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And society in general for that matter. The lyrical imagery has always captivated me. Maybe he was the minstrel for the Daynes? Dee : Yes it all worked out in the end thankGod. What lovely, charming people! To say I am over-the-moon would be an understatement. Sullied by Knight Quote Reply. Ummagumma for me…through and through. Also the best song name ever in Several small species of furry animals…. Did you get any pics? The buff and gruff, post-Sparrow Lancel looks so fundamentally different than his powder puff fairy look of the first couple of seasons.
I wonder if he looks more gruff and tough out of costume, as well. He is truly so handsome with the cutest dimple. He is absolutely charming. I found that last part interesting…. I was all proud of myself for coming up with that Axe quip. I did. That was about the period that I was listening to Floyd pharmaceutically assisted of course. By the time The Wall came out, they had already gone too commercial for my tastes! Sullied by Knight : Ginevra ,. Someone kick the chuff for me! S06E10 — Nothing referencing as yet unpublished book titles.
Out-to-lunch Quote Reply. One of my big questions at the beginning of the season was whether Arya would leave the FM on hostile or friendly terms, or less likely leave Braavos as one of them. Assuming that is the case, I hope that the key to Arya defeating the Waif is warging. Warging, however, could be the kind of surprise ace up the sleeve that could explain an underdog win. The last two episodes have simply not been announced yet on that site. Wimsey : The problem with this is one of storytelling. George Quote Reply. NeymarJr Quote Reply. You know none of this is going to happen in the books, yes? If Stannis loses then Bolton wins.
Cause unlike the dumb TV show, in the books the armies of whole North are with Stannis. So if they lose there will be no one to support Starks afterwards. What happen in the TV show is that whole Stannis plot was given to Jon. Irena Quote Reply. Besides the Pink Letter makes it clear that Stannis is dead. Josh L Quote Reply. Irena : George ,. In what Universe does that happen in the books if Stannis wins? At no point George has ever said that Stannis is going to sit in the Iron Throne. That assertion is simply incorrect. On Sky I mean. This would be totally unrelated to whether Stannis was actually alive. Dear God no. The book PL hit you like a freight train and was one of the highlights of the book. I disagree completely.
It is certainly possible that he is dead, perhaps even probable. Dee : Chad Brick ,. It certainly served a purpose as a plot device, but it had no impact emotionally. The audience already knew everything in it. You have called this a dumb tv show and horrible etc before — why do you watch it? I think your best solution is to stop and wait for the books, dear. Why should he be the one to liberate their home? George never said that Stannis will sit on the Iron Throne. Couple of people will until the end and the person sitting on the throne in the books will likely be the same on the show. It was possibly given to him but I actually agree with this.
Stannis is a secondary character in all honesty and with no emotional connection to Winterfell and Starks. He would use it to pursue his goal which is Iron Throne. Southerner liberating Winterfell and the North? Now in the show we have Jon and Sansa two Starks one half Stark fighting for their home which makes it more emotional for the characters and audience. Also for Jon using North against Walkers. Robert Aramayo is supposed to be in this episode and finale. One small and big scene. Big scene screams to me TOJ reveal but then what could be the one before it? We saw him departing for the Vale. TheUnknown Quote Reply. Several hours to go. Enjoy, everyone!
I hope we get jansa and co! With only 5 episodes left seems like they have tons of work to do still. We really need a German reader to translate the information. That would either a reveal it to be fake because the info is obviously wrong or b possible, which should tell us more about what is going on. Also note that some titles are useful but not in terms of dealing with what is actually going to happen. Nine seems wrong and ten is a bit strange…far too direct if it means the wall is breached. Rabblais Quote Reply. Why does episode 6 have ratings on IMDb? Rabblais : We really need a German reader to translate the information. Proving the interpretation is correct does not prove that Sky in Germany was correct to begin with, however.
Dee : Why does episode 6 have ratings on IMDb? Hmm, perhaps voting opened today since today is the air date? Rhaenys Stark Quote Reply. That was not my point. There is information below the title. The usual too vague description. Chicken and the egg…:. Regardless, I just feel like this would fit more with this episode…I definitely could be wrong, but this would be neat to see. That would be good, imagine bran se en Jaime killing the mad king after the last treatens to burn the city yo the ground, bran realices that Jaime did a good thing actually, and then ned arrives and boom bran is dissapointed by his father once again J Quote Reply. Why would they waste a flashback on immediate aftermath of the Mad kings death??
Has zero correlation to the build up they have been making of revealing Jons parentage. Flashbacks have been used to only showcase things of heavy importance. Wandering Quote Reply. I like that idea, too. I could be completely wrong about this of course. We may never see it, but it would definitely be a great scene. The other two are fake. Maybe you missed use of double negative? Got it! No Stannis to comment on use of grammar! Arya must discover a reason for leaving. Seems unlikely timing, since we have reason based on Robert Aramayo spoiler to believe that the Big Reveal at the ToJ is being saved for the season finale. Rabblais : That was not my point.
Maybe that will be Pyp, in the books. This knowledge could indeed make things more nuanced and interesting if the Starks should reclaim enough power to be in a position to pass judgment on Jaime. Ginevra : Did we have picture confirmation, or was that just a rumor? Dee : Irena ,. Because the first 4 season were absolutely awesome. Best thing ever made for Television. And somehow, I keep hoping they return to that. Pizdainpula Quote Reply. No episode descriptions accompany these titles. Are you seeing something more? Oh, dear! Lord Bastien Quote Reply. Pizdainpula : Irena ,.
No skin off your nose. WotW is not a fraternity or sorority where you can just kick people out if they disagree. It is amazing how hyped up one can be for alleged episode titles that reveal nothing we do not know about the storylines in the episodes given the filming spoilers we have. Darkrobin Quote Reply. People are free to have their opinions, but simply from the language you can see she is a troll.. I like the Bastard of Winterfell as it raises the question of which bastard? Or does the change? Whose Name is Stark. Nathan Quote Reply. Come on. It kinda sounds weird when you call something a dumb tv show but watch it?
All I suggested was she stop watching instead of being annoyed and saying things like dumb tv show which she puts time and effort into watching and just wait for the books so she can see how it ends. One of the sites I saw had the whole thing in German. They had the titles and then the descriptors. You know those vague things: Jaime and Cersei arrange a party, Arya watches a play, etc. Except that my German has deteriorated enough that I got nothing from looking at the lines. It would be nice to know what was written. FlayedMan Quote Reply. Dragonista Quote Reply.
