|The uncivil Civil War
Author: Lee's ghost re-born PM
After a battle that went terribly wrong Sergeant John O’Malley finds himself saved by the last person he would have thought possible. Rated M for graphic war violence harsh language and brief sexuality please review come on you know you want tooRated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,131 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 04-16-07 - Published: 03-29-07 - id: 2340578
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The uncivil Civil War
By Lee's ghost re-born
I loving dictate this story to the memory Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing who was killed on third day of battle at Gettysburg Pa. "Faithful until death'"
It was a cool day, not usual weather for Virginia thought First Sergeant John O'Malley as he stared across the clearing at the vast sea of tents of The Army of Northern Virginia. He removed the unlit pipe hoped to god he would not die in this place not after three years of marching in cold, rain, and hail of miniballs. There was a shout as Major Edwards formed the men into the regiment.
O'Malley took his place in the battleline and was greeted by the cheerful voice of his best friend Dan Beckman, "I think we'll give those Johnnies a right lickn' today must be five t' one."
Beckman was an impressive man. He was six feet eight inches and weighed 400 pounds. His Scottish heritage attributed to his unforgiving temper and love of alcohol in just about any from. But it turned out those traits had made him quite a soldier O'Malley smiled at him trying not to laugh as he remembered how at the first battle of Bull Run he had slain ten men with a good Scottish blade before they were driven from the blood soaked field.
"You really think we've got that good of odds?" Asked O'Malley not really caring what the answer was he just wanted to keep his mind off the impending engagement.
"Oh 'bout that I think," he said taking a pull at a Whiskey bottle. "So long as those Dutch don't run again." They both gave each other a side-glance to see who would start first and then they burst into good-hearted laughter.
Every Dutch regiment they had fought next to had run. They were good men but they just didn't have the stomach when things got rough. O'Malley looked to the left and saw Captain Wilson pacing calmly in front of the Company.
He was 7'0 foot had brown hair that never seemed to stay motionless on his head. A stubble of hair covered his round chin and men in the Company swore the man could have been a distant cousin of Abraham Lincoln, and probably was.
Major Edwards came riding hard toward the Company flipping a cigar between his fat fingers. Being a heavy drinker and bad gambler had produced a plump belly that forced its way through the blue jacket and there was a distinctive popping noise as a gold button flew toward the horizon. He slipped down from the horse and the men all thought the mare would faint from the smell that was let loose from the Major's hindquarters.
"Morning sir," said Captain Wilson who waved an ungloved hand at the unbearable odor that was sliding though the air toward him.
"Morin' to you Roger," he said rising his chest like an animal claming territory.
"Sure seems silent on the reb's side of things," said the Captain voicing the thought that was on every man's mind.
"Aye, but it won't be in a few minutes," he said with a boyish grin on his puffed up face. An aid rode at breakneck speed yelling at the top of his lungs, "Kenneth's Battery is comein' up sir!"
"'Bout time," said the Major tossing his half smoked cigar to the ground. "You tell that lazy son of a bitch to deploy in front of the regiment and hit them with all the Canister rounds he has!"
The Napoleons came flying over the open ground behind the regiment. The men unlimbered the massive smoothbore guns and wheeled them forcefully up the hilly earth in front of the regiment. O'Malley watched them load the black powder stained guns and was envois of them thinking they would get to have all the fun.
"You may fire when ready," said the Major sounding like the British Confederate solider O'Malley had driven his bayonet though at Gettysburg when he pleaded for mercy.
Being of Irish berth he had made promise to his dying feather that he would revenge himself on any Englishman he crossed paths with for the dismal state of his homeland. He had killed two in his twenty-two years of life. Of course there was the one at Gettysburg but there was also another he had killed before the war.
He had been banker in Boston who had denied O'Malley his full wage for working in a meat factory nearby. O'Malley guessed he would have not killed the man if he had not need the money so desperately but his new bride had become ill with a rare form of fever.
Killing the good hearted man had not been an easy task to carry out and the memory of it still haunted him. He had made an appointment with the man under a false surname, and had pretended to be interested in one of the many rundown slums that doted the poorer part of the city. Toward the end of the meeting when the man moved to shake his hand he stabbed the man in the belly with a knife he had slipped in the sleeve of his double-breasted coat. But it was all in vein his new wife had died even with a doctor's aid so with nothing left he fled to Lincoln's blue clad army.
He was jerked from his thoughts by an order from the Lieutenant in charge of the four-gun battery, "Powder Monkey, get the hell up here."
A boy of not more then seventeen scrambled up the long slope toward the four cannon carrying a oblong canister round that was little more than an iron shell hallowed out and filled with led balls. At close range in the heat of a bayonet charge they would direct the guns mussels toward the mob of enemy and fire like thousand pound shotguns.
