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Author Name: FreeSJordan 2 Comments
Date Added: October 03, 2009 15:10:10 Average Score: (Needs 2)
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Category: Historical Add To Favorites | Text Only
 
They Fought for This Land
Full bright moon just before us
Was it there for the Union boys
Was it there for the Confederate boys
Same bright moon giving soft light to
sooth their sad suffering
 
One piece of hardtack, one dry biscuit
Lucky to have this much
smell the earth and dry leaves of  fall
Will the dysentery kill us all
Bad water is what they say
 
Shoes are split and dry
No sanitation and nothing fresh
We smell like the horses and the dirt
Oh mother, you must not know
of the pestilence that bites us here
 
The miles have passed beneath our feet
And soon, very soon we may get to eat
Not today as we dug graves for
those who did not pick this day to know
this march was to eternity and more
 
A mother and her wee babe lay dead
breech-birth and no doctor comes,
A young soldier who tried to come back
to them with all his certain expectations,  
Beaten and later dead, ambushed by the Partisans roaming
 
A Civil War, during vast migrations
What is this fight, this war, where brother
and cousin and uncle may fight one another;
a split of mind for slavery or against or
is it just that politics have tainted good sense 
 
The crops will be planted soon, my dear
Some leave-time will let me seed and if you tend it so
The later summer will see me home
No weeping for this poor soldiering farmer man
 Remember that you have my name and my son
 
One hundred fifty years so the story goes
and a grandchild grown sits and lets
the names and all the syllables roll off her tongue
Great-great-grandpa fought and home returned
His cousins not so lucky, killed on the courthouse steps
of Spotsylvania, his brother died two miles away
 
Bundling the names of the family
She stores them so they won't be lost
stories of the pain, the history, and
says a prayer for those who returned
and those who died along the way
 
Somewhere those simple hard-fighting boys
are waiting in heaven's place for you 
the story will there be told in fullness and truth
The names bearing eternal dignity
as she keeps the family history well-written.
Author's Notes:
I've been working on my genealogy again; there is such a lot of history there - learning about my ancestors changed my life - and the history of the struggles and migrations and good times and bad times make me grateful that I am here to do the work of recording it.   I hope this poem isn't too sad...just read and realize how awful the Civil War (and all wars) are.  
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'They Fought for This Land' Copyright © Savannah Ollar Jordan
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Comments:
Comment By: PremiumMary Lou Allen on October 5, 2010 06:19:25 PM Report
Your story bears a tone of sadness without descending to morbidity. Not an easy task where this tragic war is concerned. Well done. ML
Comment By: FreeThe Bag Lady on October 5, 2009 11:41:44 AM Report
Hi, Savannah.....Within this write is a concise history that is a volume of information for the families yet to come through the years~!  The hardships that you so dutifully write are real and the reader gets a sense of the real lives these people lead...Very nicely presented, and a gift for your family through genealogy....
Margaret.....the Baglady





 


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