Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 86: A Bivouac of the Dead

I was first drawn to this story because of a word in the title:

Bivouac-a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.

This happens also to be so far the shortest story I have ever read...It is only a page long; but it was long enough to give you a sort of--haunted feeling. It seems to be some sort of eulogy to the fallen Confederate dead from the Civil War. Most of the graves along the cemetery, called Grafton Hill in West Virginia, are unknown soldiers. They do not have "green graves", meaning they don't have names to their memories. Just little, lonely mounds of dirt housing a brother, a father, a friend. I will leave you now with this last haunting challenge:

"They were honest and courageous foemen, and have little in common with the political madmen who persuaded them to their doom and the literary bearers of false witness in the aftertime. They did not live through the period of honorable strife into the period of vilification--did not pass from the iron age into the brazen--from the era of the sword to that of the tongue and pen. Among them there is no member of the Southern Historical Society. Their valor was not the fury of the non-combatant; they have no voice in the thunder of the civilians and the shouting. Not by them are impaired the dignity and infinite pathos of the Lost Cause. Give them, these blameless gentlemen, their rightful part in all the pomp that fills the circuit of the summer hills."

No comments:

Post a Comment