'Union Solider Recounts the Burning of Atlanta'

by Andy HallUnion Solider Recounts the Burning of Atlanta

by S. Thomas Summers

A local boy said the smoke was darker
than the walls of a heifer's ass,

but Gen. Sherman strolled
right through it as if molded
from soot. The haze
gathered behind him
like the Reaper's cloak.

Hiking out, heat stabbed
our backs like bayonets;
Remember Atlanta boys,
the general barked.
Even hell's on our side.

From then on I assumed
I was marching
behind Satan himself.
Sin or not, I was pleased as pie.

S. Thomas Summers blogs original Civil War poetry at Lint in My Pocket—Artillery on the Ridge. Used with permission.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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