Civil War: Battle With No Name
Death comes stalking, wearing blue and Gray.
Hometown boys, nervous as cats.
The fear was there, their first combat.
It happened quickly, this fight over space.
Neither side giving, wanting this place.
Orders given, guns charged, lines of men drawn straight.
Hammers cocked, eyes to sights, shots from a rifle expressing hate.
The fight is joined with a roar of sound.
Bodies fall, slam to the ground.
Screams and moans as the battle rages.
With all this death; no history pages.
Death takes its toll, the only winner.
The battle’s over, ranks are thinner.
Neither side wins; the troops withdraw.
Each side looks back with awe.
No name for the battle, no medals for the brave.
Their spirit tried, on their hearts they’ll engrave,
The battle with no name.
“Battle With No Name” is representative of the many nameless, small battles that occurred in Missouri. During the Civil War, there were over ten-thousand recorded battles in the four years between April, 1861 and April, 1865. More than 0ne-thousand of those battles happened here in our own state. There were reports written about each one, but the reports wound up submerged in the mountain of other paperwork and reports and became “Battle With No Names”. Most were identified only with vague locations and landmarks and did not have formal names. The manpower involved was usually small; less than one-hundred men on either side; however, a soldier was just as dead in one of those small skirmishes as he would have been at Gettysburg or Shiloh. The Civil War in Missouri was partisan, brutal, and vicious. It was a “no-holds-barred” fight.
During October, the Bedell Reading and Writing Center at Three Rivers Community College,under the direction of Dr. Anthony Pendergrass, sponsored a writing contest open to all TRCC students. Other sponsors included the English department and the division of Humanities and Performing Arts under Steve Lewis, Chairman.
The purpose of the contest was to create interest in writing by college students and to reward and recognize students who write well. Hastings Book, Movie, and Video store of Poplar Bluff also agreed to sponsor the contest and awarded prizes for first and second place in each category; Fifty dollars for first prize,Twenty-five dollars for second prize. Entries were accepted in four categories; Formal Essay, Personal Essay, Short Story, and Poetry.
“Battle With No Name” was entered in the Poetry category and won first prize.