
For that company's roll, when called at night,
Of a hundred men who went into the fight,
Numbered but twenty that answered ‘Here!’
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