Humbled, that is how I feel at the moment.
Reverent, treading in the footprints of the dead.
The images racing through my mind of what transpired on the fields I now stand bring a contemplative silence. I am surrounded by the quiet fields and trees of rural Tennessee. Blood paid 150 years ago by thousands of men has made this hallowed ground. When you close your eyes and listen to the chirping birds and the breeze whispering through the leaves, you can also hear the screams. A light early morning mist blankets the ground and when I inhale, it changes to the acrid smell of gunpowder and cannon fire. The dew clings to the blades of grass and falls to the damp ground like the droplets of blood that spilt on the fields when brother fought brother and a nation was divided.
Where I stand, I can see the tree lines and the fields that became consumed with blood and fire. Here, our nation paid its first real large payment in death and carnage. In a nation ripped apart, the sides met in battle. One side fought to hold a nation together. One side fought to protect their homes against what they viewed as tyrannical government trying to take away their way of life.
Shiloh is still.
I stand and reflect on what happened on these fields 150 years ago. The cries of the dead fill my head and I feel them. The grass where I am grew on the spot where men fell and took their last breath. Many still rest beneath the rolling hills, buried where died.
We are being torn apart again. Everything in our lives is being politicized. A divide is growing in our country again. Think about what our country has already been through, so why do we insist on the anger and venom each side hurls at each other (I digress…Todd Akin has earned the right to be torn apart in the media)? Our nation has been washed in blood and if we continue on our path, then the sacrifices made to keep our country together were in vain.
One thought on “Echoes of the Dead”
I hear you in more ways that one.
I recall visiting Look Out Mountain Battle Field. I could not imagine the reality of the battle that must have been fought there. I lost one of my ancestors guarding the pass there. I can only wonder what his loss caused the family’s future.
Alas, I fear that our newer generations will have to feel the suffering, before they can realize what is happening. We all have to normally learn through hard knocks.