Sure, there were tons of famous and some not so famous or more infamous skirmishes and battles for the South. The small piece of hilly terrain in somewhere eastern Kentucky butted us right into the mountain crevasse and the elements where hell. Three pair of socks at least every 6 hours of you could lose your toes to the black. Frostbite, famine and of course the enemy made our lives hell.
Our supply line had been broken miles back and ammo was becoming scarce as I witnessed men fastening their bayonets in lieu of what was surely to come. The air was quiet; the morning thick with dew and mist, whence even the squirrels had retreated this ominous morning. Every man knew it. No scuttle-butt pep talk from any Sgt. was going to shake the fear from these men, the Yanks waited only beyond the trees and the gully they currently formed in, probably breaking fast and applying their wares of death and terror. Oh God the waiting, the long tiring….on edge like a worm on a hook…waiting.
When dawn could give little more the drums and artillery started the barrage. Dirt, trees and men flew willy-nilly into the ditches and saplings surrounding us in the tight gulley. We struggled valiantly to bring our muzzles around and plant aim for just one enemy. The cyclones of impacted mortar fire churned the dirt relentlessly making visibility near zero at times. I crawled to the the parabola of the ditch, feeling exposed and indeed so, nonetheless I saw one: a Union soldier running full speed, bayonet fastened and leveled as he charged our embankment.
I brought the old muzzle loader around remembered my breathing as a shell exploded at what seemed only feet to my right, throwing me clear and no longer did I see the charging soldier. Now I had problems, well one problem…my right leg was mangled. The artillery shell had done its job and now mobility was impossible. Grasping the rifle and it’s one shot close to his chest he reached for the loose bayonet and managed to attach it upon the end of his rifle, and not a second to soon! Suddenly perhaps even the tenacious Union officer had persevered and dived over the fox hill embankment with murder and hate in his eyes, also there was a little fear, if I remember correctly. I raised my rifle in reflexive terror that did not mimic any form of ‘training’ he had received, this was brutal survival. The bayonet pierced into the diving officers exposed chest, his own bayonet plunging into the dirt inches from the Southie.
Out of raw fear and reflex, as the officer lie plunged, gravity his nemesis….the Southie shot the rifles payload. Surprisingly considering the early damp conditions the rifle bucked it’s flint and with a deafening ka-boom created an exit wound in the officer the size of a watermelon. The enemy was dead, but his leg was beginning to succumb to shock and there they were to pull him back from the lines…the corpsman. The General or Colonel of the Southern unit was able to break the back of the Northern hasty invading force allowing many southern casualties to be brought back behind the lines for ‘medical treatment. For all his lucid happiness to be alive and rescued, the trip was painful and no laudanum nor liquor was spared for his pain.
He lay in a row of patients in order of trauma and need. He was third, if the dr. didn’t break for potatoes, a smoke, or a much needed rest. No one wants to wait, no one is in a hurry, and no one wants a tired cranky doctor to amputate their body parts, yet he knew that was exactly what was coming. The non-discreet pile of sawed off bloody appendages still wearing their uniforms piled high as a man behind the surgical tent. And oh god the smell…so putrid, the flies and it seemed like pestilences waiting room….and so it was.
The surgeon sat on an old stump scarfing down a dry sandwich with dry bloody hands, besmirched in a bloody apron not very unlike a butcher back home. His hair was thinning and his brows were generous, but cruel or perhaps just jaded. He was large and over- weight, but he carried his weight like of an asset rather than a liability. An orderly stopped and quickly whispered something into his ear a s he polished off the sad sandwich and he nodded and stood to stretch to his full monstrous size. Maybe he just seemed so big from down here. They came and got Al, now I;m second in line and I really want to keep my foot. I prayed for the first time in 3 months as artillery shells exploded in the distance.