Henry Brounger Quote Reply. The books are better than the series, and book readers will still read them no matter when they come out. Personally, I would prefer he did it in his own time and produced quality work, rather than rush it simply to pander to impatient fanatics. Actually the last two were a bit like that. FanofTyrion Quote Reply. Actually, Sansa is as much a Stark as Jon. Caitlyn was really a Tully, but a Stark by marriage. So they are both genetically half Stark. The Targaryens married relatives to avoid this dilution of their bloodline. Your email address will not be published.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Show spoilers! Hide spoilers. Hold the Door! EDIT: Finally got one! I like them! Flayed Potatoes , I laughed really good. Flayed Potatoes , Buuuuurn! Andrew , Reminds me of thank you kit snow haha. And if the finale title is correct- the wall is falling!! But then I am just sitting on the couch. Becks , Is it possible that you are in my mind??? A Time for Wolves for episode 9 title, maybe? LOL, well maybe not. Gendry , Hey, finished rowing? Some rest, at last! Connor , This would have been an amazing title. Something like that. Does the title of the episode in anyway affect how you enjoy the content?
Connor , Not sure what it means, but it sounds great. Jenny , Yes, it was used by insiders. Flayed Potatoes , No. This title leans too much towards a Stark win. Not the exact title, but close enough. Apollo , The North Remembers is a title of episode 1 season 2. RBloodworth , If the middle one is completely fake, then all titles are. The North Remembers 2: Electric Boogaloo. Ginevra , Well, from the suggestion there I think the Battle of the Bastards is the best one. Kingbreaker , Seriously.
What if Ramsay sends in 20 good men instead? Ginevra , And thank the Lord for that. Dame of Mercia , It was? Connor , Hahahaha! Dee , The stakes are higher. Mihnea , Your name is boring. Love it. The Watchers on the Wall. The battle episodes are always more blunt. Luka Nieto , But those are terms from the books… The Battle of the Bastards is a fan made term so far.. It was reportedly the term used by the crew during filming.
Snowbowl is the fan-made term. Ginevra , Hahaha…much better!!! Thank you! I found him! Nymeria Warrior Queen , There is something about a really poignant episode title that enhances it for me. A sense of order is very important to me. Did he fine-tune his command duties to that extent? I saw faces. I knew every guy in command of a unit on the base, of course.
By the time I got the assignment to put together the atomic-bomb unit, I had worked my way through the war in Europe and North Africa, and I was completely convinced that I could do anything. I just did it. From my dad. The old man was a short fellow with a small-man complex. A cocky rooster. That must have stuck, in some way. But now it seemed right. Is this the right exit? Except that this was the most somber journey that any men had ever taken.
You check, just to make sure. Someone on the television screen had just made a basket to beat the shot clock. Just one more small example of how the world has evolved: Tibbets was a smoker back then. All the time. Including in airplanes. Including the Enola Gay. Pipes, mostly—I was using Bond Street tobacco. I had a Zippo lighter that I carried with me constantly. I was smoking my pipe and probably lighting it up when they were loading the bomb into the plane. The other crew members had not been told—they were not informed of the exact nature of the mission until they were well on their way to Hiroshima.
All those months in Wendover and then on Tinian—and the secret had been kept. Before he could tell the men on board, he had to get the plane into the air. Which was no simple job—the runway that had been carved out of the jungle-like conditions on Tinian was not long enough to easily handle the B as it had been reconfigured. With the heavy bomb underneath him, Tibbets knew that he would have to use virtually every foot of that runway before he lifted off. If you were to lose an engine, you could not control that airplane.
There was a cliff-like drop at the end of the runway, and some of them were thinking about that. But I knew what I was doing. I was building up every possible bit of power that I could before taking the plane up. Remember—this was before jet engines. The co-pilot thought he knew more about the airplane than I did—he thought I should take it up sooner. I wanted the men to know what was going on, but first we had to get up and off of Tinian. I had to crawl through a twenty-sixinch circular tunnel to talk to the men in the back of the plane. I told everyone. I think a lot of them had guessed, but they had known not to ask. He had been assigned to assemble and command the unit that would prepare for the flight. But did that mean he was assigned to fly the mission, too?
So isolated—the most isolated place I could ever imagine. Yes, it was part of my orders—from me. I had the authority to do anything I wanted, and I knew that I could fly that damn thing better than anyone else. If anyone was going to make a mistake on this mission, it was going to be me. The feeling was like when cold ice cream touches one of your fillings, and the taste—the taste from that bomb is something I will never forget.
He has stopped since. But, in a twist the most inventive author could never have devised, in the years since World War II cigarettes have killed far more people than the bomb did that day—indeed, have killed far more people than all the military men who died in combat during World War II. Everyone smoked back then. What did we know? The reason he was in the running for the job was because of his combat record in Europe. He flew twenty-five missions in Bs, including being the lead pilot of the first-ever American daylight bombing raid against occupied Europe. Still, occasionally he would drop a reference into our conversation that brought me up short.
He gave me a look. Simple as that. Dwight D. Eisenhower had to get to the war, and Tibbets gave him a ride. Eisenhower, he said, was to be the overall commander of the operation, with Major General Mark Clark as his deputy. This was in November of ; Eisenhower was in England, the air was full of rain and fog, and there was much uncertainty about whether the planes could take off. Eisenhower looked at me—were we going to take off or not? I flew as low over the Channel as I possibly could—the last thing Eisenhower needed was for German radar to pick us up. He had told us that he wanted to watch what was going on. And he sat there with us and talked with us as if this was the most regular thing in the world—him sitting on a two-by-four and us flying him to run the war.
It was a 1,mile flight, and by the time we landed in Gibraltar the invasion had started—the paratroopers were dropping. He just got out of the plane, thanked us, and he was gone. He was just as fine as anyone could be. He was wearing four stars when he was with us, but he was one of the boys. I was only—what? But this was Ike. That moment at the airfield in England is one that stays in your mind. He asked me how late I planned on staying up. I said that my mom tended to go to bed on the early side. I said I did. He looked at his watch and said that we should set a time. The lounge was nearly empty and he was the oldest man there. There it was: a diploma from Ohio State University, dated the previous June.
It had his name on it—it said that Bob Greene had been awarded an honorary doctorate. M y father never graduated from college. It always made him feel insecure; I think one of the reasons he was so meticulous in his language, why he paid such attention to grammar and word choice, was that he knew he was operating in a society in which so many other people had college degrees. My mother had graduated from Wellesley and had been selected for Phi Beta Kappa; my father had never made it through the University of Akron.
But I found a reference to it in the tape he had made. There were a lot of the kids of rubber workers who attended, and this was right in the middle of the Depression, so it was kind of sad to see some of those kids come to school literally dressed in rags. In other words, the last two years of high school, my junior and senior years, when usually there were class rings and pins and yearbooks and that sort of thing, the Depression caused all that stuff to be cut way back. So those were kind of grim years. After high school, instead of being able to go away to school, I went to what was called a streetcar school.
Some of my old bad habits started anew—I would start to skip classes. I was out of there for the day… My dad, as I told you, was an attorney. A self-made man, actually selfeducated after high school, and I would say rather stern. He was always a beautiful dresser and known as Nick throughout the whole city…He certainly looked healthy enough as he walked down the street with his walking cane and his derby and his Chesterfield coat. But when he was about fifty years old he suffered some very serious illnesses, he had a gall bladder operation that was almost fatal. At that time I was a junior at Akron University, and I had to drop out of school in order to get a job and help my parents out.
