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The Centerarian's Story Part 4 by Walt Whitman
The General watch'd them from this hill;
They made repeated desperate attempts to burst their environment;
Then drew close together, very compact, their flag flying in the
But O from the hills how the cannon were thinning and thinning them!
It sickens me yet, that slaughter!
I saw the moisture gather in drops on the face of the General;
I saw how he wrung his hands in anguish.
Meanwhile the British maneuver'd to draw us out for a pitch'd battle;
But we dared not trust the chances of a pitch'd battle.
We fought the fight in detachments;
Sallying forth, we fought at several points--but in each the luck was
Our foe advancing, steadily getting the best of it, push'd us back to
the works on this hill;
Till we turn'd, menacing, here, and then he left us.
That was the going out of the brigade of the youngest men, two
Few return'd--nearly all remain in Brooklyn.
That, and here, my General's first battle;
No women looking on, nor sunshine to bask in--it did not conclude
Nobody clapp'd hands here then.