Chronicling the Dead

I have lately finished the excellent Kate: The Journal of a Confederate Nurse by Scotch-born and Alabama-bred Kate Cummings. I’ve marveled at her religiosity, fearlessness in going into the worst of the hospital scenes, compassion for the wounded, and her self-delusions at the righteousness of the Southern cause and the wickedness of the Northern cause.Continue reading “Chronicling the Dead”

I’m a Sailor Peg

They have just passed a parking lot on the Spotsylvania Battlefield history trail. There is a clear trail to the right just on the other side of the placards at this stop, so they follow it. It goes for a quarter mile and ends at a busy road. “This isn’t right,” says the man. “WeContinue reading “I’m a Sailor Peg”

Among the Dead at the Mule Shoe

Thunder of cannon. Line after line of men, issuing sheet after sheet of flame—that’s the vision he sees. He is standing on a trail inside Union lines. He stares across the empty field at the Mule Shoe of Spotsylvania Courthouse where Union and Confederate troops fought for 24 straight hours, often with just wooden defensiveContinue reading “Among the Dead at the Mule Shoe”