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Battlefield Inspirations.

Many people have been moved by the beauty and splendid sacredness of the Resaca battlefield. This page features some of poetry and prose that was so inspired. You will also find a link below to a section of letters written about the battle by actual participants.

By Lyssa Aja

The battle of Resaca had left two soldiers for them like human harbingers of doom
Mary Green and her family had returned to the plantation after the battle was through with Resaca
It had torn through, fierce and cruel - flinging bodies like debris from a thoughtless twister
Mary with her sister Pyatt and two freed slaves heaved the harvested bodies burying them in the flower garden so they could die beautiful

There were bodies everywhere
They lay as if exhausted not able to get up again in the May heat
But death had touched each one with a heavy hand
Taking last breaths, last thoughts and this would be their last battle fought
They all died willingly but the Yankees kept coming to take Georgia away
The May heat rose like an angry serpent off the field, lifting off each soldier like a cloud of souls rising wanting to get away from the gore
Leaving - leaving - leaving the mother's grip of Dixie
What did Mary Green see in that field?
Unclaimed husks of men merely asleep
Some half-buried but unable to be awakened
For the sleeping shouldn't be bleeding, empty-eyed and misshapen
In this strange field of suitors she moved among them heartbroken
A romanceless dance of lives intertwined without a word spoken
And Mars the god of war triumphant standing on the terrain
Has inflicted in his wake alms of suffering and pain

The pain isn't far away as I walk along the quiet stones
An interloper, still alive, I walk with heartbeat and soul that have escaped all below
But I am moved by all that I see for there is no guilt only bravery of the men who stood by each other,
Soldiers made from southern brothers
Some were boys who held weapons too soon
Their conscience hardened past the soft edges of youth
They were men with pride that burned like private fires
That this war could not extinguish nor could any rain dampen their desire
Their passage leaves a shadow that lingers at the walls
Some looking in at their nameless stones as if life hadn't dwelled in them at all
They had been delivered to this war from loved one's arms and in the end buried by the arms of strangers
Some loved one's arms stay empty now their soldiers never to return
For the ides of May have cast eternal sleep like a setting sun
Never again to burn
And these 450 souls like clouds sacrificed in the storm of war
Have moved away towards heaven's door
In Mary Green was no servant more loyal
For heaven sent and heaven bound was she the Confederate Angel.

Harvey Elisha Pond, a private in the Company D, 136th New York, was killed at the battle of Resaca. His descendant, a Friends of Resaca supporter, found this poem about the Battle along with her ancestor's service information in an old family Bible. The poem is from a yellowed newspaper clipping. It reads as follows:

Voices from Home
From Our Special Correspondent

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 15 the Rebels made their last fierce attack upon our lines at Resaca. The 150th was under heavy fire until dark, and was then taken to a ravine just back of the line of battle. The men were hardly asleep before a terrific fire opened, lasting about fifteen minutes, and after this no one felt like sleeping, and as we laid anxiously waiting a fresh attack the air seemed to be filled with messages from our quiet homes.

Listen boys to the spirit voices,
Whispering in the evening air,
As from our homes and mothers
Comes this sad but earnest prayer:

"Oh God! watch over the soldiers,
Be with them in camp and field,
Strengthen them in trying hours,
When to the tempter they would yield.

"Oh God! bless our country
With a peace in honor wrought.
Let the Union stand yet firmer
For the fields so dearly bought.

"Oh God! keep my child! my boy!
In the hollow of thy hand
Let him safely meet all dangers,
Fighting for the Father-land."

Boys, heed these gentle warnings,
By our tearful mothers given.
Let us live to them an honor,
Or with faith meet them in heaven.

- Submitted by Renee Young

Sandra Medina, an Attorney in California, was greatly inspired by a visit to the Resaca Battlefield in 1997. She wrote the following poem about her experience with this pristine landscape.

Heros asleep in the graves at Resaca
I think you did not plan it so
When first you came to this sweet Georgia wood.

You were only men then, or boys,
And brave beyond what could have been expected.
Full of dreams, with lives to live.

It was not to be.

Is it enough, not to be forgotten?
Is it enough to lie beside your comrades,
True believers with you in a sacred cause?

It has to be.

There is nothing else in this quiet space but sleep
And honor that lasts forever.

Do you have a poem, essay, or other material inspired by the Resaca Battlefield? Send it to us.

Read Letters written by participants in the battle here.