Battle of Monocacy
Frederick, Maryland, July 9, 1864
I drew a killshot bead on Jubal Early,
Confederate general barking at the rear,
But something spooked me. I had not securely
Settled on courage or outmaneuvered fear.
Blue ragtags fell like hail. We thought salvation
Arrived by Burnside bullet to the brain.
Our troops, lacking in all but determination,
Lay lifeless now, their morgue a mercy train.
To slow Early’s advance, that was the mission:
He looked to capture Washington that day.
General Lew Wallace said on one condition:
What you would take, we will not give away.
Two thousand dead on both sides spelled defeat —
Rebs won the battle, but their spoils? Retreat.