Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Each one knows, - not I........................

      "The two lines met and broke and mingled in the shock.  The crush of musketry gave way to cuts and thrusts, grapplings and wrestlings.  The edge of the conflict swayed to and fro, with wild whirlpools and eddies.  At times I saw around me more of the enemy than of my own men; gaps opening, swallowing, closing again with sharp convulsive energy;  squads of stalwart men who had cut their way through us, disappearing as if translated.  All around, strange mingled roar - shouts of defiance, rally, and desperation;  and underneath, murmured entreaty and stifled moans,;  gasping prayers, snatches of Sabbath song, whispers of loved names; everywhere men torn and broken, staggering, reeping, quivering on the earth, and dead faces with strangely fixed eyes staring stark into the sky.  Things which cannot be told - nor dreamed.  How men held on, each one knows, - not I.  But manhood commands attention.
-Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, writing in Through Blood and Fire as quoted in In The Hands of Providence:  Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and The American Civil War

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