Monday, 26 May 2014

In Memory.

“It is where my loyalty lies,” James said, setting down the pots. His manner darkened as he looked beyond Edward and saw the minutemen lined up, and approaching them. “I must go. Sometime, Edward, in a better world, we may see each other again. Now go!” All boyishness was gone from his face, at nineteen James looked already like a man. He gave Edward one last shove and returned to ranks.
Edward stared after him, head whirling. He became aware of the troops advancing on each other, he vaguely heard the British general shouting at the Patriots troops to lay down their arms. He backed away from the road, his eyes never leaving James.  
The troops advanced on each other. Suddenly, a shot rang out from the British troops. Immediately, a volley of bullets poured from the guns, and to Edward’s horror he saw two men on the Patriot’s side fall, blood gushing from their wounds. He swallowed, and ran forward along the grass, keeping James in his sight.
By now, the minutemen had started firing, and Edward ducked behind a low wall. The troops kept advancing on each other. Through the noise of gunshots, he could barely hear the Old North Bridge creaking under the strain of many men tramping over it as the British troops advanced. ~A Test of Loyalty

As Carlos drew nearer, he saw some of the soldiers begin to try and put up a ladder to scale the wall. Captain William Travis, standing on the Alamo wall with his slave, took quick action. He and his slave aimed their rifles down at the Mexican’s heads and fired. As Travis did so, a bullet caught him on the forehead, and with a cry of pain and surprise the man plummeted back into the Alamo.
Carlos let out a cry himself, a cry of despair. The defenders’ leader was shot, probably dying at this moment. This couldn’t be happening! But it was. ~Attack on the Alamo

The smoke cleared and she saw William. It was only for a few seconds, but those seconds would stay ingrained on her memory forever. William firing his musket. William, his Union coat marked with smoke and blood. William, charging forward with a rage against slavery and the Southern states. William, standing strong as the Rebels charged back, making most of the Yankees flee in terror, dropping their arms and racing back towards Washington. William, and the look on his face as a bullet tore through the air and into his chest. William, catapulting from the force of the blow and landing bloody and motionless on the trampled grass. William, her master. ~Battle of the Bull

“About face!” The call came hoarsely and for a moment Tim thought it was for him and his ranks. But no, it came from one of the Rebel officers in the lane. Then suddenly the Rebels were retreating, then turning and running back, away from the lane. They had conquered. The lane was theirs.
Tim let out a whoop. “They’re retreating, Jeremiah; we’ve won the lane!” He didn’t wait for an answer, but kept firing as the Union troops chased after the retreating Confederate forces. Still in his angry frenzy, Tim fought harder than he had ever done that day. Gone were all feelings of fear or horror at what was happening around him and what he was doing himself, he charged ahead with the troops, driving the Rebels towards Sharpsburg. ~War Boy

“Tim... go home. Please.”
Tim shook his head, tears creeping down his cheeks. “I want to fight.”
“A war is no place for you. Go home, Tim.”
“No. I want to stay and fight. I have to!” Tim blinked to clear his eyes. “You can’t make me go.”
Jeremiah squeezed his hand. “You ornery thing. If I had the strength, I’d drag you home myself, kick how you might.” He gave a shaky laugh. “But listen, Tim. You need to go home; this isn't your place. You saw so many men die; do you want that to happen to you?”
“I won’t leave you,” Tim said stubbornly. ~War Boy

“President Lincoln has issued an Emancipation Proclamation!”
“A what?”
“An Emancipation Proclamation,” Lester repeated slowly. “It means that all the slaves in the Confederation are free, starting January first of the new year. The President is changing this war from a war over state’s rights to a war over slavery!”
Tim turned this over in his mind. “But... why only in the Confederation? The Rebels won't honor that; they’ll ignore it! This doesn’t make any sense to me. Why doesn’t he free the slaves in the neutral states?”
“I guess because he’s afraid to upset them and makes them leave the Union. I’m guessing the army will free the slaves as they take over portions of the Confederacy.”
“But why is the President doing this now?”
“Because of the victory in Antietam!”
“Victory?” Tim felt shocked. Then he remembered that he had never yet asked which side had won the battle. “We won?”
“Well, sort of. General McClellan let the Rebels escape back towards Virginia, and didn't beat them to a pulp, but still we pretty much won the day! And now, President Lincoln took this victory to make the big step and issue the Emancipation! It’s been issued for about a week or so, though it doesn't go into effect yet, but we only heard of it today. Don’t you see? Because of the battle you fought in, the slaves are going to be free!” Lester’s face was shining as he danced away to spread the news. ~War Boy

