'Union Solider Recounts the Burning of Atlanta'

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/08/union-solider-recounts-the-burning-of-atlanta/61101/