The Other Side, Part 29

As we approached the Union soldier, I could see that a trickle of blood from the hole in his forehead ran down one side of his nose, proceeded down his cheek, and dripped off his face.

He had a glassy-eyed stare, and I said, “Hey.”

He acted as if he had been asleep and had just woken up. He batted his eyes and stood up.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Jacob Nobles.”

“Where are you from, Jacob Nobles?”

“Wisconsin, sir.”

Spirit Guide gave me some questions to ask him during the interview, and his story went as follows:

He had walked down from Camden Town to join up, because it was the right thing to do.  He was tall, maybe 6’1”.  Once he got into the thick of things (by this I think he meant the army training he had to undergo), he really didn’t like the army.

There were too many rules and regulations at the induction camp.  He sort of resisted all the uniformity, and I got the impression of a shorter man (probably a sergeant) getting up in his face and yelling at him. He ultimately started doing what they ordered…just to get the process over with, get assigned to a unit, and get out of all the drilling.

However, I did get a picture of him walking with his pack and not having a tough time of it.  He was strong. He had marched some, and he didn’t care for it. He had also been on a boat, and I got the vision of him leaning on the rail of a boat looking out on the Tennessee River as they came south.

General Grant, photo, Memphis

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Tennessee. Photo courtesy: Memphis Commercial Appeal

He thought it was different down here in the South.  Everything was so alive. Insects, animals and birds were everywhere, and they made lots of noises.

He thought General Grant was okay and he had nothing against him.  Grant had gotten them all the way from Kentucky to Pittsburg Landing.

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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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