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Abe and I

Civil War Re-enactment

We happenstanced on a Civil War Re-Enactment recently that opened my eyes to the gritty nature of this most terrible conflict between fellow countrymen. As an outsider I was curious to know what really caused ordinary folks to fight pitch battles in the fields and farmland they were raised in and loved. Was it really over slavery or was it a poignant mixture of muddled truths that no one was quite sure about at the time? The Confederate soldiers left easily identifiable trails of blood in the snow, their tattered shoes betraying their shredded soles as they marched to Gettysburg in search of the shoe factory, only to meet a worse fate for their shredded souls. Food came from the unreliable fruits of forraging as 10 year old hard tack rations ebbed and flowed, soaked in boiling coffee water so weevils floated to the top, a more predictable source of protein than the elusive rats. Brother fought by brother, father by son, no lily-livered man among them to let the side down, no fattened up Yankee telling them what to do. The odds were against the Confederates from the start without a consistent food supply, but brave and bold were all, grey coat and blue. No redcoats now, a battle of their own making, on their own soil. May the best fed man win…

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Bledsoe is a published poet and photographer. DEATH BEFORE BREAKFAST is her debut novel.