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A Fun Look At The Western Way Of Life.

1284 words - 5 pages

A Day That Wouldn't EndOnce again, I spent my day on a forty-mile forced march. The Sabbath is not viewed during war if it is at all in the army. The morning was hectic, as the bugle sounded we had been given thirty minutes notice to gather our belongings and fall in rank. We broke camp unexpectedly which meant taking everything we could carry with us. In the early morning hours, a cool breeze blew but it died down as the temperature rose the consequences almost became unbearable the sun was like a branding iron pressing against our backsides and sweat was pouring off my forehead. We were clothed in woolen uniforms during the hottest part of summer. There was a distinct aroma of perspiration floating back from the men ahead of me informing us we were all in need of a bath. Our company had an enduring smell as if instead of tents we had been living in a pigsty. My forty-pound knapsack weighed heavily upon my back and shoulders as if I was carrying a bolder and I had a rifle with bayonet besides. After awhile a man can begin to feel like a pack mule carrying such a heavy burden, it is not hard to make a private feel like an ass. Men staggered and then began falling behind, exhaustion made it hard to keep up. A man would be helped to his feet as he struggled to continue but eventually some of the men just gave out. I saw many of my comrades fall out to the side of the column waiting to be picked up by the coming ambulance; I'm sure we lost a few men to sunstroke, not all of them could be saved. The strong stench of whisky drifted back in our direction; some of the older men must have had a taste of forbidden liquor having stashed away during our last inspection.We did not know where this would be taking us whether to a battlefield to again face the enemy, to a defensive position to guard Union territory or only to move camp for reasons unbeknownst to us. Privates were never told more than they needed to know they were expected to follow orders without question. On the battle field at times "left of the general" or "right of the general", and "flank advance... charge!" was all we ever heard. I don't know, I'm not one to judge but it might be better that way. I mean not knowing what we're about to encounter, we have had enough deserters as it is, that and casualties are depleting our numbers.It seemed we marched forever before our first break, by then our canteens were bone dry our throats and parched lips were anxious to get rid of the dust. After we were given the order to halt and break rank we savagely dug into our haversacks and devoured our meager rations. Men raced to the river as fast as their tired limbs could take them acting as if the water could up and disappear. On the way some tripped falling face first in the mud. Others waded waist deep to cool off soaking their aching feet or took a brisk swim. When the lasts soldiers got to the river the water was a muddy brown and not fit to drink. They had to trudge a ways upstream to find decent...

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