Tired from a long drive to Nashville,
I sat up writing and nodding;
Thinking of our amazing history,
Knowing it all was for real.
In a drizzly, rainy kinda eve
I saw the outline of the mountains.
The rain made them look like shadows
Lurking just beyond the graves.
A Civil War cemetery lies just across the road,
Full of names and numbers of fallen fighting men.
enough for a grave yard.
Always nicely mowed.
But last night I saw odd lighting;
in the rain, a campfire burned.
It was right there in the tree line.
For that reason I am writing.
I stepped up to my window,
Faintly saw a man kneel down.
He seemed to me to be hiding;
He moved gingerly and slow.
I saw him stir the ashes,
Toss a blanket 'round for warmth.
He was under that tree with big branches
Pulling food from his poke of stashes.
I saw him jump, draw a gun and aim.
Oh, God! What was going on?
I heard what sounded like thunder.
On his face was surely pain.
On the ground the man was lying.
Not a movement from him now.
The fire was growing dimmer.
I felt sure the man was dying.
I shudderd to think of what I saw.
How could this be real? I laughed.
I rolled over and took a real deep breath,
Deep under the covers I crawled.
Now, the sun has broken through,
Just barely enough to see.
I walk over to the cemetery.
I hardly believe this is true.
Here is a burned out campfire.
There is a burned blanket
Footprints are nowhere around,
But there's twisted torn down briar.
Then I step back to survey the land.
On a tombstone close by I read,
"Here lies a brave and noble lad
Killed at night by an unknown hand."