The Mississippi Boys

July 3, 1863
The air was thick with the gray dust of gunpowder from the Union cannons, and like a curtain on the finale of a paradoxical tragedy written and produced by the devil and his demons, smoke from the cannons rolled up on the ridge, exposing the Union soldiers. They faced the bravest, most splendid army of Rebel soldiers that ever lived, standing shoulder to shoulder a mile and a half end to end, the hot July sun's rays bouncing off every squirrel rifle as though each had been polished the night before in preparation for a pass-in-review parade. Amish men riding along the Emmitsburg Road in their carriages got out and bowed to the ground, praying for men on both sides, for this was the third day of carnage.

It must come to an end.

Jonathan stood with his countrymen, his rifle drawn and ready. He waited. Impatiently. In the steaming hot and humid July sun, he waited, wiping sweat out of his eyes with the sleeve of his ragged Confederate uniform. And then the nod. Longstreet to Pickett. And in that instant, Pickett's men charged the hill, screaming the blood-curdling Rebel yell. Brave men, their dignity and strength pressed to the breach, fell like autumn leaves, blood running freely down the hill. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a trough.

Jonathan Payne shouted the Rebel yell as he charged the hill, thousands by his side dropping like flies ... he could see everything with horrifying clarity from the side of the hill. Men falling on his right, on his left. Before him, behind him. Screaming, bleeding.

Excerpt from Chapter 31, The Bloody Trough
Jane Bennett Gaddy



  1. The part about the Amish praying, so touching.

    My father tells me back when he was in military school in Biloxi they would visit a nursing home there and the old soldiers would yell out the war cry in their wheelchairs as they zoomed across the room, he said it was something to behold.

    Hope all is well dear one. ~amelia

  2. Amelia! How delightful to hear from you. I have neglected my blog and thereby missed your sweet note. I only wish I could have been in that Biloxi nursing home to hear the old soldiers. How precious! They are all gone, now, and most of their "real" sons, too. We will meet them one day. So many knew the Lord, and I'm hearing and reading more every day about "Christ in the Camp" of the Confederate soldiers.

    I love you, dear unseen friend. Will visit your blog soon. Because I love it!
    Jane BG


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