John F. McCullagh

Gold Star - 4,957 Points (09/28/1954 / Flushing)

Embedded - Poem by John F. McCullagh

How can I write the story

of a battle fought and won,

when lying close beside me

Is the body of my son?



He was ordered to this field,

a place where his unit bled.

Wounded, left to die,

when even surgeons fled.



The sole object of my interest

Is this, my oldest son.

Does it matter Lee was beaten?

That the Union forces won?



All around me is death’s harvest-

for him, a fruitful one.

I will send you home to mother

and be cursed for what I’ve done.



The photographers are roaming

Through the fields of blood and gore

Taking pictures of the fallen.

They are bringing home the war.







(This is the true story of George Wilkinson, a correspondent for the New York Times and his son, Lt. Bayard Wilkinson, late of the army of the Potomac. It is based in part on the article he wrote for the New York Times on 7/4/1863. This day saw Lee defeated and retreating from Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg. It was the decisive turning point of the Civil War)


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 2, 2010



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