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Brothers of War (standard:action, 4010 words)
Author: WardogAdded: Aug 08 2005Views/Reads: 2174/1252Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
AIn 1864 a one-armed Union Sergeant leads his men into battle. After being shot he is placed undercare of his brother. Reluctantly, the doc lets him go to fight another day. Will the doctors worse fear come true and he finds his brother dead, or will he t

Brothers of War By Brett Holden 

In the distance the regiment heard thunderous blasts of canon fire. A
mist drew toward them, and they smelled the gun smoke. The veterans who 
to the recruits seemed calm and prepared for the inevitable battle were 
just as anxious has they were. For a long fortnight they had marched 
unceasingly, except to make camp. When there was enough moonlight they 
kept on proceeding until the troops grew too weary to continue. Above 
them the full moon did indeed shine bright, yet they knew they would 
soon discontinue the progress and partake in battle. For the past two 
weeks, the recruits were filled with rumors of the time and place of 
battle and fellow companies took up even the ones that were true. Yet, 
this did serve a purpose for the raw recruit's saw firsthand the 
carnage of war and the battlefields strewn with the dead. Several took 
this well, but others had an immediate reaction that many of the 
veterans remembered when they had first seen land that represented a 
violent conflict. The reaction was vile and involuntary and the 
veterans most used remarks was: “Better out than in.” It had been three 
days since their last encounter with the remnants of the war, in which 
their sergeant had been shot by an injured foe. He had been placed 
under the doctor's care soon after the demise of the enemy, and he 
provided his usual remedy of amputation. Although, the soldiers were 
immediately dumbfounded has the sergeant walked out of his tent one day 
has, they were beginning preparations to set out, and found him in 
uniform with a pistol in his right hand, and a stump for a left arm. To 
the admiration of the soldiers, more so the recruits, he mounted his 
grey steed and rode out with the boys with every intention of doing his 
share of the fighting. Up ahead he could be found, behind the 
regiment's lieutenant holding his pistol with a sawn-off shotgun to 
boot. Though he lacked a limb, he was still a good shot, and hardly 
lost anytime reloading. He even wore a sword tucked elegantly into a 
beautifully crafted sheath. He suddenly turned to face his men. “Today 
we go into battle, and give the damned Confederates pay for nearly four 
years of bloodshed. You have witnessed the devastation the war has 
brought, and the peril it has wrought in the north. Whatever the 
outcome of the battle, and what is seen on the terrible field, I know 
will not discourage my men, nor dismay them. Let your stout hearts hold 
you fast to your place, and let it allow you to defeat the enemy. Today 
our backs will not be to the opposition, because they will flee from 
us. Let it be known men will die today, from both sides, but if it is 
also to be our end we will have caused such damage that they will be 
crippled, and our fellows will finish them in our honor. To glorious 
death, and victory” The men jeered and marched quickly to the top of 
the next hill wear the sergeant was. Fear gripped several of their 
hearts has they stared at two ravaged masses mingled in a demonstration 
of blue and grey. Then the lieutenant gave a swift arm gesture and they 
advanced down the hill toward the formidable conflict. They drew closer 
while the 12-pounders were turned to face them. In a moment they were 
hailed with canon fire that filled the valley with a loud resonance. 
They first few shots landed several yards in front of them. Yet, in the 
face of danger they held firm. It seemed to them that their comrades 
already engaged in the strife had renewed vigor at the sight of them. 
The confederate flag in the midst of the fight fell, and the recruits 
were overjoyed for they believed they were winning, and then it 
ominously rose again. They were close now, and the canons were not far 
ahead, and they were all frightened for a moment, realizing they were 
within range of the guns. Then they met their first casualties. 
Artillery fire boomed again, and a shot soared into the front lines and 
a few soldiers were killed. The lieutenant, sergeant, and foremost 
soldiers raised arms and gave a volley of musket fire. A couple of 
artillerymen fell, and then they charged. The moon seemed to light 
their path has they rushed the enemy. The sounds of war grew intense, 
and they were greeted with fire, which they returned. They were soon 
lost in the fight, the veterans remembering other engagements while 
remembering how they had survived to fight another day. The recruits 
tried to follow the actions of their superiors, but they were lost in 
the chaos and were only thinking of determining friends from foes, and 
then opening up on the opposition. Upon his horse the sergeant fired 
his pistol, never missing. Once it had been emptied, he pulled out his 
backup and fired away. The lieutenant was further in holding his sword 
and slashing down challenging enemies. They fought long carrying the 
fight closer to a tree line. The moon sank, and while the sky began to 
lighten they still fought on. Behind them lay the recently late 
comrades of both sides, and the blue uniforms and grey overlapped and 
the gaps were crimson. It all led to a line of Napoleons some on their 

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