Thursday, June 19, 2003

(Thank you, Dear Ambrose, for the part you played on your road to Cold Mountain)

It is a Thursday in New Bern, North Carolina. Amidst the lanes and lawns of Greenbriar, the skirts of Yankee ladies flutter....tea and lunch are served....

In almost a month (as described above) I will be kayaking back in time to witness, to report on the battle for New Bern.

A new life flourishes for many Yanks who have moved south. They are the retired -- and the only enemy they must now defeat is the gray of age. Their former homes in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, New Jersey seem as distant in the past as the slain of Gettysburg.

To me it seems just yesterday, March 13,14, 1862 -- when Union gunboats steamed up the Neuse River to drive the Johnny Rebs from New Bern. Who but me is left alive to tell the story of the day you, Dear Ambrose Burnside, "drove old Dixie down?"

The County Fairgrounds hum today, less than five miles from New Bern -- on the spot where field artillery, musketry, and Burnside carbines once shook the leaves and limbs of Craven County trees.


Dear Ambrose Burnside, my fellow Rhode Islander, you won that day. Ah, sweet victory, how brief thou dost hold sway...For at Fredericksburg in December of that same year you lost your heady laurels to meet disgrace. But I remember you back when I reported from New Bern -- then your daring won the day.


Ambrose, thou art gone, but the rustling skirts of Yankee ladies stay. You more than did your part, way back when you won the day.

New Bern survives. It is a warm and graceful place. Thank you, Dear Ambrose, for the part you played.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?