Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Players in a Play

Journal Entry: Fredericksburg, Virginia; November 19, 1862

Arriving in town early this morning, I could not find Marianna. I spoke at length with our friend, Charles Chewning at the Army Supply Depot, south of Fredericksburg near the hospital. He rode with us in the 9th Virginia until his left leg was badly cut by a Federal saber at Manassas in August. Charles is the finest fellow you could meet and one of the best horsemen I have ever met in Spotsylvania County. Many a time we would race and, likely as not, I would have his dust kicked up in my eyes, but never would he boast about it. It grieves me to know that, lame for life, he will probably never ride again. He is like almost everyone working at the Supply Depot; each on canes or crutches.

He spoke with Marianna a few days ago. She was moving between hospitals on both sides of the Rappahannock River. In the hospital beds, there is no blue or grey, no north or south; there are only boys in pain, patiently waiting for assistance, waiting for healing, or waiting for angels to quietly close their eyes. There are Virginia boys, as well as Vermont boys, so Marianna does as she can to help. We each have our role to play in this awful drama. We do as duty calls, even when we wish to extinguish the footlights and return to anonymity; no longer actors in someone else’s theatre.

1 comment:

  1. I love that line about wanting to extinguish the longer actors in someone else's do realize Michael, that you have here on your blog the things that superb novels are made of. Might you write a book someday?.....just a thought.
    I live coming here to read and experience this story so very much.


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