Fought October 8th, 1862.
Here on this spot, where Nature now, with chilling, icy breath,
Has mantled in a robe of white the field of strife and death,
We view in memory once again the awful scenes where met
In serried ranks the Blue and Gray--and tears the lashes wet;
For those who fell that dreadful day are mingled with the dust,
And often here the plow upturns a bayonet red with rust:
A sad memento of the time when passion held full sway--
Reminder to the rustic swain of fratricidal fray.
From yonder hill the shotted guns in dreadful chorus rang--
And on this plain was heard that day the glittering sabre's clang,
And in that vale, where wound the brook, with waters murmuring,
We stood and heard the Minie balls their deadly message sing,
And saw the life blood, gushing red, from stricken comrade near,
Whose gentle voice his loved ones then no more should ever hear--
His blue eyes close--his bosom heave--his pulse forever still,
A sacrifice to cause held dear, on the field of Perryville!
And the swiftly circling years can ne'er erase
From Memory's tablets or from Nature's face
One spot of all the rest we're standing near--
By fiercely battling hosts the prize held dear;
The old spring's waters still are gurgling from the rock
Where famished soldiers knelt--grim Death himself to mock;
Here on that day in ghastly heaps they lay--
Commingling with the Blue the men that wore the Gray!
And now the virgin snow has covered o'er the sod
Where once in fierce array contending armies trod;
The wintry wind makes mournful music through the trees
Where then the clash of arms was floating on the breeze,
And deep-toned guns belched forth the screaming shell
Like fiendish messengers of Death let loose from hell;
Now Nature's peaceful emblem spread o'er glade and hill
Enwraps beneath its folds the bloody field of Perryville.
December 26, 1895.