Hello and welcome to day 8 of The 12 Days of Christmas! Click here for more Christmas fun!
And now, we return to Germany for part five of Stille Nacht. Let’s see how our warring soldiers are getting along…
Part Five: Christmas Dinner
Marta took the pot from over the fire and placed it on the table. “Everyone have a seat!” Marta and Hilde sat on a bench together at the head of the table. Lars, Harold, and Stefan sat on one side of the table, Sarge, Adler, and Rudi on the other.
“Join me in prayer, please.”
The soldiers bowed their heads and Marta began to pray.
Rudi whispered, “We thank You, Lord, for bringing us together peacefully in this terrible war.”
Adler glanced at him, then closed his eyes once more as Rudi continued to translate Marta’s prayer. “Please bless this dinner and the little things that we have tonight. Help us to promise to be friendly to each other if at all possible, Lord. And let this terrible war end, so we can all go home very soon…”
Rudi’s voice cracked and he turned his face away. Adler stared hard at his plate as Rudi finished, “…In Jesus Holy Name I pray, Amen.”
No one spoke or made a move to dish out the food. Sarge glanced over at Lars in time to see him swipe at his eyes. Harold wasn’t even attempting to hide his feelings, though he remained quiet as ever. Sarge exhaled deeply as he felt moisture trailing down his own cheeks.
Hilde looked up at her mother. “Why are they crying?”
Stefan stood and stepped away from the table, fumbling in his pocket for a kerchief as he opened the door. When he returned, he mumbled, “Sure is cold outside,” hoping no one would notice his flushed face.
Adler cleared his throat as the food, at last, was passed around. “Um, Rudi, ask Harold who he’s got at home waiting for him, will ya?”
Rudi smiled and told Harold what Adler had said. Harold stared at Adler for a moment, stunned that he was talking to him. “I…um…my mother…and three sisters. I don’t know where Willi and Papa are. You?”
Adler nodded slowly, chewing a bite of bratwurst. “My wife and twins I haven’t met yet. A boy and girl.”
Rudi swallowed a bite of food before informing Harold of Adler’s answer.
Stefan looked up. “Twins? I’m a twin!” He clamped his hand over his mouth. His mother had told him never to mention that over the last few years. Why, he wasn’t sure.
Lars patted his shoulder. “No one will tell your secret, Stefan. We like you too much.”
“What’s the big deal with being a twin?” Sarge asked once the exchange had been translated.
Lars looked at Rudi and said something. Rudi grimaced. “We have a leader with some very strange curiosities. Hitler has had numerous tests done on twins…I don’t know the extent, but if one is a twin, they keep quiet about it.” He jerked his head toward Stefan. “He doesn’t know anything about that. I grew up with his older brother and I promised I’d sorta shield him.”
“Is there no end to that moron’s madness?” Adler muttered, taking another bite of soup.
Rudi lowered his head. “Perhaps, along with war, we should ban his name from conversation too.”
“I’m for that!” Sarge agreed.
Stefan began to cough again, his whole body shuddering. Marta stood and came to his side, offering him more water. “What’s wrong with him?” Adler asked.
“Lung infection,” Rudi replied. “We have no medicine for him.”
Adler winced as Stefan pressed a blood spotted handkerchief to his mouth. “How long has he been like that?”
“About a week now,” Rudi said as Stefan stepped away from the table. “I don’t know what to do for him.”
Adler glanced at Sarge, then stood and left the table. He rummaged through his pack. “Aha, here's where you’ve been hiding.” He pulled out a small glass bottle and held it over his head in triumph. In French, he asked Marta for a spoon.
Adler measured out a dose of the liquid in the bottle. Lars narrowed his eyes and glanced at Rudi. “What is that?” Rudi asked as Adler walked toward Stefan.
“It’s some medicine that I can’t pronounce, but I had a lung infection last month and this stuff helped. Some housewife in France gave it to me.”
Lars reached for the bottle and scanned the label. “Hmm!” He nodded and Adler helped Stefan somehow get the medicine down without spewing it everywhere.
Lars handed the bottle back to Adler. “No, y’all keep that,” Adler said, pushing the bottle back into Lars’ hands.
Rudi tried to translate. “What does y’all mean?”
“You all,” Sarge said with a laugh. “It’s a word from my part of the States. I guess I’m rubbing off on Adler.”