I never went back to college…. A year before my dad got sick for the last time—a year before his dying began—I received one of the great honors of my life. I was invited to deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University. Ohio Stadium—the massive gray horseshoe on the Olentangy River, the stadium inside of which Coach Woody Hayes walked the sidelines, inside of which generations of Ohioans have gathered on football Saturdays for most of the last century—is the single most famous place in Ohio. When you grow up in the middle of Ohio, your world at times feels small and constrained and quiet.
And then, one Saturday, your parents bring you with them to Ohio Stadium. On that day you walk through the dull and dingy concrete bowels of the stadium, up a short flight of stairs and into a tunnel and then into the sunlight—and all of a sudden your world changes. Of size, and scale, and potential, of infinite horizons about which you had previously scarcely dared to dream. Ohio Stadium, to me, had always borne more symbolic weight than the White House, than Buckingham Palace. Ohio Stadium, to me, was the end of the rainbow.
The perfect place. To be invited to be commencement speaker there had a meaning I could not come close to articulating. Spring graduation at Ohio State is said to be the largest in the United States; fifty thousand people gather for the ceremonies. But that is not why the June morning in Ohio Stadium was going to mean so much to me. And that is not why, when what happened inside Ohio Stadium happened, it hurt so much. My mother and father, for more than fifty years, went together to Ohio Stadium every football Saturday. Their marriage was one of the closest I have ever observed; they did virtually everything together.
They had a date with each other every night, whether they left the house or not. Think about that: going to that stadium together for more than fifty years. They finally had to stop. Ohio Stadium on a football Saturday was just too hard. But on that June morning, they made plans to come to the stadium one more time. They came to see me speak. I had my own plan that day. I had come up with it the night before—I had arrived in Columbus from Chicago, had gone up to the Ohio State campus, and had found an open gate on the exterior of the stadium.
I had walked inside, and had looked around. I knew that I had never been any good at telling my parents private things about how I felt about them—at least not out loud, at least not face-to-face. This was my failing, not theirs. But on that night, in the empty stadium, I decided what I was going to do the next morning. Without telling anyone about it beforehand, I was going to ask the people who had come for commencement exercise to do me a kindness.
I was going to let them know about my parents, and about those fifty years of football Saturdays that were now over. And I was going to ask the crowd to rise and honor my father and mother with a standing ovation—a standing ovation in Ohio Stadium. The next morning was one of the worst rainstorms anyone in central Ohio could remember. The fifty thousand people showed up and took their seats in the stadium. For more than an hour, they waited in the downpour for the ceremonies to begin. Standing with the official procession underneath the stadium, I thought about my mom and dad sitting in that unrelenting rainstorm. We finally marched in; the rain only intensified. The weather was just too severe.
Graduation would have to be canceled. I found them beneath the stadium—soaked to the bone. Broke my heart. Made me want to cry. Fifty years into my own life, and here they were, sitting for an hour in a rainstorm for the chance to watch me do something. What else matters in life? The people you can count on like that—what else matters? A year passed. I was invited to come back again to deliver the commencement address. It was to be the last commencement in Ohio Stadium for a while—repairs were scheduled to begin on the mammoth old place. My parents were in the crowd again. The morning began with rain, but it stopped by the time we marched onto the football field.
I looked into the stands. More than fifty thousand people, stretching all the way to the sky, were there. Ohio Stadium, on a joyous and sunny June day. I told the crowd about my parents. I explained about the year before. And I asked the fifty thousand to do me the favor. They did. In Ohio Stadium—the place where for so many years the crowds have risen to cheer for the football teams—on this day they rose to cheer for my mother and father.
The roar filled Ohio Stadium. It will sound in my heart forever. M y mother and I stood looking at the diploma on the wall of his office. This was the first time I had been back in the house since his death. Little more than a month had passed since the morning in Ohio Stadium; the honorary degree had been presented to me at the end of the commencement speech, and my name—our name—had been on it. He had never had one of these.
I was lucky enough—because of the years of work he put in—to be able to go to college; after that trip to Chicago we had taken when I was in high school, I had been admitted to Northwestern, and graduated from there. He paid for it. I handed him the package. He did. His expression was dismissive—even disdainful. At the time I thought that maybe he had had one too many drinks; later I concluded that the illness that changed his behavior toward the end had started to kick in.
Or maybe it just was what it was. Maybe I had made a big mistake by trying to give it to him. Especially in front of the rest of the family. The diploma with his name on it—with our name on it—was on his wall. I said that maybe we should head out to the Top for dinner. The Top, when it first opened in the Fifties, was—here is the only word for it—snazzy. A snazzy steakhouse, for all the young couples on the East Side of Columbus, back from the war and starting families.
Forty years later the booths were the same, the decor was the same—I looked across the table, and I saw my mother, approaching eighty, and I tried to imagine her at thirty-five or thirty-six in this same booth, out for an evening with her husband. It was his credo—those four words, in that order, were, he said, what got him through his business career. Follow those words, he said, and you will be a success in your job. Kind of a graduate business school for a guy who never had the good fortune to get to finish college. Four words. They seemed to have worked. They allowed him to do well enough at his job that he could send my brother and sister and me to good universities.
They were the first words in the eulogy at his funeral. We had made sure of that. The waitress came around, and my mom and I talked, and what I was hearing was his voice—his voice from those tapes he had given us. The part where he described going to work after he had to drop out of college to help his parents. H e had found a job at the most menial level at a scrap rubber company. He hoped to rise to something better, but he had to start somewhere: I was an office boy, and a pretty poor one at that….
He was about ten or fifteen years older than I, but he understood me and gave me an excellent grounding on how to conduct myself in business, whether in the office or on the road. I shall never forget Jack Costello. But nobody ever got rich padding an expense account. Suffice it to say that I mended my ways in the office and started acting like a grown-up, or almost, and then I was sent out onto the road. My travels consisted of driving into Pennsylvania, scouting the highways and byways and looking for junkyards where there might be huge piles of scrap tires…. A t the Top, my mom said that going out to dinner, even with her oldest friends, in these first months after his death was a chore at best—and painful at worst.
She looked over at the bar, and mentioned the name of a man they had known—a man who had a reputation for liking to spend time with women. She laughed. In this old restaurant on East Main Street I kept hearing his voice: …One of the most important, yet devastating, things that ever happened as far as my work record occurred about this time. Suffice it to say that it involved a mistake that I made, which could have cost the company an awful lot of money, and it was purely because of carelessness on my part.
