Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stillness at Appomattox

A couple of weeks ago, on my way back from Mechanicsville, I stopped by Appomattox. The afternoon was quiet and still.

In the little cemetery, the graves of the unknown soldiers were marked with flags.

Near the cemetery was a huge oak whose shadow stretched onto some of the graves. Was this tree a sapling during the War? Or had it not yet sprouted?

Beneath Virginia's sunlit skies,

Where oaks their shadows throw

And ragged mountains darkly rise

To guard the vales below,

There is a sweet, sequestered spot,

Where peace and silence reign;

A fair God's acre is the lot,

Where sleep the Southern slain.
from "Jim of Biloxi" by Alice Graham

This poem seems fitting:

Confederate Memorial Day

(Author Unknown)

The marching armies of the past

Along our Southern plains,

Are sleeping now in quiet rest

Beneath the Southern rains.

The bugle call is now in vain

To rouse them from their bed;

To arms they'll never march again--

They are sleeping with the dead.

No more will Shiloh's plains be stained

With blood our heroes shed,

Nor Chancellorsville resound again

To our noble warriors' tread.

For them no more shall reveille

Sound at the break of dawn,

But may their sleep peaceful be

Till God's great judgment morn.

We bow our heads in solemn prayer

For those who wore the gray,

And clasp again their unseen hands

On our Memorial Day.

The park looked so peaceful and still in the afternoon sunlight. Hard to believe that 144 years ago, one of America's bloodiest wars ended here.



Blogger Stephanie Faris said...

Thank you for taking us along. I felt like I took a mini-vacation!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

You know the irony of this site, right? The owner moved his family from Bull Run -- the first battle site -- to get them away from the war. Amazing, huh?

8:29 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I love cemetaries.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

I'd heard that the first time I visited Appomattox. That really is too weird.

Another weird thing: the owner's house, where the treaty was signed, had been taken apart and was going to be shipped up north by someone who'd bought the property. It sat in piles for years. Then it was reassembled when the farm was made into the park.

A lot of weird stuff there.

10:16 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Nice blog entry. I enjoyed it.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Appomattox park is a peaceful place. I love the poems.
And Kathy - I didn't know that about the family that owned the house - how interesting.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

Tunes of Dixie play in my mind when I see that Miss Becky. That is a magical place, isn't it?

1:58 PM  

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