“Well, you’ve picked up a few things from me too,” Adler defended. “Like eating bagels for one, hmm!”
Lars looked at Adler as they all sat back down at the table. “Bagels? Rudi, ask this man if he is Jewish.”
Oh, dear! Sounds like trouble might be brewing! Tune in tomorrow to see what happens next!
Merry Christmas and welcome back for part four of my WWII Christmas story. If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here, here and here 😊 Enjoy! (Also, click here for more Christmas fun!)
Part 4: Rudi, Walking Wounded
“Don’t let him touch Joey, Sarge!” Adler said, coming to stand between Joey and Rudi.
“Are you a doctor?” Sarge asked.
“No, but I do have some medical training,” Rudi replied. “I was wounded once. Walking wounded men help the doctors. Maybe I can help him somehow.”
Sarge pushed Adler out of the way. “Let him examine him. He can’t hurt Joey with us standing right here.”
Rudi sat on the edge of the bed and opened his pack of medical supplies. “He’s got sulfur packs,” Sarge said, very pleased.
Rudi smiled at Joey and patted him on the shoulder. “Got hurt up, did you? May I take a look?”
Joey looked up at Sarge. “It’s okay, Joey.”
Joey slowly nodded his head. Rudi smiled again and removed the bandage Marta had rigged up for him. “Let’s take a look at this…” Joey tensed, fighting the urge to push Rudi away.
Stefan edged closer to them, craning his neck to get a better look at the wound. Harold, keeping to the back of the group tried to get a look too. Rudi shook his head and glanced up at Sarge. “My assistants,” he teased. “Stefan, bring me a light.”
“Jawohl.” Stefan took the lamp Marta offered him and held it over Joey, his hands shaking.
“Harold, you hold it,” Rudi said. He took a closer look at Joey’s leg. “The cold has kept it from becoming infected. You are very lucky, Pvt. Fuller. You’ll be just fine with some good rest and nourishment. I’m going to put some sulfur powder on the wound and dress it properly. You just lie still and relax, alright?”
Joey nodded and bit his lip, bracing himself for more pain.
Rudi worked fast and before Joey knew it, he was bandaged up properly and the pain was beginning to ease off.
Marta was again working over the fire, adding a few more potatoes and mushrooms. “I have a few bratwurst, if you want them,” Lars offered, pulling the items from his food pack.
“I too,” Harold whispered, fishing out his own.
Sarge dug into his pack and pulled out a can of baked beans and a second of mystery meat. Adler opened his pack and scrounged around. He pulled out a wrapped item and placed it on the table. Hilde furrowed her brow and unwrapped the cloth. “Mama! The American brought stollen! He brought stollen! Oh, you are my favorite!” she said, jumping up to hug Adler.
Her affection startled Adler. Cautiously, he placed a hand on her shoulder. “I take it she likes that stuff?”
Marta nodded. “Stollen is a Christmas tradition here. Where did you get it?”
Adler shifted. “Found it.” The German soldiers exchanged glances but said nothing. They knew he had found it on a dead soldier. How many times had they, on the verge of starvation at times, taken from their own comrades in arms and the fallen enemy troops to stay alive?
“Never mind that,” Marta said, handing Adler a knife. “Would you mind slicing it up for us? You can put it on this plate.”
Adler nodded and sank the knife into the bread like loaf. Sarge and Lars helped Marta set on the table what seemed like every dish in the house. Adler glanced at Rudi, who was timing Joey’s pulse. “How’s it sound?”
Rudi shrugged. “It’s a little fast, but that’s to be expected. He’s had quite the excitement this evening.” Rudi tucked Joey’s hand back under the covers, stood and stretched. He looked Adler up and down. “You look sturdy. Are you a carpenter?”
Adler shook his head. Rudi arranged the stollen on the plate as Adler continued to cut the slices. “What do you do back home?”
“Nosey aren’t you?”
Rudi furrowed his brow. “What has my nose to do with anything?”
Adler looked up at Rudi and almost smiled. “You know, you’re sticking your nose into other people’s business.”
“Oh! Oh, that makes sense!” Rudi said with a laugh. “Nosey! I like that.”
Adler shook his head and finally smiled a little. “You still didn’t tell me what you do,” Rudi reminded.
“If you must know, I’m a pushcart produce salesman and that’s probably all I’ll ever be.”
“Why? In America, you can do anything! Why would you want to be a pushcart whatever it was you said?”