My services were no longer required. I went to Cleveland looking for a job, to no avail. So I was kind of down in the dumps, but fortune smiled upon me, providentially. When do I start? The office was in an old funeral home, actually it was simply a room, and they had done the embalming in that room. There was still the gutter in the floor where all the embalming fluid used to run out of the table on which the stiffs were laid. It was rather a macabre place, but regardless, Bill had his desk there and I had a little table or something.
My job consisted of calling on every store in Akron that carried cigarettes and tobacco. I had no car, but I had plenty of bus fare. I believe I was making eighteen dollars a week, and in those days that was not too bad. I got plenty of exercise and learned a back of a lot about human nature. And incidentally, having been fired made me make a vow to myself which has stood me in good stead to this day. I asked my mom if coming to the Top had been a luxury for them back then—if going out for a big steak dinner in a restaurant was something they did all the time, or whether it was a treat to be budgeted for.
When it was new, it was where all of our friends would come on a Friday or Saturday night. It was the hot new place. How he had managed to get himself started in the business world would not have been anywhere on my mind. But tonight I saw my mom looking across the table at the seat I knew she wished he was in, and his voice was in my head. Marys and so forth. That sounded very interesting, because that would be the first time I ever left home. We took a newspaper, looked for rooms to rent, and found a lovely old house on Market Street in Lima, and I became a roomer. And a roomer I was, because I had a bedroom on the first floor, I think three towels, and the use of a bathroom on the second floor.
I believe that was in the summer of I had my own car there, which was a really snappy maroon Ford convertible coupe, and then later I had a company car, which was a panel truck in which I carried a stock of cigarettes. I was kind of a popular guy because part of my job was to give away samples of cigarettes, and everyone wants something for nothing.
That stood me in good stead in the bars, especially the hotel bar where all of young Lima congregated. Now, these were the big bands of fame. And it was a wonderful thing to see hundreds of young people crowded around the bandstand and listening to the likes of Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, the Dorseys and the like. And in the far distance was rumbling a war, because this was summer at the end of the s, when all hell was breaking loose in Europe…. Never would be again. For some reason I was very much in the mood to hear his voice. I saw him before he saw me. He was walking quite slowly toward the lounge where we had sat before. I had made it a point to be a few minutes early; so had he.
It was how he became a salesman, I told Tibbets—teaching himself, giving away free samples. But I was giving things away just like your dad. He stopped himself. It was how I first found out that I loved flying—it was the first I knew what I wanted to do with my life. They had a candy bar that was being introduced—Baby Ruth—that they wanted to promote to the public. So a pilot by the name of Doug Davis was hired. He said that he wanted tiny paper parachutes tied to each Baby Ruth, so that they would float to the ground rather than drop down real hard. I sat there and I tied those paper parachutes to every Baby Ruth. It was tedious work. Then Davis told my dad that he needed someone to come up with him as he flew the plane—someone to throw the candy bars out.
Kind of like a bombardier. But I talked him into it, with the help of Doug Davis. We climbed into the plane. We were going down the runway over some pretty rough ground—I remember the fence posts going by as we bumped past them. Doug flew the plane to the Hialeah racetrack, where the horse races were going on. Most of the parachutes worked—I could see the people in the grandstand looking up, and watching the candy bars float down, and trying to grab them.
We made another pass over the racetrack, and I threw more of the candy bars, and then Doug flew us over to Miami Beach. We flew low over the beach and I threw the candy bars that were left to the people in their bathing suits who were on the sand next to the ocean. Not only would the pilot likely be arrested as soon as he landed—but attorneys would be lining up to file lawsuits on behalf of people who were struck by the falling objects.
I had to fly airplanes. That was the day that changed my life. I knew I was going to fly. I found myself wanting to know if Tibbets felt the same way about the places where he had done his later, more important work. Wendover, for example—the barren part of the Utah salt flats where he had assembled and trained the atom bomb flight team. Did he frequently go back there for visits? It feels separate from everything; the heat rises from the highway in waves you can see, the nearby Bonneville Salt Flats stretch to a blank horizon. The Nevada part of Wendover seems to exist for its casinos—for people coming from Salt Lake City, it is the closest place where gambling and its peripheral pleasures are legal.
Utah residents drive for hours from Salt Lake City and beyond, across the melting highway through countryside all but devoid of scenery, looking for the state line. One of the first casinos they encounter is in fact called the State Line: supply and demand, hidden human needs fulfilled on the parched desert. When I was writing the book, when I decided to set it there, I moved there. A bunch of rundown shacks. Holes in the buildings. When I say it made me sick, I mean it—I was literally sick at my stomach, looking around. I told him that, from the guest rooms of the some of the casinos, you can see the remnants of the base he had set up. No casino has ever gotten a nickel out of me—I think people who gamble are a bunch of damn fools, throwing their money this way and that, watching those stupid wheels turn around.
I just wanted to get out. What about that distant island in the Pacific, from which he had made the most important takeoff of his life—the most important takeoff of World War II? Had he gone back there to visit? In Not since. I n the s, the United States struggled with almost unimaginable resolve to send men, machinery and weapons halfway across the globe and onto Tinian, so that Tibbets and his crew could stage the raid on Japan.
Tinian was, and is, a speck in the Western Pacific Ocean, a piece of sea-surrounded land that was furiously fought for by American troops. It was because those troops were able to take Tinian and the other Northern Mariana Islands from the Japanese in that the U. Soldiers, sailors and airmen were transported there—as was a certain B, as was the atomic bomb. So far away, so remote and small in the middle of the ocean that it is difficult to find it on a map—yet the United States, battling hurriedly against space and time, moved all those men there. His name was Jim McCullough; he wrote that he was the librarian for the elementary school on Tinian.
He said that he was a regular reader of the column via the electronic version of the Tribune—he sits on Tinian, hits the keyboard, and there, in an instant, is the story I have written in Chicago. The concepts of distance, and time, and scope…. Being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has some disadvantages and some advantages. A disadvantage is that if you go anywhere—the beach, for example—there will be no one there and nothing going on.
What a bore. On the other hand, one of the advantages is that you can go just about anywhere—the beach, for example—and no one else will be there. No surfers, boom boxes, wall-to-wall sunbathers to distract you from enjoying some peace and quiet. From each beach or hillside you get a magnificent view of endless blue. Instead of answering me with words, McCullough went out onto the island with his camera. The next morning, when I got to work, there it was on my computer screen—a color snapshot of the island as it appears today. He had taken the picture and sent it to me over his computer. It is very easy and safe to drive on. A s we talked, I looked at Tibbets and I thought about photographs of him I had seen from the war—photographs of him as a young pilot.
It was like that portrait of my dad that had been painted in Italy—as old as he got, as sick as he got, I could always look in his face and see the young soldier in the portrait. What I meant was: Does the old man represent the young man pretty well? Is the life he has led reflected properly in the face in the mirror? Even as he was saying the words, I looked at him and did not observe anything really wrong with his mouth. I asked him, if he had a choice, whether that would be what he would change. Whether, if he could have something back, it would be the bone in his mouth structure that he seemed to feel was such a problem. But the hearing—the hearing is such an embarrassment for me.
