Death So Near

Early dawn, freshly shattered,
Morning fog replaced by smoke.
Muskets rattle, cannon roar,
Screams and yells fill the air.
Two long lines face each other,
Broken here and there.
Swaying back and forth clashing,
Dealing fire and death.

Stars and Stripes, St. Andrew’s Cross,
Rallied men from North and South.
How we stood with death so near,
Close enough to feel it’s breath.
In many places, brutal and savage,
Fighting close, ground turned red.
Galling fire, hand-to-hand,
Man’s bravery tested true.

Shadows lengthen, silence grows,
On fields which heaved and groaned.
A chorus of thousands moaning,
Soon rend the night with sorrow.
Wounded here, dying there,
The ghastliness of war.
Thousands left upon the field,
For Death’s harvest of souls.

Bodies lie thick about me,
Clad in blue and gray.
There is no hate among the dying,
Compassion to all wounded.
Moans for water, pleas for death,
Are worse than cannon fire.
Lanterns move among us,
It seems they’ll never come.

Wracked with pain, coughing blood,
I know my time is near.
My brother lies silently at my side,
Mercy came and took his pain.
A wounded Yank shares water,
I ask for one favor more.
Please tell our Ma we love her,
But we’re never comin’ home…

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