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The Dead Man By The Road-side

The Dead Man By The Road-side image
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Near the mile-stone, four railes oul from Frauklin, I saw for the first time s rebe1 corpí-e. There were severa! wng ons, men ou borsebiick, and a few strag. gling soldiers rceting themselves near by Away to the left clouds of smoke oould be seeu risiñg from our batteries and the rebel oanuoo, who were then engaged in a deadly struggle near the base of tLe distant bilis. The pike here was euelosed on both sides by a fine stnne wall. - ïhe dead soldier lay with his head to the wall, stiff atid stark, his feet stretched out toward the road, A bullet had entered under his right ear and come out beneath the left, where some oí his brains could be seen hanging down. - The stones around his head were basmeaied with blood. His Inst ration lay beside hiño - a chunk of yelloiv corncake, and a very fat, raw piece of pork. A man of twenty-five, ciad in the coarse gray rebel tmit, his left arm lying on the ground along his side, his right arm resting on his broast, with light brown hair, an j short cut reddish beard and moustaehe ; his blue eyes, glassy and vaeaut, stared at the skies with a ghastly gaze. Thus he had lab for a wholo day and night, no one pitying, do one burying him, do friend to close bis eyes. But he had been touched by some uuhallowed hand, for his pocket were turned inside out. 1 hoped that tïiis deed was doiM) by no snldier of our; but I feared that t was before I left the ■pot. I had been on a battle-field before, and I had lnoked on thousaads of wounded men elsewhere, but t happened that waa the first rebel corpse that I had een. I got off my horse and stood near the dead man. I had hardly written a few notes, ere a boy of ton or twelve, ofEoerV servaut, who was riding along, came op, checked his horse, and iooked down upon the corpse. " Ah I you tbought you would eat your dinner in Naghville, did you?" said be in a mocktog tone, speaking to ihe dead man The stiff lipa, the fixed eyes, the dead ear, nor moved, nor flashed" nor heard. But I was shooked at this hideoua speech from so young a boy. " Look here, boy,"- I do not think he liked that title - "the dead should be treated with respect. May ba you will lie one day like him, with no one to pity you. If he was a rebel, he is dead now, and- " He ought to be," said the young gcamp, angrily, aod he spurred hig horse and starled. I did not try to go on, for I saw that he, too, was one of the victimg of the war already, like the other, beyond any help of mine. . I was grestly moved with pity for the rebel, aud turning to a soldier on horseback beside me, I said that I thought orne one ougbt to olose the dead man's eyes. " Oh, he's well enough," was the gruff response. I suspected that the soldier was a Tennesseean, and determined to try to touch his heart. " Well, I don't know," I said ; " I pitj the Southern eoldiers; I care mighty little for their officers ; they went in hen they knew better ; but the common people were consoript d- they had no ohoice. Tbe Tcnneanee boys in our army wero most of them foroed into the rebel army, and there are not anv better Union tuen iu the whole country." Not 3 word. He looked away. I saw that I might now do nafeiy, and without arousing any mispioion of my own loyulty, wh;itmy heart urged me tö do for the puor rebel. I kuelt down and 8hut bis nye-, and theu rode off, And as I thought hat if tbe war went on, perhaps a Northern boy I krew might yet lie, stark aud tiiï, as thismau how lay, on soiae Southern high wa . witb no one to pity bim or to close hin eyee; and that, in some far away log hut, a young widow or a lovinp mother might son have to woep for thia n;w mude corpse that rny hand hd touched, Isaw altnost au jittle for some minutes un the gla8y eves of the rebel soldier had seen sinoe the bullct gave him hjs last long furlough. L3C T morrow those that are now gay may be nad - thoae now walking the avenue of pleHPure may be subjects of sorrow- those oq Ihp mountaii) eummit may be in the valley.- thut rosy cheefc may havo the lüy hue- the Rtrong may faher - death may have oorne. JC3C The regular greenback ourreDcy of the Treasury of the United State has scarcely varied from Í433,000,000 ih the past aino moóihi.


Old News
Michigan Argus