Chapter 6

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

Chapter 6 – This poem, Longstreet’s Men, introduces some of the officers in General James Longstreet‘s First Corps like General George Pickett and General Lewis Armistead.

220px-James_Longstreet General Longstreet

Chapter 6 – Longstreet’s Men 


On the eve of June 30th

Camped west of Gettysburg

Very close to the outskirts

Of the town of Chambersburg


Was General James Longstreet

Old Pete he was called

The Old Warhorse

Burly strong and tall


Full bearded, brawny

Ominous somber mood

Slow talking man

At times rather crude


Withdrawn as of late

Very sad was Old Pete

Just this past winter

Lost three children in a week


All died of fever

And he surely missed

Something one can’t get over

In your mind they still exist


Something foreboding

Bothered him that night

Something very strange

Really was not right


Where was J.E.B. Stuart?

“Without cavalry eyes we cannot see”

Would he really let down

Robert E. Lee?


They passed around some whiskey

As they roasted campfire meat

Told many brave stories

Confident they couldn’t be beat


Robertson and Barksdale were there

Texas’ and Mississippi’s morale high as a kite

All experienced veterans

Ready and full of fight


General Pickett hailed from Virginia

A division commander plumed

All curls and feathers

And smelling of perfume


Old Pete’s permanent boy

Never growing old

Not the brightest man

But dependable and bold


A temperate man

He wouldn’t drink liquor

For he had promised his dear young Sallie

And for her his heart flickered


Then there was General Lewis Armistead

Oldest brigade commander of them all

Dear friend of Union General Hancock

Now on opposite sides of this brawl


He hoped to meet Old Win once again

To see him and to greet

A truce of sorts if permitted

A chance for them to meet


The night faded

And all became black

Soon they would all wake before dawn

Ready to attack


Go to Chapter 7

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