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 BattlegroundI 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