After Spotsylvania - One Long Burial Trench

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Robert Gray

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
It fell to the duty of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery of General Tyler's division to bury the men they killed in the sharp battle of May 18, 1864, and here they are near Mrs. Allsop's barn digging the trench to hide the dreadful work of shot and shell. No feeling of bitterness exists in moments such as these. What soldier in the party knows but what it may be his turn next to lie beside other lumps of clay and join his earth-mother in this same fashion in his turn. But men become used to work of any kind, and these men digging up the warm spring soil, when their labor is concluded, are neither oppressed nor nerve-shattered by what they have seen and done. They have lost the power of experiencing sensation. Senses become numbed in a measure; the value of life itself from close and constant association with death is minimized almost to the vanishing point. In half an hour these very men may be singing and laughing as if war and death were only things to be expected, not reasoned over in the least.

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR IN TEN VOLUMES
Frances T. Miller - Editor in Chief - The Review of Reviews Co.
1911

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
I don't mean to side track the thread, this write up made me wonder who came away from the war without a shattered nervous system- PTSD. I'm not sure I agree with what was written, though- something about these men just, plain looks awfully ' heavy ' somehow.

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I don't know. Men's faces seem to be registering a kind of hopeless horror and maybe pity, too. That looks to have been a young man, maybe a boy who will be buried, two men are looking down at him. We can't imagine. I realize images of deceased can be frowned on by internet watchers but we sure need to see this. What happens when we're so divided we start shooting at each other.
 
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