Standing in Line

The 3rd Arkansas fought in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg near the base of Devil’s Den.  There, they combined with a Georgia Brigade to help push the Yanks back. The 3rd was on the left end of the line of the Texas Brigade, and drifted to the left during the advance on the Devil’s Den.
Confederate soldiers advance


The young Reb stands in line shaking in his shoes.
He hopes his Pards don’t see his quaking, but they are shaking too.

He glances down the line and sees the Amason Boys.
They are from his home town, and their banter he does enjoy.

The sound of bugles blow for an advance, and the drums beat a cadence loud.
They start across the fields as a crescendo of cannon fire doth abound.

The Yanks have a battery on the top of a huge mound of rocks.
He can see the smoke from their barrels, and his eyes on their missiles are locked.

He hopes they don’t have the regiment’s range yet, but he’s not willing to take that bet.
To take the Yankee cannon for granted is something you will live to regret.

The Yankee artillery has more guns and is always an accurate bunch.
They have peppered his regiment all day but especially after lunch.

He has marched and countermarched just about all the afternoon.
Ole Pete finally got his men in position, and he will lock with the Yanks real soon.

Closer and closer the march takes him within musket range.
Men are starting to go down around him as the battle doth begin to rage.

He wishes he could shoot his musket instead of this walk of death.
At least he would go down fighting, and the Yanks would taste his wrath.

He makes it to the base of the hill, and his regiment drifts to the left.
The regiment volleys quite accurately, and he feels proud of himself.

His hands don’t shake as much, and he is able to load rather fast.
But the Yanks are putting up a good fight, and his energy won’t last.

All of a sudden a new Rebel regiment has joined the melee.
The Yanks are being pushed back as far as the eye can see.

His line moves forward, and the firing becomes rather brisk.
He keeps moving forward; to fall behind is taking a big risk.

The enemy has retreated, and the regiment reforms for another onslaught.
He searches the new line for his Pards and to see what the gods of war hath wrought.

One of the Amason boys is no longer in the line. He has gone down in the advance.
With all the cannonade and musketry he never had a chance.

So the regiment licks its wounds and shoulders their muskets again.
The young Reb takes his place in line for he’s an Arkansas Man.

VDutton ~ August, 2013

All Materials © 1992 – 2013 and Property of Vernon Dutton
No part of this may be copied or used without written consent 
of Dutton & Associates, LLC and Time Travelers Publishing.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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