For the 104th NY Volunteers, Saunder's Field,                   529 engaged; 23 killed; 118 wounded; 114 missing. I stood on your battlefields. I heard the screams. I smelled the smoke. I felt the terror. I looked out on            the same blue sky as they did, and the earthworks thrown                up by a passing century     were overrun as quickly as                     the trenches down the road. Deep in Virginia,                        on a peaceful         farmer's field, where not even a cow grazed, in this absolute           middle of nowhere, far from our manic streets and the       noise that means                   home, I found            a memorial to my fellow New Yorkers, a moment's             heroism scribed in         stone, in this place                         where something      once happened, and                 whispering, "Thank you,"                       was routed by    cannonades                   of silence.                             The Wilderness Civil War Battlefield Fredericksburg, Va. October 2000

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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