Monday, August 10, 2015

At The Carnifex Ferry Battleground

My grandpa took the family for rides every Sunday afternoons as long as the weather was good. There were more than a dozen destinations in the rotation. Sites where Civil War battles had taken place were his favorites.

About eleven years ago, my then-husband and I visited the Carnifex Ferry battleground. I joined a small group of visitors who stood silently on a high point overlooking the crucial convergence between two rivers -- the precious strategic real estate the opposing parties struggled to control. 

I was inspired to write the following verse. ~ GH
At The Carnifex Ferry Battleground
I could not hear the dying and injured men's moans,
nor did I smell tangy gunpowder
or the coppery blood spoor
that had saturated the feracious earth.

We stood together in a silent semicircle,
unidentifiable Southerners and I alike,
gazing down at the precious convergence
of two rivers which so many warriors
had died in order to control.

I did not see homesick, starved, 
and freezing young men
shivering around a campfire,
nor taste their moldy hardtack and chicory coffee.

Instead, I listened to the roar of whitewater
and breathed in its life-sustaining essence
while a stand of ancient hickory trees
crowded around us,
curious to see what we found so important.
~~ Ginger Hamilton



Beautifully written. Brought tears. Anything war related does that, esp Civil War...which seemed so uncivil. Great line about the trees. Can you imagine what some of those trees stood witness to. Brought up many memories of the things I've seen about the war. So appreciate you sharing your work. It's too good to keep under your bed. So keep sharing. Hugs, love, prayers.

Ginger said...

Thank you very much, B. Whittington for the positive comments. I'm glad you connected emotionally to this piece. <3 Hugs, Ginger