“Because I’m…because where I live, no one wants to hire me. Our country has been in a depression, remember?”
“America too?” Rudi asked, surprised. “I always thought Americans had everything. Now, it really seems silly for us to fight each other, since we’ve both just come out of depressions. I remember how bad it was where I lived. We saw people pushing barrows into town filled with marks just to buy a loaf of bread.”
Adler raised an eyebrow. “Well, ours wasn’t quite like that...”
Rudi lowered his voice and said, “Maybe that’s why so many of our people were fooled by Hitler. We were so tired of living like that, we wanted change…” Rudi sighed and shook his head. “We sure got it.”
Adler grunted. “Hope you’re real happy with it. But then, things will be changing again before too long.”
Rudi nodded, his face grave. “I believe you’re right.”
And that’s all for now! Hope you are enjoying the story so far. What do you think will happen next? Stay tuned! We still have four parts to go!
 Yes or Yes Sir
Merry Christmas and Welcome back to day 5 of the 12DOC! Today, I have part 3 of Stille Nacht! We left off with Little Hilde running to answer yet another knock at the door. (Click here for part 1 and part 2) Let’s jump back into the story and see what happens next…
Part Three: No Guns on Christmas
Before Marta could stop her, Hilde had bolted up from the table and dashed over to the door, swinging it open wide. Adler jumped to his feet as Hilde screamed and backed away.
Marta pulled the child away and stepped outside. Sarge narrowed his eyes as he pointed his pistol at the door. They could just make out rapid talking. A man’s voice rose as it said, “Americanas?!”
Sweat beaded on Adler’s forehead as he gripped his carbine. If there were Krauts out there, they weren’t coming in.
Outside, Marta spoke calmly with the ranking German soldier. He and his men had become separated from their unit and needed a place to stay the night.
Marta smiled. “You can not only find shelter here, but you will also get a hot meal. That is, if you will accept our guests.”
The young soldier eyed her. “Why wouldn’t we accept them?”
“Are they Americanas?” butted in a still younger soldier.
Marta nodded, keeping her face pleasant.
The clatter of cocked weapons filled the air. Marta frowned. “This is Christmas night, sirs, and there will be no shooting around here. I have a young daughter and I will not have her more frightened than she already is. Put your guns in the wood shed, then you may come in and we will all have a nice, nice Christmas, ja?”
“What? With Americanas?” objected the second soldier.
The leader paused for a moment. He glanced back at the shortest man in their unit, who was shivering uncontrollably. “Ja. We agree. To the shed, men.”
Marta hurried inside and turned to Sarge and Adler. “We have more stranded soldiers here to stay for Christmas. We will have quite the party, oui? But you must agree to lay your weapons aside. We will have no shooting here.”
“Not happening, lady!” Adler snapped. Sarge gripped his gun tightly. This was insane!
“We know you’ve got Nazis out there, Frau. We ain’t laying down our guns especially since we have a wounded man,” Sgt. Edwards said firmly.
Marta crossed her arms. “You are in my home and if you want the shelter of it, it will be on my terms. As you can see, they too have no weapons.”
Adler took a step back as four men clad in dark gray enter the house. He glanced at Sarge. “If we put down our weapons, they’ll rush us, Sarge.”
Joey groaned on the bed, struggling to wake up after a bout of unconsciousness. “Sarge? Sarge, what’s going on?” His eyes locked on the German soldiers, his mouth falling partway open. “Sarge!”
“We don’t have much of a choice,” Sarge whispered to Adler. He laid his pistol on the table. “Do what she says.”
Adler couldn’t believe his ears as Sarge went over to the bed to calm down Joey. “You’ve lost your mind!”
“Put down your weapons, Adler. That’s an order.”
One of the German soldiers stepped up in front of him and wrenched the weapon from his hands. “You know better than to disobey your superior, Yank.” He handed the pistol and the sergeant’s to Marta. Turning back to Adler, he said, “It’s Christmas. Can’t we all just forget the war for a little while?”
Adler backed away from him with a scowl. “Maybe you can, you hund. But some of us can’t.”
“Fair enough,” said the English-speaking German. He removed his helmet and said something to his leader. The leader shrugged and removed his own helmet. Their youngest recruit, a lad of sixteen, sat before the fireplace, rubbing his hands feverishly and coughing. The final soldier stood by the door, looking frightened over the whole situation. He said something to his leader, who simply patted him on the shoulder and unlatched the chin strap on his helmet.