An old veteran sometime in the night left a small whittled crutch beneath my slumbering shoulder. I woke up and I was next. The orderly declared the wound, the most likely form of treatment, and desperately shot me a small weak smile while telling me, “ you are gonna be ok friend.” They lifted the litter and towards that house of horrors I was brought.
The surgeon did not look rested or in good spirits. I tensed immediately causing my pain to nearly and blessedly take me away from this, alas…it did not. I glanced at the tray of barely washed blood soaked instruments and used towels…I retched…then I saw the bonesaw…
Within in seconds I had been deposited on an operating gurney quite unceremoniously, followed by an emotionless, “Sorry buddy…” I glanced and gazed about. It was all they had said it was and worse. Screams, missing portions of living men, and so much blood. Dry blood, floor-soaking puddles and stains everywhere. This was a true charnel house. Within moments several orderlies insisting they were trying to help me held me down. I was powerless, even through the excruciating pain he couldn’t muster an inch of wiggle room…and the reason for this was unfortunately visible.
The ‘butcher’ stepped in drying his hands on a dry blood stained towel and immediately seized the menacing bonesaw from the soaking bucket.
“What’da we got her’? Another limb?” the surgeon muttered as he struck a match and lit a stub of an old cigar.
“Yes sir doctor. Lower right extremity no chance of saving the foot sir.” The nurse responded.
“Ok, lemme take a look corpsman.” The surgeon grimaced and nodded his head,
“Let’s do this. Hold him down…and good this time!” the surgeon said with exasperation.
Oh god! He’s going to cut off my foot and I can’t protest nor stop him. I’m pinned like claustrophobia, buried alive, unable to move….then it begins.
The first cut just saws the flesh right into the sinew and nerve clusters, the doctor dictated as he worked on me. As if I wanted to hear this. But even more so was the grind each time he would saw into the mangled leg bone. How deep was he at this point, surely just one or two more passes of the saw and the worst would be past, if infection didn’t kill him. Then a horror more terrible than he could have ever imagined….The surgeon, in order to avoid a major artery had to re-saw an inch higher to ensure the patients lack of blood loss and possible survival. After the mistake was overheard and the third sawing grind with the dull bonesaw, the southie found sweet solace in unconsciousness.
When he awoke the first thought beyond the speed of pain was the thought that mere yards away his leg and foot sat indiscriminately on a massive pile of appendages. Ready for the flames of tomorrow and the next set of casualties.
He closed his eyes, thanked someone for the bottle of opium, and cried as he fell into sweet, warm, addictive safety.
Sometime later he awoke to the fever and the tent flaps blustered with the cold Kentucky air. Through the burlap he heard thanks being given to the local pig butcher for helping out with the casualties. I thought I smelled the faint odor of a chewed cigar.
It was 8 years ago and I was only young, my best friend and I were walking home in a small town in Los Angeles California.
We noticed that a black van with tinted windows, trying to avoid the van we tried walking a bit faster. The vans window starting rolling down slowly, and a man whose head was almost touching the top of the roof of the van. he had a large beard with sun glasses and an old ripped up t-shirt with an American Flag on it.
He asked us if we needed a ride home, but I quickly declined.
A few days passed and I didn’t tell my father or anyone anything. I seen the man again but this time with another boy about 7 years old. The first thing I did was ask who the man was, he replied with, “I am Bryce Livingston” in a deep dark voice. It wasn’t a few seconds before I was grabbed from behind and threw into the back of his black van.
I seen many knifes and guns, I was terrified even more when I seen pictures of me changing in the girls locker room.
I looked up only to find a map of the city with addresses of every black or Mexicans house. A man with a deep voice said “Are you the one they call, Carlos?”, I calmly answered him, “yes”. It was quiet for a few moments until I heard sirens, soon I felt an increase of speed from the van I was in. The van soon crashed into a brick wall causing the man driving the car and the 7 year old boy to crash into the windshield, soon dying of the loss of blood.
The other man in the van was handcuffed by an officer named, “Levi”.
