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The Virtue of Slaughter

Swift, blazing flag of the regiment, Eagle with crest of red and gold, These men were born to drill and die. Point for them the virtue of slaughter, Make plain to them the excellence of killing And a field where a thousand corpses lie. –Stephen Crane, “War is Kind” The table was covered in bloodContinue reading “The Virtue of Slaughter”

Angel Glow

As the light faded, so did the sound of artillery, and the musket fire was only sporadic. The sounds they had been masking all day now pierced the night–the moans, howls, screams, and curses. The man was sitting up against a tree, his left thigh useless from a wound, his right shoulder blade also immobileContinue reading “Angel Glow”

The Revelation

Mrs. Noland did not care much for the twelve apostles. Of course, she never told anyone that–how could you? But if you’re honest, you’d have to admit the apostles didn’t measure up too often. Here’s Peter sinking under the water because of his lack of faith. Here are James and John arguing over who getsContinue reading “The Revelation”

Send Ole Pinkerton Home

Billy Morgan couldn’t sleep. The night was pitch outside, and only a lantern now and again lit some of the rooms or corridors while cooks, nurses, and doctors kept doing their work. Of course, there were still moans coming from the sickest or most wounded patients. Sometimes, a man having a nightmare would scream out.Continue reading “Send Ole Pinkerton Home”

A Story Hardly Known

Years after Kate Cumming published her diary, she returned to it to write an author’s introduction. While still lamenting the outcome of the war, her emotions had cooled somewhat, and she reflected on causes of the South’s failure. As she did, she also extolled the virtues of many people she had worked with, saying, “WholeContinue reading “A Story Hardly Known”

Two Unknowns

About ten percent into my revisiting of Kate Cummings’ recorded dead, I am stumped so far by two people. The first is a German man named Ernest (as she spells it). She does not indicate for sure whether that is his first or last name. She does say that he wished her to write hisContinue reading “Two Unknowns”

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