Shot on the Fourth of July

by David Dresner

“Are you hurt badly?” Sherman asked me at the Creek.
Mother, I can even remember your breasts.

“I was ordered to take those works, Sir.”
Father, I lost your watch along the way.

“I’ve got a little job for you,” I told the good doctor.
“Cut that leg off.”
Sister, you were our mother after she flew away.

“They were going to the front for glory
and I was going to the rear disabled.”
Brother, I will be your father after he is gone.

“Then I cried like a child – yes, like a child!”
God, you take more than you give.

*All quotations from a letter written by Col. F. Noyes,
39th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Union Army,
who fought at the Battle of Peachtree Creek , July 20, 1864

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