The next day, July fourth, the Rebels pulled back towards Virginia. Our troops rejoiced and celebrated on that bright Independence Day. We had won that battle at Gettysburg. But though I shouted with my comrades, a respect and sadness for the tens of thousands of dead and wounded filled my heart. I shall never forget the great sacrifice all those brave souls, on both sides, made by laying down their lives on the green hills of Gettysburg. May God soon bring peace to this broken nation.
Your brother,
Nathaniel Simmons ~Broken Nation

The General paused and gazed out over the assembled men. "I know that I ask a great arduous thing of you; you who have already been through so much. But, for the sake of our Confederacy, I must ask you to press on."
Jeffrey had tears in his eyes. For a moment all was quiet. Then, in one movement, the ranks of dusty, tired, starving men pumped their fists in the air and let out their blood-curdling Rebel howl, screaming their loyalty to their great leader.
His throat hurting from his shriek, Jeffrey waved his rifle in the air. He thought he saw tears glistening in the General's eyes as Lee bowed his head in thanks and rode away. ~After Four Long Years

The two men shook hands and Lee mounted his horse. Several guns went off in celebration, but Grant turned on the men and said, "No firing. Have respect. This bloody war is over and the Rebels are once more our countrymen." ~After Four Long Years

"I thank you, men, for the bravery, valor and unchecked enthusiasm for our cause. I could not have asked, nor never will ask, for a better and more dedicated army. My loyal soldiers, I thank you with all my heart. In three days, we will lay down our arms before the Union army, bravely, and like the men that we are, after which you may go home."
Jeffrey was crying now, and not the only one to do so. The men and boys pressed near to their beloved Lee, thanking him in broken voices for leading them so well. ~After Four Long Years

“I was living in New York when the war started, and immediately signed up with the sixty-fourth New York infantry regiment. I think the battle we fought at Antietam and the one at Gettysburg were two of the worst. At Antietam, a boy named Timothy who shared a tent with me and two other men had his leg blown off. He was only sixteen.” ~West By Train

The sun was beginning to go down as I halted at the corner of Main Street, very near to my own house, to examine the last few telegrams in my bag. There were only two left; one for.... shoving the second telegram into my uniform pocket, I stared at the envelope in my hand for a long moment. It was addressed to mother.
For a long moment I gazed at the envelope, which lay in my shaking hand like a death sentence. Finally my numb fingers ran across the surface and detected a lump.
No. ~We Regret To Inform You...

My feet were dragging, but I made it to the porch. “Telegram for Mr. Smith.”
He took it, and one hand was in Cindy’s as he slit open the flap. I held my breath as the awful silence stretched on while he pulled the telegram from its hiding place. I was clinging to the one hope that there were no medal lumps in the envelope.
“He’s coming home!” The words burst from Mr. Smith’s lips and Cindy jumped to her feet.
“Home!? He’s all right then? Oh, thank God!” ~We Regret To Inform You...

“Hostilities exit. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces-- with the unbounding determination of our people-- we will gain the inevitable triumph-- so help us God.”
Once more there was applause. Annie felt her face glowing with pride. She would help America. She would.
“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”
The applause and cheering were so loud it seemed the radio would topple over. Annie folded her hands together and took a deep breath as a man announced the National Anthem. Annie, Bernice and mama stood up as the familiar strains poured into the living room.
Annie placed her hand over her heart. Tears blurred her eyes but she shook them away and fixed her eyes on the American flag in the garden out the window. No matter how long it took, she would help to win the war. ~Time of War, Time of Peace

Lord, this is awful. Please help me get through this. I don’t want to die. After giving this quick prayer, Ben got a hold on himself. Stay with your group, he thought firmly. Find your unit and stay with them. Follow orders.
But where was his unit? Ben lifted his head and looked all around. There, he spotted familiar faces crawling through a hole in the barbed wire. Ben moved to join them, his heart galloping in his chest as bullets flew all around him. It was almost like a game; try to get to safety before the enemy shoots you.
Ben almost laughed. Some game. A horrible, blood-thirsty, inexplicable game of warfare. The words of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the Civil War went through his head.
“It is well that war is so terrible-- lest we should grow too fond of it.”
Ben shuddered. He would never grow fond of war. ~Invasion Into France

This last snippet is out of order form the others, but concludes this post.

Home to stay. But so many other men would be going out to lose their lives.
Dear Lord, please bring them back soon. Please end this war quickly, she prayed silently. The Bible verse from that fear-filled Sunday in church floated into her mind.
“A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.” ~Time of War, Time of Peace

In memory and honor of those who have served, and those who are serving, in our military.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Very good! I really like the Test of Loyalty one