My Great Grandfather–John Carroll Gooch

To honor the 150th anniversary of the conclusion of the Battle of Gettysburg, I offer the following poem. My Great Grandfather was a Civil War veteran.

This silent hero that I hold,
he spoke so rarely of his deeds,
thirteen, and dressed in Union blue,
a southerner against the South.

Just months before he died, he packed
his bags and traveled down Arkansas
to join the aging men who once
had fought upon this rebel soil.

Back home the only thing he said,
“I found the rock I slept upon
that distant night and slept again
upon that rock,” and nothing more.

Oh not one word of marching on
their lines, of bullets whistling by,
of friends who fell, or sleeping on
his arms, of the retreat, or how

while foraging, was taken by
the enemy, was held two years
a prisoner–just of the rock
he slept upon and nothing more.

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Filed under Arkansas, P.O.W., Poetry, The Civil War

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