I have to ask them to say things over again. It just makes me feel terrible. He would become annoyed; especially with my brother or sister or me, if we were talking and he was missing sentences, he would occasionally get angry, as if we had somehow conspired to talk in a way that was designed to leave him out of the discussion. It was as if he—knowing how unclear our words were—believed that we knew it too, and were talking that way on purpose.
By the time I was forty-five or fifty, I appreciated the things around me more than I did before. But to be eighteen or twenty again? No way. Not in this world. You have no idea how much it bothers me. It bothers me every single day. I asked Tibbets about his home. How much war memorabilia did he keep around? Every time my orders said that I had to move on to the next place, I would just leave everything behind except for what I really needed to do my job. He pointed to his head. All filled with things from their time in the service.
That must be it. Not for me. I saw it on top of the table where we were sitting; the handwriting was neat, careful, almost pretty. It had been that way when he had sent the handwritten greeting to my father. But there it was: handwriting so elegant and delicate that it might belong to the most conscientious and eager-to-please schoolgirl at a top-echelon finishing school. I asked him about it. Pure Tibbets. He cares. I would ask him questions about the war, and he would search his memory and come up with bits and pieces of things that happened more then fifty years before; he would mention names and places and sometimes even specific dates, but there is one thing that he never talked about: being afraid.
So I asked him. What was he afraid of? Both now and then—what scared him? Both—literally—were out to kill him. And now? As an eighty-four-year-old? People of that age have the right to be afraid of a lot of things. The uncertainty of their years, the thought of being eventually alone, the state of their health, something as elementary as walking down a city street at night. In the war, and after the war. It bothered him that he, objectively, was now no match for them; it bothered him that in many ways he was dependent on their goodwill—or at least on their passivity. Do you think I could have flown those B missions in Europe if I had allowed myself to be afraid? With all the decisions a man has got to make on missions like those? Tibbets clearly had always been a man who needed to be in control of every situation he was a part of.
Bobcats aside—as a passenger back in coach, did flying ever give him the jitters? He never noticed his hands and feet shifting involuntarily, in response to a motion the airplane in which he was a passenger was making—or not making? One pill for each man—one pill for each member of his crew. Because the mission had been a success, the decision about whether to take the pills had not come up. But I wanted to know whether Tibbets had given much thought to it at the time—to the question of killing himself had the Japanese military captured him.
I was ready to take off—ready to go. Think of the alternative—they would have done everything they could to get all the information out of us about the atomic bomb. Same way I had to know how to fly the plane there and fly it back. Early in the spring of , the st regiment, Penn's Volunteers, together with other troops of the Army of the Potomac, in all about 2, men, under command of Gen. I was at that time very closely connected with the General commanding and knew that this point was to be a new base of operations against the south of Petersburg and Richmond.
Our object was to seize and destroy the Weldon [rail] road at Goldsborough, thus destroying the enemy's southern connection, but for some unexplained reason this idea was abandoned and Butler's army was sent up the James River to make for the railroads and Petersburgh. How the gallant Roundheads remember the bloody days and nights spent for the possession of these points during the summer and fall of and the winter and spring of The movement from Plymouth being abandoned we were left to hold possession of that part of North Carolina. We were aware that at Williamston, thirty 30 miles up the river the enemy was building a terrible iron ram with the intention of cleaning out the forces at Plymouth, Washington, Roanoke Island and New Berne.
Not long had we to wait until their intentions were attempted and partially carried out. In addition to our land force we were supported by the gunboats "Miami," "Southfield," and "Bombshell" which were anchored in the river opposite the town. How well I remember that mild Sabbath morning of April 17th, , and well will the boys of the old st regiment mind it. While seated at my desk in the Adjutant General's office arranging the detail for the duties of the different officers and commands for the day, a contraband brought the news that the whole country outside was full of men and guns.
Scarcely had this information been received when a courier from the front dashed up with the intelligence that our outposts had been attacked and driven in and that the enemy was approaching in heavy force. Hoke, of the rebel army, was in our front with sixteen regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry and eight batteries of artillery. We were confronted with an overwhelming force and fight we had to, with defeat staring us in the face. Their land force was reinforced on Monday [Tuesday] morning by the monster iron ram, the "Albemarle," a magnificently constructed vessel and one of the most powerful water fiends that ever confronted our navy.
Sunday night was one of awful suspense. A picket boat had been sent up the river late in the afternoon of the same day to watch the movements of our expected visitor. It returned after nightfall and announced the cautious approach of the monster down the river. Commodore Flusser of the naval squadron was immediately apprised of the approach of his enemy and made ready for the fray. His vessels all being wooden, he arranged for the reception of his guests to the best advantage. The Commodore came on shore and up to headquarters as soon as his arrangements were complete, to confer with the commander of the land force, and how grandly he looked, all fight. In the presence of the General, how well I remember his last words.
I should mention that when the approach of the ram was signaled Flusser, soldier every inch of him, trained and fired the first gun. The shot exploded at the muzzle of the gun, killing him almost instantly. We were now completely cooped, no chance of succor from the outside. It became now a matter of endurance with us. Two o'clock Monday [Tuesday] morning Gen. Wessells said to me, "go down immediately to the lower landing and learn what you can. Getting myself into a comfortable position I had not long to wait until I heard coming slowly down stream on the west shore what I imagined to be our picket boat, but which proved to be our iron ribbed enemy. Cautiously she approached our fleet. I was near enough the river being very narrow to hear suppressed voices coming from aboard the nailed monster.
The commander giving his directions such as, "There they are - steady - make a sure plunge," etc. The combat ended, the crew of the Southfield leaped into the water and made an effort to swim ashore. The guard aboard the ram commenced firing upon them while in the water. Clearly and distinctly above the din of the combat I could hear Capt. Cook of the Albemarle say, "For God's sake don't shoot those poor fellows in the water! Wednesday morning the 20th day of April , we were made prisoners of war, and marched off to Andersonville Georgia, and enjoyed for a time the hospitalities of that long to be remembered Golgotha, until death or the termination of the war, brought our release.
Sometime in the future I may write concerning the life of a prisoner of war. Dear Courant: - The close of my last letter found me a prisoner of war. It was on Wednesday morning the 20th day of April , just after the break of day when if under the protection of our flag, we would have been indulged in coffee and hardtack around our own camp-fire. Our line was broken on the left by the charging columns of Gen. Ransom aided by the slimy monster in the river below. I was captured by Gen. Ransom himself, and was immediately given in charge of Major Latham of the 17th, North Carolina Regiment, and by him conducted to the headquarters of Gen. Hoke who commanded the land force operating against our position. Hoke had established his headquarters at John Johnson's on the Coneby road and near the centre of his line.