It turns out there were cameras in the area I was in when I was thrown in the big black van. The 7 year old boy was the mans son, it turned to be that the two men that kidnapped me were racist pedophiles, raping and torturing any black and Mexican in the city.
If there weren’t any cameras in that area who knows what could have happened to me.
Most nights my friends and I would prank each other by knocking and running on each other’s doors. It was great fun
Until one night I heard some one knocking. I went to the door and no one was there. I texted my friends saying “very funny guys. Knock it off. It’s like 3 in the morning”. I didn’t expect them to be awake but they were and all they said was “what do you mean the rest of us are at blakes house” (that wasn’treally his name because I don’t want to use his full name). I started to worry so I called my mum and dad. They didn’t seem to answer so I just locked the house up and went to bed.
The next night I had invited all of my friends over because they wanted to prove it wasn’t them knocking. Later that night at 3 am we all would hear knocking at the door. We all started screaming. After a while the knocking stopped. I call mum and dad to come home from the hotel immediately. My friends and I grabbed things from the kitchen to use as weapons to defend ourselves . As we watched in the backyard a man in black was standing there.
My mum and dad arrived home and knocked him out. And called police. They arrested the man but fined my dad for physical hurt. But we are thankful to this day we called for help
The only thing I didn’t to tell police is that I knew this guy from Instagram. He had followed me recently, and had been constantly requesting to message me. I followed him back because he sent me a video and I was too curious not to see it, but it was just a video of me as he followed me from a distance. Creepy, right? Never let anyone you don’t know follow you.
I’m a college student and I love the college I go to. Right in front of it is a huge park perfect for students to study so it usually has at least ten people scattered around. On my way to college one morning I decided to take a longer route of walking through the park as I had woken up extra early and it was a nice day out. As I was walking I looked to my left to see a beautiful girl sitting alone on a bench reading a book, studying I assumed. She had a dated, 2ooo kind of style which made her stand out and it was quite charming.I assumed she was also a student at the college. She glanced up from her book and caught me staring. She smirked and I immediately looked away, feeling my cheeks turn a bright red shade.
The next day I decided to take the long route again because it was also a great day, but i secretly hoped to see the girl a second time. As I walked past the bench I saw her sitting there again, reading her book. I took out a book from my bag and sat down on the grass, at a reasonable length away from her. She looked at me and gave me a small smile and a wave. I smiled back and felt my heart getting heavy. I wanted to go up to her and start a conversation, I played it all out in my head, but I was just too nervous. So I sat there pretending to read my book until I realised it was time for me to head to class.
It had been a week since I saw the girl because weather predicts my routes and it had been rainy lately so I walked the shorter way. I was walking the short route when a man stopped me and told me I would have to go around through the park to get to my college due to construction. I was pretty annoyed as I would have to walk further in the rain and I had no form of protection because I wasn’t wasting the little money I had on an umbrella. To my surprise, I saw the girl sitting on the bench, reading her book, drenched and not even wearing a coat. She looked up and smiled at me. Full smile with teeth showing and squinted eyes. I was slightly freaked out as we were the only ones there and this girl was giving me weird vibes. I avoided eye contact and continued on my way to college.
I told myself that it was finally time to confront this girl on the bench. So I got up early and made my way to the park. I was thinking of how I could introduce myself and what I was going to say when I realised I was already here. She was where I expected her to be, sitting on the bench reading a book. As I looked around I noticed no one else in the park excepted for three people sitting really far away. I also noticed that there were no other benches in the park. I never realised that until now. She was sitting on the only bench in the entire park and she looked beautiful. I took a deep breath and approached her. I looked down at my feet as I walked to avoid awkward eye contact as I got closer to her. I could see the leg of the bench so I looked up to be faced with an empty bench. I was left in confusion as I looked at the shiny plaque that read, “Katie Clarke, a great friend to all, 1980 – 2001”.