As we begin the Memorial Day weekend, a holiday the origins of which date back to both sides of the American Civil War, we mark it first with a poem written after the war in the South:
We met at Chickamauga. I hadn’t seen him since.
We looked across the trenches and his bullet made me wince;
But we both shook hands in friendship, as hearty as could be.
Though he had marched with Sherman and I had marched with Lee.
We walked across the battlefield where once the bullets flew,
And the green and bending grasses felt the fall of crimson dew,
And we talked the whole thing over where the flag was waving free
How he had marched with Sherman and I had served with Lee.
The drums had ceased their beating. We saw no sabers shine,
The hair about his forehead fell as snowy white as mine,
And voices seemed to call us o’er the far, eternal sea,
Where the men who marched with Sherman are in camp with those of Lee.
We parted; eyes grew misty, for we knew that never-more,
Would we meet until the roll-call on the other peaceful shore,
But both shook hands in friendship as hearty as could be,
Though he had marched with Sherman and I had fought with Lee.
Frank L. Stanton