I was ushered into his presence and introduced as a Plymouth pilgrim, who had been caught sighting the position of the ram and of their forces. Hoke betook himself to plying me with the usual questions, such as the number of troops inside the position, location and strength of our works. I made answer to suit myself, when he became satisfied that I didn't know anything, he turned me over to my gallant rebel Major who promenaded me around among their soldiers as if I was a strange wild animal, or a being from some other world. I was again made the target for all kinds of questions, coming right and left from these confederate homespuns. Some of the more intelligent of their number said to me, certainly you are a "moon struck theorist" and would laugh at the idea of our whipping the South.
What appeared most to trouble their souls was, what are you'ns going to do with we'ns ns when you'ns get them? My answer invariably was, Confiscate your lands, hang you'ns and give your lands, women and children to the ns. This would put them on their metal and all kinds of threats did they make against my life. After my guard had exhibited me as long as he deemed prudent, we retired to the friendly and inviting shade of an apple tree in the garden, and there upon the green grass we had a social game of cards and a smoke.
The cards I found had gotten into my pocket in some mysterious way, and the cigars were his. While thus killing time, from our position we could hear the rage of the combat around and within our works. About ten o'clock small squads of our boys were brought out as prisoners. From that time until 1 o'clock p. Before surrendering, the color bearer of our regiment buried the old banner, all rent with shot and shell, near the works behind which they had so gallantly fought. The 85th New York Regiment [I believe he is talking about the 16th CT] rather than let their flag fall into the hands of the enemy, tore it into small fragments and divided it around among the boys, and on many occasions when in Andersonville, upon hearing good news from our armies, we would skirmish around and get enough pieces together to have the appearance of a United States flag and sing and yell and dance around it like boys and girls at a country frolic.
The night of the 20th we bivouacked outside our works, and what a time for meditation out from under the protection of our flag and the Government which we had sworn to protect and defend. What would be our doom in the face of the action of the rebel Congress toward troops captured in any district or department under command of Gen. The timid among our number feared an indiscriminate slaughter as at Fort Pillow.
For we had enlisted and doing duty with us about negroes formerly slaves, and any soldiers now living who was with us will well remember how the next morning after our capture, the rebel soldiers went gunning, as they termed it, through the woods and in the swamps for any of the negro soldiers who escaped our lines the night before permission having been given them to do so. When the crack of a rebel gun was heard in the woods or swamps, a yell would go up from their ranks.
Theirs another dd nr Yankee gone to h--l. This I know, that of the colored troops, not one ever found his way inside a rebel prison. The reader can judge in the face of this statement what became of them. The morning of the 21st after having issued rations to us from our stores captured the day before, we were ordered into ranks and under command of their officers marched around the outside of our works, their bands playing "Dixie" and the girl we were leaving behind us etc. Little yet did we know of what we were destined to suffer for daring to do right. About 10 o'clock our column was set in motion, for a far off someplace, the wonder land - Andersonville, Georgia; pictured by those guarding us as the most inviting spot the sun ever shown on.
With fine barracks, cool shady walks, pure running streams of water, crystal springs bubbling up, and plenty to eat. That appeared all fair, and we almost yearned to gambol amidst such beauties. From Plymouth to Tarboro, the point at which we were to take the cars for our journey was 60 miles. The first days march carried us 20 miles. The one days rations issued to us gave out the first evening, and the next morning we commenced to realize what it meant to start into business without capital.
I was so hungry that I willingly agreed with a Johnnie reb to exchange my pocket-knife and gold pen for a single hardtack. I was so eager to lay siege to it that I didn't stop to inquire the quality, as quantity was more to my liking - but if this was hunger - God spare the tale I can unfold. The next day out on the march was Sunday. Our coming must have been "announced in meetin" for about 9 o'clock we commenced to see little knots of females and boys grouped near the road-side with quite a sprinkling of colored gemmen and ladies of all sizes ages and conditions.
They appeared to look upon us as monsters from some far off land. As the day grew older and even into night fall the crowd increased; the fences, woods and roadsides were lined and the spectators were so interested and enthusiastic that you would have mistaken our march to death as the triumphial return of conquering armies. But when you consider that we were the first Yankee soldiers they had ever seen, no wonder their curiosity was aroused to the highest pitch.
We succeeded in making creditable appearance and passed in review in fine style. Two more hard days marching through woods and over fields brought us to Tarboro. We were hungry and footsore, weary and discouraged - Our boys were almost worn out after this long tiresome march - We, and when I say we I don't mean the whole crowd, I speak with respect to a certain few who resolved themselves into a committee of the whole in the State of the Confederacy, for we now considered ourselves outside the State of the Union - sat down to deliberate upon our fallen condition.
What would we do? What could we do? Our squad was composed of Sergeants [Nathan E. We then and there resolved to fight it out true to the Union and the cause of right if in so doing perish our lives. Many of us might have escaped on the march to this point had we ever dreamed of the weary days, and weeks, and months of suffering and hardships that awaited us. We still hoped that the arrangement made for exchanging prisoners every 10 days would continue between the quarreling sections, and that in ten days after being reduced to the enemies possession we would be exchanged and ready for duty in the field again. While at Plymouth a great number of rebels deserted their army and came inside our lines to home and friends.
The 17th North Carolina Regiment had been recruted in Washington county, two companies being recruted in the town of Plymouth. Once inside our lines a great number of them without any solicitation whatever expressed a willingness and a desire to enlist with us in fighting for the Union and they were allowed to do so. When stripped of their dirty butternut rags, rigged out in a complete suit of shinning new Yankee clothing, you never seen such a proud set of fellows. They were unassigned to any regiment before our capture, but immediately upon our positive knowledge that the jig was going up with us they commenced having their long hair clipped close to the scalp and placed upon their caps the number of some of our regiments, thus appearing as genuine "Blue-bellies.
Some were Pennsylvanians, some New Yorkers, others from down East, Massachusetts and Connecticut, but not a single Tarheel in the crowd. Their strategy didn't stand them in good stead. The 17th N. Before counting us we were ordered into line and a committee of the 17th Regiment made an inspection of us to search out them dd galvanized Yankees, as they named the parties before described, and it was wonderful how quickly they could pick them out.
We laughingly remarked that it was by the smell that they knew how it was themselves. They succeeded in finding [almost] every one of them, and the poor fellows we understood all paid the deserters penalty - were shot to death. In large letters at the head lines of a column in the "Charleston Mercury " it read thus. Common box cars were provided for this excursion and we were packed 75 in a car, like so many hogs or sheep. After fastening the side entrance to the car securely, and placing sufficient guards around us to prevent our escape, and assuring us that if we would sit down and keep quiet we would not be fired into, but we would have a jolly fine ride and a good time generally.
Think for a moment of 75 men of all characters, dispositions and temperaments, without anything to eat or drink, put into one car and starting out for a journey of over one thousand 1, miles and expect them to be quiet! We finally succeeded in getting off from Tarboro, making our first stop at Wilmington, N. Wilmington at that time was the principal port where the blockade runners came in and out.
