May 5, 1864: The Battle of the Wilderness Begins


If you take a flat map
And move wooden blocks upon it strategically,
The thing looks well, the blocks behave as they should.
The science of war is moving live men like blocks.
And getting the blocks into place at a fixed moment.
But it takes time to mold your men into blocks
And flat maps turn into country where creeks and gullies
Hamper your wooden squares.  They stick in the brush,
They are tired and rest, they straggle after ripe blackberries,
And you cannot lift them up in your hand and move them.

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body


Published in: on May 5, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)