Sarge rejoined the group around the table as Marta returned from putting the guns outside. Hilde grabbed hold of her skirt, eyes wide.
The leader stepped forward and addressed Sarge. “Guten Abend.”
“Uh, hello,” Sarge replied. Adler backed away as one of the soldiers held out his hand. “Don’t antagonize them,” Sarge whispered as he shook hands with the soldier instead. “It’s just for one night, Adler.”
Marta stepped forward. “Well, this brings back pleasant memories! I used to teach advanced mathematics classes and I had mostly boys.” She began to interpret what she had said to Sarge and Adler, but the English speaking German translated for her.
The leader smiled and looked at Marta. “Well then, shall we have roll call, Frau…I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your last name.”
“Engel. Frau Marta Engel. And ja, we should get to know one another. Why don’t we start? I’m Marta Engel,” she announced, raising her voice for all to hear. “And this is my daughter, Hilde.”
The leader faced the American soldiers. “Sgt. Lars Baumann.”
“I’m Cpl. Rudolph Meier,” the interpreter told them. “Most call me Rudi.”
The soldier by the door mumbled his name. Rudi grinned. “That’s Pvt. Harold Dietrich. He’s a little shy, even around his fellow soldiers.”
The leader turned to the lad, who had stood up from the fire place and taken off his over coat. “Tell them your name.”
“Pvt. Stefan Graf.” He eyed the Americans wearily. “Will they tell us their names?”
Adler scowled as Sarge said, “I’m Sgt. Chad Edwards.” He turned to Adler and nodded.
“Adler, Micah T. Private and my serial number is-”
“What? Might as well get it over with! As soon as they get their rifles and lugers back, they’ll hogtie us and turn us over to the SS!”
Sarge groaned and rubbed his forehead. “Will you quit being such a jerk and just enjoy a Christmas truce when it’s handed to you?”
Rudi bit his lip. “I know it’s not going to be easy, but we can at least try to ignore our differences for one night, especially Christmas night. I for one am tired of all the fighting and will gladly take an opportunity to forget it!”
Adler shrugged and turned his back to the soldiers. Sarge shrugged. “We can give it a try. Don’t look like any of us has much of a choice. But let it be understood: tomorrow, when we get our weapons, we promise not to shoot at one another or take anyone prisoner.”
Rudi translated his ultimatum to Lars, who nodded and shook hands with Sarge. “Agreed.”
Joey began to moan again, thrashing about on the bed and begging for relief. Rudi looked over Sarge’s shoulder. “Who’s he?”
“Pvt. Joey Fuller. He was shot two days ago. He’s very weak.”
Rudi turned to his pack and said something to Lars, who nodded in agreement. “Here we are.” He pulled out a metal box with a German red cross on the lid. “May I take a look at him?”
Would you let an enemy combatant provide medical care for your wounded comrade? Find out what Sarge does next time. Don’t forget to stop by Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun!
From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, the Marine Corps has been there, ever ready to defend America from any foe who dares to mess with us. Having lived near a Marine base and being a member of a church were nearly every man on the membership role has been or is a Marine, I've had quite a bit of exposure to Marine Corps culture. It's unique, like every other Military branch. For example, don't call them an ex-Marine or a former Marine, because "Once a Marine, always a Marine!"
They like to say that there are two kinds of people in the world: Marines and those who wish they were Marines. They found out this wasn't true anymore when they met me, lol! You could not pay me to go to Parris Island (MC Boot Camp in South Carolina)!
Well, instead of loading you down with tons of facts about the Corps, I decided to share a bit of flash fiction I wrote last year for a writing contest. The main character is a Marine and it showcases his relationship with his siblings...oh that I could tell you more about that! Anyway, here we go!
They say you learn from your mistakes. Not always.
Salem Springfield well knew that Becca, his sister, was a jumpy person. Very jumpy. And when startled, Becca often over reacts. Like the time when they were younger and he threw a rubber snake at her while they were working in the garden. She had screamed and thrown her hoe…barely missing Salem’s head. There were many other such incidents…far too many to list now.
Well today, they had been conveniently forgotten. He had returned earlier than expected from deployment and was finally going to get to do a surprise homecoming to his parents and siblings. After doing a little reconnaissance, he found out from a neighbor that everyone was home, except Becca and their younger brother Jason. They had run to the store for some ice cream and should be just about home.