At this time the river was swarming with these water gray hounds, each awaiting in its turn a cargo of cotton and an opportunity to slip out. Here an incident happened, a hard blow to some speculator. The road from Wilmington to Charleston to which we were transferred, had its starting point on the south side of the river, and upon each side of the road at least for one-half mile, huge bales of cotton were piled on top of each other to the height of twenty or thirty feet, a single track running between. While awaiting transportation we scattered ourselves loosely around, some sitting in groups, talking over the probabilities of the future; others, worn out, were trying to catch a little sleep in the warm sunshine.
In the crowd, as in all crowds of any considerable size, was an irrepressible Irishman belonging to a Massachusetts Battery. He was sitting perched on a bale of cotton smoking his pipe, and just as our train backed up, and "all aboard! Before we had gone far, looking back could be seen huge volumes of smoke arising in the direction of Wilmington. The next morning in Charleston the papers gave an account of the loss of ten million dollars worth of cotton by fire at Wilmington the day before. We reached Charleston late in the evening, marched into the heart of the city, and lay down to sleep in her dusty streets. All night long the scream and bursting of shells from Gilmore's guns and batteries on Morris Island could be heard.
Some of them coming so near us as to make our situation uncomfortable. Beauregard, in command of the defences of Charleston, dispatched to Gilmore that he had on hand a number of Federal prisoners who were lying exposed to the fire from his batteries, and prayed him to silence his guns until they could be removed from danger. Gilmore quick to comprehend Beauregard's intentions, replies: -- "If you do not immediately remove the prisoners in your position under the fire of my guns, I will lash sixty 60 confederate officers in my possession to the "Ironsides" and run them up under your fire from Fort Sumpter.
Although away from danger of exploding shells, a great uneasiness was abroad among the "pilgrims. In our pilgrimage, thus far, not a single demonstration of loyalty had been manifested, no friendship, nothing but the most supreme hatred had been shown us. The rebel journals all characterized us as a mean, well-dressed set of Yankee vagabonds. We were looked upon as invaders, murderers and thieves. From Charleston to Savannah nothing of any account happened, only we were nearing the end of our journey. From Savannah we tumbled along over a miserably tracked and illy ballasted railroad, making remarkably good speed as we could tell by counting the mile posts along the way.
The next morning we arrived at the city of Macon, Ga. Having ridden for 48 hours as closely packed as sardines in a box, it was a treat to even get a chance to shake ourselves. The crowd gathered around the station was immense, all anxious to get a whack at us with their tongues, and the way they fired into us at short range was terrible. We esteemed such bad behavior toward us pretty tough, coming from pretty girls as some of them were. We had always labored under the impression that our home training, schooling, etc.
In their minds it was everything mean and detestable to be a Yankee soldier. Speaking for myself, I knew I was not attired gaudily enough to attract any particular attention from them or enthusiastic outburst of affection. I was already shoeless and hatless and otherwise untidily arrayed. Feeling sorely the want of shoes, I accosted a well dressed gentleman with the question as to how much he would take for his patent leathers. I proceeded to go down into my pantaloons for the money when he "squealed. All we could answer was "wait a few months.
Grant and Sherman will shake the life out of your rotten machine, and you will crawl at our feet as you will have us do at yours now. Time will change our condition and yours also. This is your day of joy; ours will come later on. The train backed up and again the packing process commenced, 75 in a car, and away we sped to that bourne from which so few ever returned.
So far on our journey certain privileges had been allowed us at the stopping places. We could get off the cars, look around and contemplate the greatness of the confederacy and hold intercourse with its citizens, but after leaving Macon, we noticed that a different spell had seized the guards and officers in command. Each took turns in abusing us and our Government, threatening to shoot if we even dared to put our hands through the cracks in the cars, or allow our feet to hang outside. The order would invariably be with their guns directed toward us "take in your hands and feet, G-d d-n you! Or we will blow your brains out. Away with all your dreams of happy homes and peaceful scenes with comfort and plenty.
At the rate which we are now going it will not be long until we reach our destination. Sixty 60 miles from Macon and we are at Andersonville. We were hustled off the train in great haste and drawn up into line. The command to the "rear open order" was given, when a mean, insignificant looking dwarfish confederate officer, with the insignia of a Captain, promenaded through the ranks. The inspection over, this same body of clay proclaimed himself as Captain Henry Wirz, the commandant of Andersonville prison. He first had us counted into hundreds, then advancing to the front, gave this command: "All who can read and write, step two paces to the front:" the first hundred, and then all the hundreds advanced the required paces.
This obedience to orders appeared to stun the confederate. Duke and he got terribly out of sorts. Little did he know of us, and much less did we know of him. His object was to get some one who could read and write to keep account with each one hundred men, draw rations and distribute the same. We were not long inside until instead of requiring one man to look after the rations for one hundred men, it took one hundred men pretty lively scratching to get enough rations for one man.
After being counted into hundreds, the confederate bugle sounded the advance, and headed by Captain Wirz on horseback, we succeeded in capturing the prison and gaining possession of an important position within the enemy's lines. As we marched from the depot to the stockade with its frowning walls, within which we were confined, we passed crowds of spectators who grinned Satan-like at us, of soldiers who hadn't enough respect for us to present arms; and they, too, laughed and chuckled at our abject appearance, knowing as they did, the inside workings of the prison in site.
The fat, lubberly bloodhounds thus early made of our acquaintance by coming near enough to catch our fragrance, then walked lazily away, wagging their tails and smacking their jaws, would lie down in the shade, as much as to say "we've got you down fine enough. If ever I should conclude to write of what I, with others suffered there, I will unfold a tale that will make the hearts of the bravest sick.
Standing shivering at the gates of this Golgotha, not with fear to do and die for our country, but dreading the manner in which our cruel persecutors had determined in their councils to put us to death, we cast a last longing look beyond, towards God's country, and to how many did it prove the last look toward that home and flag for which for long weary months and years in the field we had braved the privations and hardships incident to a soldier's life in camp, on the march, and in the heated battle's front. We could only say, "Good-bye!
Country and flag, father, mother, sister, brother, sweetheart and friends - all a long good-bye! God only knows what will become of us. Many will cross the river with that boatman, cold and pale, to that shining shore, where sorrow and sin are strangers; where the streets are paved with purest gold; where the whistling of the gentle breezes in the tree-tops is music ten thousand times sweeter than the aeolian harps and where there is praising and thanksgiving, joy and peace forever. Now we were brought to face the cruelest of all enemies, death by starvation, and other barbarous methods conceived and devised by the Winders and Turners, aided by their trusted Lieutenant Wirz, who had been specially detailed to preside over the destines of forty-thousand as brave Patriots as ever mustered in war, and to aid them in their wicked design against our lives.