"Three hundred years, five second fuse," yelled the Lieutenant as he paced back and forth between the guns his hands behind his tall back as if he were strolling through a garden at home.
The first gun belched a plum of smoke as the round was forced forward and the tip of the gun barrel glowed a faint orange for a split second. The other three guns did the same in quick scission. The Lieutenant gritted his tobacco brown teeth as he saw that all three rounds had fallen a foot short of the row of tents.
"Reload, and adjust sight elevation one degree higher," scrammed the middle aged Lieutenant before wiping away the trace of gunpowder on his forehead.
This time the Canister rounds hit home and burst over the row of tents which contained camping southerners. O'Malley could he the cries of dying men horses it sent a felling death into his subconscious. He had little time to feel remorse for the boys in butternut because Major Edwards's command sent a feeling pride throughout the regiment, "Forward march boys, avenge Colonel Robertson and give 'em hell."
The boys marched quickly through the field making good time but every a man would cruse under his breath as they cut themselves on some sort of plant O'Malley did not recognize. He looked ahead and saw about a hundred men in butternut grab their riffled muskets and form in front of the burning tents.
"Close up boys, Close up," yelled O'Malley as the men started to drift left toward the sight plunder.
"Halt!" shouted Captain Wilson and a similar command was echoed from the Captains of the other nine companies of the regiment.
"Aim," shouted the Major standing in the stirrups of his saddle while bullets from Confederate skirmishers kicked up earth around him. The muskets were brought up to the men's Shoulders and there was the soft click-click of hammers being drawn back.
"Fire," he scrammed like a boy seeing his favorite kind of firework.
The bullets were jerked forward and sailed across the open space toward the cluster of men in front of them. O'Malley fired, the butt of his musket smacking him hard in his shoulder blade. The man he had targeted fell off his horse a vast hole in the middle of his slender neck and he fumbled on the ground in short tremors spraying men near him scarlet with blood.
He shouted a blood crazed war cry in Gaelic and reloaded jamming the massive miniball down the powder-blackened barrel. He fired again but he could not tell what damage he had done because the battlefield was covered in gun smoke. It smelled of saltpeter and rotten eggs and the smell lingered in the air above him making choke.
There was a whoop in font of him but it was a southern voice. O'Malley heard the beat of hooves on the dry Earth and knew it was light cavalry. There was the sound of sabers being pulled out of their scabbards and a chill ran down his spine. Would they charge? It was unlikely but these were despite souls fighting to save what was left of their country.
A Carbine bullet twisted round Captain Wilson and his brains misted the men near him. A man who had just been conscripted kept scramming, "Get them off me," and ran out of the ranks but an enemy round caught him in the tendon.
The horses spurred forward and there was the chilling wale of the rebel yell as two Confederate regiments reviled themselves from behind the tents. How could we have been so stupid? A hot jet of air passed over the men as a shell crashed among the union cannon.
"Back ya damn bustards back!" he roared and jumped over a corpse on his way back toward the union lines. When he looked back he saw that both the Lieutenants of the Company fly up into the air after being hit by Canister and their bodies were tossed among the pines. That meant he was in charge of Company.
"To me," he yelled and grabbed one of the officers Colts.
The Company runs after him to the safety of the cannon. O'Malley ran harder then he ever had in his 24 years of life his haversack and canteen full of Whiskey bouncing along to the movement of his legs. When he made it across to the Cannon Beckman was at his side the breaths catching in his chest.
"That was one hell o' a fight," he said rubbing a cut on his cheek.
"Its not over yet boy-o," he said watching the Confederates tear across the open field and step over the union dead like they were dogs.
The cannon mussels turned red as they flung double and triple Canister rounds toward the charging enemy and some men were wrenched backward their limbs torn and bloody. It was not enough to stop the on slot and they edged closer and closer to Beckman and O'Malley who were crouched behind an overturned limber.
O'Malley fired his Colt and a man fell backward his head doing three quick nods before the body crumpled to the ground. The Calvary was trotting close behind the Confederate infantry slashing downward with craved sabers it the retreating union solders.
"Rally Square boys, Rally Square," he scrammed hoping the boys in the Company knew the desperate command that had not been used since the beginning of the century. Each man would join together in square and take turns firing at cavalry and then rotate to the back of formation until the Cavalry was driven back.
His men just gaped at him in confusion. The force of a bullet and picked up the Lieutenant commanding the cannons and he lay flat on his back his gazed eyes staring at the cloudless sky as if to ask why such unthinkable thing happened. There was no time to O'Malley just ran toward the trees.
There was a shower of dirt as a horse followed close behind. The man moved his right hand forward slicing into O'Malley's flesh. He let out moan of pain and tumbled to the ground because he blacked out.