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A Mother's Call

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It was 11 thesumnierof 180:!. The northeru and southern'armies were W&ittng expeetantly for the daun whieh heralded the Bangalnary battíe oi Chattauooga. The rays of the 1 uil moon gltamed ritfully througli hurrylng clouds, and ihei m nncertain light over lields not jet disfigured with the wreek iiud earnare of devastating war. The white tentsot the federal forcea dotted the camp-ground, and the stacked arm, with burnUhed bayonets, glistened in the wayward shdoW6. Tlie stillness of the peaceful night waa interrupted by no sound save the heavy tread of the tlred sentinel as he paced his lonely beat or the shrill cry of the night birds piping through the clear air. Lyman L - liad been a volunteer in the lst Wlscongin regiment for tliree years, and in the lierce and bloody battle8 wliich engaged the ariny of the Tennessee he had been an active participant - a bright-faeed boy of 1-1 when he joined tbe riinks with his brother Gcorge, and left a quiot, northern home to confront the deadly lusilades thatcarried destructlou into the L'nion arm y ;it Falling Water, Lookout Moontaln and Pittsburg Landing Jle wasonly a drummer-boy, and his .-unsitive nature had received a cruel shock as he carned his brother from tliu lield one day, and sougbt in vain to stay the ;i inisun bloml whlcli Irickled away the lif'e that had ever been dcartohim. Ün thia particular night a general feeling of anticipation and dread pervnded the camp. Around the dying embers of the balf-extinguüibed lires groups of soldiers sat thoughtfully and speculateuon the chances of the niorrow, and the probable result of the impenc'.ing battle. In thi.s grotip sat the youthful drummer boy, siluntly gazing into the lireliglit, while his tboughts reverted to a lonely grave covcrwl by hiuown hands, where his soldier brother rested; of a mother who was placed away in a nortliern cliurch yard bet'ore his young heart knew whftt it was to sorrow. His thoughts returned to the home of his childhood, to his aged father, and sisters waiting expectantly to see liis tuce once more. A soiled letter in his pocket told of the joyous preparatioo they were maktng for his return, and the loving welcome tliat would greet liim after ïeceiving his discharge. líefore lite lincy come 11 picture of tTie liappiness in store ior liim, and witli his fingers on the drum before liim he tapped the num&èrordays before Gis time ezpired. With hopeful thoulits palntinK bright rltlom ot tbs future, lic threw liis tired body on the ground, his drum by liis iide, uud feil into a gentle ïlamber. Wiüle the drummer-boy alept peacefullv and the camp was hushed, an unseen tnrin bent over the chlldlsh figure breathing the low whiiper in his ear: "Lytnan, niy sou, your discharge will come to-morrow." Startled, he awoke, and rubbiug liis eyes, looked about the camp to sue who had called liini. All wastill; the fire had burned out, and the playf ui wind was scatteiing the deadcned aslies in whirling eddics. liis companion was sleeping souuüly by his sidt', and ai'ound him the bn - of the ri'iinent were reaUnff thi'ir tiied Ihnbs after the long and weary inarch. Again he covered lus boyish head in the ai my blanket and once more forgot the hard realitii'S of e. soldier's lile in a happy diram of home. Once more the murniurinjr echo of the niother'rt voice sounded in his c ar: "Lvinan! Lynuui, my sou!" ''his lic was UKiroiifThly awakc and arousing his comrade, asked if he had heaid a voice calling. "JNo," was the rcply; "you have been dreamin." Satisiicd witli the explauation, the lired boy was, toon aslcep. Agaln the loving voice snundcd nearer, and the words, "Lynian. J,yman!" were borne on the still air to his senses. "Is Ihat you, inother''' iiisliiictively asked the startled dreainer. "Yes, niy son," responded the unscen gttardbh; "your discharge WfH contt uniinrow." The luorning sun foimd the forcea already engaged in om' of the dcadliest battles of the war. Kank lifter rank of the brave men went down before the fatal volleyi as thcy charged the enemy's front, and at each advance llie lields were strewn with deud and dying. Witli a ntwket in hi.s boyisli bands, the drammer-boy Jolned the waverins ranki of hi.s regiment, uow cut to pieces in tbc onslauht, and folloved tbc ihattered standard into the thickest of tbfe li.iibt. Tlic starn and atripes, wavlng over the licads of the nii-ii, disappcan-,! for a moment, and the color-bearer ay dead at the druniiner's leet. the proêtrate (Jag, the drummer-boy pressed on wiib a shout. Blood-stalned men lorgot their wouuds as tlicy saw thecourageous lad, hl dram ttrapped to back, charging at tl. l'i and cluiiTvil hini on. OHicjersaiidmei gaztd witb udmiration at tho example o courage, and follöwéd thelr youthful hero une ascended the fatal rampurts. LymanL pressed onvvard, and wa plAiitlng the llajr on the eneiny's worka wlien a heavy tlnul struck with u crushimr blow uu Hik nfero'a breatt. He stajrgem and feil, and as a comrade bent to ald hin witb a word of eocouragement, tho boy's l.ritrlit ayos l.,lil „,, ,„!!„, ,tly „,„i i,„ wliispeicd: "I see it now. My mother OUM to dm lasi nigbt and tok] me my discliar;u would come on the inorrow." The soft Mlveringeyellds grew faint and weak, the cTifkiUb wliite üngersclaspcd the itickg anrt tha helpluss arm encirclud the silent drum. The shouts of rictory dibd avvay in tlie distancc is the head feil back. The silent frame auivered, a peaceful smile gatheied on tlie bloodless lips. The eyes dOMd, and with i short expirlng breath the brave drammer-boy of the lst Wisconsin regiment had reeolved the final disoharge on the inorrow.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News