Is it any wonder that we looked away off to that land of home and its comforts and delights. Soldiering was all right. The camp, the march, and battle with their joys, sorrows and sad memories was to be expected. Then we were in communication with the world of friends outside, were always within our own lines and under the protection of our own government. And to be thus suddenly cut off from all protection, and committed to the care of those who cared not for us, only that they might invent some means whereby we could be rendered useless to our government, was enough to make us heartsick, and pale with fear.
I must confess, speaking for myself, that I had seen the time when I felt more at ease than under the circumstances surrounding us, as we gazed toward the open gates so invitingly near. My sainted mother had in my childhood sang to me of the "Gates ajar," but at the appearance of the ones in my part I was very poorly impressed. I found that all of my ideas of fine things were disappearing, for around and all about were the frowning walls of what was to be our home for months and months of torture, and suffering, and death.
The reader can do nothing more than live with us during the time in dreamy imagination, and await our story as we go along. But a remnant of those who by their undaunted courage braved it all, and came away if only with their lives, live among you and will be willing witnesses to my tale of untold woe. There are yet hearts too bleeding to read this open page in history. There are yet mourning Rachaels who will not be comforted because theirs came not. But is it not right that the children of to-day should read and commit to memory the story of their father's sufferings, and what they endured that to them might be secured the blessings of a free government. But some will say, not so sentimental if you please.
Give us that, which is more of interest. Shall I draw the veil and enter the portals of our inviting camp? Yes we have passed the guard with his fixed bayonet at the gate. We have given up the proud name of a Yankee soldier. Never give up; but for the remainder of our enlistment, and long after it with many we are carried on the rolls of our army as prisoners with the enemy. Once fairly and securely inside and the doors closed, we look at each other in blank amasement, and Rip Vanwinkle like said to each other where are we, and who are we? And Gods what a place, mortal pen fails to discribe it.
Nothing but blackness and darkness of despair and desperation on all sides. It was late in the evening upon our entry, and soon the shades of night were gathering around us. And being strangers in this strangest of all places, we commenced to skirmish around for some soft inviting spot to "now I lay me down to sleep" upon, for on the face of all God's green earth there was no where for us to rest, but on the cold damp ground. The hundred to which I had the honor to belong separated immediately upon entering in the evening, and each one like myself was promenading around hunting for a good fat take; a bed of roses I expect whereupon to coil himself and camp for the night.
I thought that the darkest night of my life. No lights of any kind, only here and there a pine knot burning where an unsuccessful attempt was being made by some epicurean to dish up a delicately prepared meal before going off to dreamland. The heaven was blackness above us, and I shuddered to think of a night out like this, without blanket or hat, shoes or overcoat, money, grub or friends.
Surely, said I to myself, this is rough on a pilgrim, an innocent abroad, what will I do? If I had my blanket or my overcoat I could have made out, or if I had had my haversack. I felt so insignificant that I would have made the attempt to get into that. But confederate regulations as practiced by rebel authorities successfully policed us of all that would add to our comfort; make them comfortable and us miserable. This being the case we were in a rather disagreeable condition to undergo the hardships of the campaign upon which we were entering; a campaign fuller of daring and death than was ever made by the commanders of any of the world's great armies.
A silent campaign where there was no crashing of artillery, no death grapples of the infantry forces, no dashing charges of cavalry, but a silent fight constantly day and night; death claiming its victims by the score, the hundreds, the thousands, the tens of thousands. No command was ever given, "Forward boys," but like men we fought, each one commanding his own part of the line. But I am off again, and I must now gather myself together for the night, for I am commencing to feel kind of scattered already, and fearing that night will be fully upon me, I feel as if I am about to get lost in the vastness and in the darkness.
Somehow I had got lost from my old trusty comrade Sergt. I was very hell myself in my lost condition. I knew Cory would turn up all right in the morning, but how would I turn up was the thought that was waltzing through my brain. When suddenly presenting himself before me was a something which presumably was a man, and a soldier of my country.
He said to me; "you appear to be looking for something, or are you lost? I may be lost, but you look to me as if you were a little out of the way yourself. The little fellow kindly invited me to share with him his humble sleeping apartment, a comfortable little hole he had made in the hillside near by. He said he was lonesome, that his companion had died that morning, and that he would like some company. I kindly thanked him, for having heard such fearful stories of lice in prison I had resolved that as I had never been lousy I did not propose to commence cultivation of the filthy vermin now.
I vacated that position and soon after found me a place where I thought would be security, if not from the winds and the dampness of the night, at least from the vermin before mentioned. I was soon living with the fairies, reveling in dreams and surrounded by friends, but when morning awoke me imagine my surprise to find that I was nothing but lice from head to foot - lice all over me. How indignant I was, and how my conceit vanished! It went away with the morning winds, never to return to me while I was in durance vile, and I was ever thereafter cognizant of the fact that I was never alone and that I need never be out of employment.
This was my first morning's experience, but the greatest difficulty that I had was the inner man. My first thought was for something to eat, and my next thought was about my friend Cory. As far as getting anything to eat was concerned, I had to patiently await the coming of the rebel bread wagon which we were informed came in every morning about 9 o'clock. How eagerly we awaited the approach of that time, and how our stomachs were kicking up within us, for we were hungry enough by this time. Nine o'clock came; we waited, expecting each minute to see a huge wagon drive in, loaded with substantials, but imagine how surprised the pilgrims were when the sergeant a Yankee in charge of our hundred was sent for and twenty-five little corn loaves were given to him, to do one hundred hungry, famishing men for one day.
The loaves were in size about one half as large as a common brick, and about as hard and indigestible; but uncomplainingly we commenced operations, cut or broke the little loaves into four pieces and passed it around. It was a merry feast we had that morning; no meat, no salt, no drink. But that which was given to us we ate uncomplainingly and managed to be content. It was cruelly unsatisfying, and left me wondering what next, although it is too soon to commence pining.
Tomorrow may bring better things; but that tomorrow never came. Such a large crowd being cast upon them so suddenly they had not enough to go around, was their excuse, but the enough never came. We had all been raised in strict old Presbyterian families, and made believe in the doctrine of foreordination. But we commenced to think pretty soon of seceding from the foreordination racket. We thought better of the 2nd verse of 23 Psalm, and were constantly on the lookout for the furnishing of a table in the presence of our foes. It was time now to commence making a reconnisance of our position; to take in the situation and surroundings, to become acquainted with the streets, parks and points of interest; in short to so arrange ourselves that we might at all times know where we were.
As I mentioned above, my first thoughts in the morning were about Sergeant Cory, and I must now hasten about and find him. Sauntering leisurely up Maine street, contemplating the future, I suddenly came upon Sergeants Cory and Freeman, and D. Ault the drummer boy of our company, whom I will now introduce to the reader as prominent personages in this tale. Others will be named from time to time as incidents occur, and I will not forget Max Cosel as I go along.
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