It was getting late when Salem ducked behind their family’s small outbuilding. He saw headlights and watched at Becca pulled her dark green Volkswagen Bug into the driveway. He grinned. It was time.
He snuck around behind her car as Jason stepped out, holding the cartons of ice cream. “I hope we got the right kind of Butter Pecan,” Jason said. “You know how particular Tim is about his ice cream.”
Becca, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat, putting her keys away and impromptu cleaning out her purse in the process, laughed and continued rifling through the pockets. “I think I got the right kind…Jason, where’s my cell phone?”
“In the cup holder where you put it earlier,” Jason called, closing his door and heading for the house.
“Thanks,” Becca laughed, unplugging the device and putting it in its proper place. Salem noticed she was carrying the purse he had gotten her for her twentieth birthday. It was a patchwork style purse, featuring four different kinds of military camo, since they had family in each of those branches.
Finally, Becca stood and closed the car door, dug through her purse to get her keys back out, locked the door and replaced the keys. She was so predictable. She placed her purse on her right shoulder and headed for the house.
Salem made his move. He silently came up behind her and touched her arm, saying, “Hey, Becca!”
It all happened so fast, Salem was completely caught off guard. Becca screamed at the top of her lungs, whirled around and sprayed Salem in the face with her infamous can of Pepper spray…the one thing Salem had forgotten about her routine. She always carried it with her.
“Oh, my eyes!” Salem gasped, tripping backwards to the ground as Becca continued to scream. Jason came barreling out of the house with Tim, Randy and Dad on his heels. Every house light in the base housing neighborhood came on, or so it seemed.
“You just stay right there!” Randy, the oldest of the Springfield boys, ordered.
“Randy, it’s me!” Salem choked, fighting the urge to rub his eyes. That would only make the situation worse.
“Salem?” Tim shouted. “What are you trying to do? Get yourself killed?” he added, shoving his pistol back into his pocket.
Becca turned as reality sunk in. “Oh, Salem! I’m so sorry!”
Mom joined her family and when she saw, aided by Jason’s flashlight, Randy helping Salem up, she immediately took control of the situation. “Get him to the kitchen sink!”
“Is everything alright?”
Dad turned and saw their neighbor MSGT. Williams shouting from his porch. With a smirk, Dad called back, “It’s all good. Just a surprise homecoming.”
Williams laughed. “Sounded more like a cat fight!”
“When pepper spray’s involved, that’s about right,” Dad replied.
“Oh no! You’ve got to tell me about this tomorrow, Doc!”
Meanwhile inside, Salem was holding his head over the sink while his mother sprayed cold water in his eyes from the sink hose.
Rachel and Mary hurried down the stairs. “What happened?” Mary asked in alarm, observing what looked like a drowning in process.
“Salem’s home,” was all Jason could manage. Mary stared at her older brothers gathered around the sink. She looked at Rachel, then Becca, who explained what had happened.
“That was real bright,” Rachel snickered, patting her younger brother on the shoulder.
Salem wrinkled his nose at her. “Who’s bright idea was it to give Becca Pepper spray?” Salem defended, drying his eyes.
Randy grinned. “Yours, remember, Jarhead? You better be glad she wasn’t carrying her Navy SEAL knife Dad bought last week!”
“You beat all, Salem,” Tim said, laughing at his brother’s red eyes, still watering from the ordeal.
“Salem, I am so sorry,” Becca lamented, her voice quite pitiful. “You really startled me! I shouldn’t be on such a hair-trigger.”
Salem shook his head and gave his younger sister a side hug. “You did exactly what you should have done in that situation. You had no reason to think it was me and not some lunatic.”
“Uh, that’s debatable,” Dad said with a chuckle. “Seems like she was dealing with a lunatic!” Everyone laughed.
“The mighty Marine taken down by a civilian girl!” Randy teased.
Mom smiled and hugged Salem tightly. “Welcome home, son! It’s so good to have you back!”
“Thanks! I was wondering if that part of my presence had been forgotten!” Salem said, hugging her back.
Welcomes and hugs were exchanged by the family, their ice cream snack turning into a welcome home celebration. Salem smiled. It was so good to be home with his family.
Dear Lord, he prayed silently, thank You for our family. Thank You for letting us get back together, all safe and sound. Please protect us in the days ahead and guide us through whatever You may choose to bring our way…and help me learn from my mistakes!...
