March 15, 2011

Battle of the Wilderness

In glades they meet skull after skull
Where pine-cones lay--the rusted gun,
Green shoes full of bones, the mouldering coat
And cuddled-up skeleton;
And scores of such. Some start as in dreams,
And comrades lost bemoan:
By the edge of those wilds Stonewall had charged--
But the Year and the Man were gone.
--Excerpt from The Armies of the Wilderness by Herman Melville

Ben and I have been watching Ken Burns' Civil War documentary (in 9 parts), and were touched with the haunting poetry above about the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-7, 1864). We are frequently moved to replay sections or discuss what we're watching. Burns' documentaries are truly incredible. The Civil War was such a different time; it's difficult to imagine our America then. The men of the Civil War: they are why America was such a strong, great country. Bravery, simplistic honor and pride.

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