Poetry of Kansas

Keenan's Last Charge.

Onward they dash with impetuous will ___
Stonewall is leading at Chancellorsville;
Leading the last of his whirlwind attacks,
Routing the Bluecoats and hounding their
            tracks.
    Madly they crush
Through the dense underbrush,
Vanquished and victors confused in the rush.
 
Silent the lips of the cannon's hot mouth,
Silent before the implacable South.
How can a moment of respite be won!
Time just to load and align gun by gun.
    Keenan stands there!
    Will the brave fellow dare
Rush to his doom that the rest may prepare?
 
Sharp comes the order and quickly he s
"General, nothing but death is ahead,
But I will check them." He galloped
Into the teeth of the furious fray.
    O what a sight!
    Death as sure as the night!
Three hundred troopers ten thousand to fight.
 
Only a moment the brave little band
Check the fierce onslaught of Jackson con-
    mand.
Only a moment___but that is enough.
Pleasanton meets them with fearful rebuff
    Volleys of shell
    Answer every wild yell;
Death meets disaster and Hell faces Hell.
 
Backward the staggering rebels are hurl
Freedom still lives in a slave-ridden world.
Night soothes the furious passions of day
Silent the Johnnies at last steal away.
    Horrible war,
    Wilt thou never be o'er!
Keenan thy victim and must thou have more?
 
Keenan, forgive us for waiting so long;
Glory is sometimes neglected of song.
Laurels coquette with the brow of the brave,
Flame often hides with the great in his grave.
    Hero uncrowned
    Thy renown shall abound
Far as our voices can carry its sound.

__Harry Edward Mills.

 

Select Sunflowers
Harry Edward Mills
(Fort Scott: Sunflower Press. 1901)
Pages 82-84

 
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April 13, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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