Copyright© 2017 Ryana Lynn Miller
Ahh, the Springfield family...one of dozens of story ideas that I have :) A few things have changed in my planning for this story, but the gist is the same. And the relationship between Salem and Becca is just so adorable...I so have to write this story so someday y'all can see just how close these two are!
Anyways, happy Marine Corps Day! Hope you enjoyed this somewhat random post, lol!
Have a Blessed Day!
Hello, and happy Friday! I’m so glad you stopped by again to visit with me 😉 Today, I have another installment of my 10 Totally Random Facts Series! (Click here to read the last one)
Antietam, one of the most controversial battles of the Civil War. For some reason, people cannot agree on who won this battle. The Union troops were the ones who retreated at the end of the battle. But the Confederates withdrew from the state the next day. I believe this means the South won the battle, but the North won the campaign, but that’s just my opinion 😉
Anywho, let’s get on with today’s post!
1. Dunker Church. In Sharpsburg, Maryland, where the Battle of Antietam took place, there is a little country church known as Dunker Church. When we visited this site, one of the first things we noticed was that sweet whitewashed church! It’s funny name actually came from people teasing the church members because they believed in full immersion baptism! 😄 And by the way, I do too! It’s the only way that shows the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ!⛪
2. The Road with a Rut. Known today as Bloody Lane, the locals called a rutted road outside of town Sunken Road. It was here that some of the bloodiest fighting (up to this point in the war) took place. The Confederate-held their ground for several hours, but ultimately were driven from the road by the men of Francis Barlow.
3. General Who? While researching for my novel, Our Heritage to Save, I watched a documentary about Antietam. On it, they told of an Irish Union General named Robert Marr…or so I thought. Right before I took my book to press, I watched a video by American Battlefield Trust about Civil War Mispronunciations. On the video, they spoke of a general named Meagher. It was the same man! I was completely confused! But the man went on to explain, that the man’s name was pronounced Marr, but spelled totally different 😑 Thank you American Battlefield Trust for saving me from that embarrassment!
4. The other John Brown. John Brown Gordon was a Confederate officer, commanding men in Bloody Lane. Gordon suffered not one, not two, but five wounds before he was forced the leave the field. The disabling wound was to his face, but it didn’t prove to stop him. Thanks to his wife nursing him back to health, Gordon survived and fought until Lee surrendered. Later, he went on to serve in multiple political offices representing the state of Georgia. (The more famous John Brown was a radical abolitionist who took things a little too far! He was executed for treason in 1859.
5. Modified bandages. Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you run out of bandages, spare material and everything else you can find, turn to a ready material: corn husks. That’s exactly what the doctors and nurses of the Confederate army did when their supply ran out. Apparently, it worked! 😐
6.) Don’t mess with a hungry Texan! Gen. John Bell Hood and his men arrived in Sharpsburg, exhausted and on a two-day empty stomach. Just as they were fixing their food, they were called into the fighting at the cornfield. They proceeded, with heavy casualties, to route the famed Iron Brigade of the Union army. I assume that following the charge and licking their wounds, they returned to their meal.🥓🥔🍞
7.) Clash of officers. Prior to the fighting at Antietam, Gen. Stonewall Jackson had taken Harper’s Ferry, Va. from federal troops. During this, he went to the men of Gen. A.P. Hill (who was under his command) and ordered them to pick up their pace. Hill was furious that Jackson had bypassed him to give the order and offered his sword to Jackson. (This was an act of giving up one’s command, a show of indignation.) To his surprise, Jackson accepted it and placed him under arrest until further notice. Jackson hoped this would teach Hill a lesson. While this rift was never mended, Hill did obey orders when he was told to march to Sharpsburg with his men on the double. He ended up winning the battle for the South!
8.) The Woman. As the federal Irish brigade marched into the field at Antietam, an Irish woman cheered them on with shouts of “Godspeed, me boys!” and “Erin go braugh!” (Irish for Ireland until the end.) I believe she was a nurse if my memory serves me right…anyway, she certainly was patriotic for her cause!😂
9.) Who said anything about empty guns? Towards the end of the day, C.S. Gen. James Longstreet’s men were out of ammo and had lost many men. In fact, the General was holding his aides’ horses so they could keep a cannon firing on the federal troops! The federals didn’t know that the men on the hill had no bullets and retreated. Why? They men bluffed, waving their flags and rifles in the air, taunting the Union troops to dare and fight them. When General Lee asked Longstreet where his men were, Longstreet replied, “There. And they haven’t a cartridge among them.”
10.) It’s me, Dad! At one point during the fighting, General Lee was giving orders, and a young soldier in the artillery approached him, covered in soot and grime. The young man had to introduce himself before Lee figured out who was talking to him. It was his youngest son, Robert “Rob” Lee Jr. 😃
So there you have it, 10 random facts about Antietam!
And now for an excerpt from Our Heritage to Save!
An Irishman hurried forward to help uncover the Irish colors. They were to lead a renewed attack on the sunken road. Caldwell’s men were to follow. The Irish brigade was ready to fight. They were going to show the world what they were willing to do for what they loved.
“Irish Brigade,” Gen. Meagher called, “Forward, March!” The soldiers talked in low voices as they neared a corn field.
“We’ll be a seein’ what the Rebs think after we get through with them, we will,” an older man said. “We’ll wallop them, aye lad?”
A youthful voice replied, “Aye, we will, soon as we get there.” They pushed itchy corn leaves out of their faces.
Next thing they knew, the Irish were being fired upon. They loaded their smoothbore muskets and fired into the North Carolinians. They weren’t even in sight of the sunken road, but already, they were taking casualties.
A fence was in the way, preventing their advance. Several men raced forward and tore the split rails down. Few returned to the ranks.
Gen. Meagher knew he had to rally his troops. He rode to the front. “Three cheers for the Army of the Potomac!”
“Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!”
“Raise the colors an’ follow me!” Meagher’s men followed him and continued on to the sunken road. The Confederates were waiting for them.
Richard watched the hill intently. At first, all he saw was the tops of the flagpoles. Then slowly, the Irish green and the red, white and blue of Old Glory came into sight.
The Confederate flag bearer lifted the St. Andrew’s Cross resolutely into the air. They could now see the Irish Brigade advancing. The Confederates opened fire.
The Irish put up a fair fight, but the Confederates had the better position. The Irish couldn’t seem to keep up. They sustained heavy losses, nearly half of their force.
Where were Caldwell’s men? Why weren’t they coming to help? Gen. Meagher rode back to see what the holdup was. Coming across one of his officers, Francis Barlow, Meagher begged him to come to their aid.
Barlow refused, for Gen. Caudwell had not given them orders. Meagher dejectedly returned to his men.
Back at the sunken road, the Southern troops began to beg Col. Gordon to leave the field. He’d been wounded at least three times, but he refused to leave. Richard grimaced as he saw their own mounting casualties.
The tide of victory had shifted. The Irish were being reinforced. With no reinforcements of their own, things didn’t look good for the Southern boys.
Col. Gordon kept giving orders. He’d sustained four wounds, but refused to leave his men. But he hadn’t anticipated the fifth wound. This wound was to his cheek. He fell forward, dazed. He was carried from the field and Col. J.N. Lightfoot took his place.
Richard glanced up as an Alabama regiment took off running away from the sunken road. Then another one began to retreat. His unit began looking around. Had they missed an order to retreat?
Suddenly, all of Major Harmon’s men began to run. “We have no orders to retreat!” Richard shouted. “Stop!” He grabbed a soldier by the arm. “Come back and hold the line!”
“Let go of me!” the soldier shouted and raised his rifle, intending to bring it down on Richard. Richard jumped out of the way just in time and crashed into a Union soldier who had charged the works.
Richard jumped up and fired at the advancing blue coats. He pushed another away from him with his rifle and was turning to a third, when he realized he was the only one left in the trench.
“Hey? Where’d everyone go?” He suddenly found himself tangling with a Yankee, trying to break free and escape. The Yank threw him to the ground. Richard rolled over and covered his head while trying to regain his feet.
Gen. J.C. Caldwell is sometimes viewed as a coward, but his days in the army aren’t over. His day will come in 1863.
 Thomas Meagher (pronounced “Marr”) was the commander of the Irish Brigade. He never got over his defeat, and eventually resigned in 1863.
 In 1864, he will be the only general to launch a successful attack at Cold Harbor.
 Colonel who replaced Col. Gordon on the field. It is controversial as to whether he ordered a retreat or not.
Annnnnd you'll have to buy the book to find out what happened :)
Until Next Time,
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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