|THE BATTLE OF LONE JACK
By Martin Rice
‘Twas August, and faintly the sunbeams were falling,
And gently the breezes of summer passed by,
But they bore to my ears a sound most appalling,
For Death-dealing cannon were thundering nigh;
The roar of the cannon and small arms were blended,
The smoke of the battle to heaven ascended,
While friends of the Union ‘gainst foeman contended,
And fought hand to hand at the town of Lone Jack.
The battle began at the early sun-rising;
The hours passed on, and the battle still raged;
I listened intent, and my thoughts were devising
Some means of escape for the friends there engaged;
I knew the Confed’rates by thousands were counted,
The soldiers in blue to eight hundred amounted,
The chances against them I fearfully counted,
And tremblingly thought of their fate at Lone Jack.
No word could I get from the conflict before me,
No messenger came from the harvest of Death;
Naught but the report which the musketry bore me-
That men were contending for victory’s wreath,
And victory’s wreath the Fates were withholding,
But the roar of the cannon a tale was unfolding-
The friends of the Union were still upholding
The stars and the stripes at the town of Lone Jack.
Four hours wore on, and the cannon ceased roaring,
The sound of the musketry, too, died away!
A prayer from the depth of my soul was outpouring-
“May God help the friends of the Union to-day!”
And now that the conflict of battle was ended,
My thought and my reason seemed lost and suspended-
I felt that the friends who so nobly defended
Our flag were all captured or killed at Lone Jack.
Not long did suspense and uncertainty hold me-
A cavalry force was approaching in view;
They came on apace, and my anxious eye told me
‘Twas friends of the Union, the soldiers in blue;
They passed by me then in a hurried progression,
File following file in rapid succession-
Those heroes who fought ‘gainst the host of secession,
And watered with blood the small town of Lone Jack.
But many were left on the dread field of action;
The dead, and the dying, and wounded were there,
Away from sweet home and its every attraction,
Away from their friends and their relatives dear;
And there now in silenced those heroes are sleeping,
Though years have rolled by, and the voice of weeping
Is hushed in their homes, and we are now reaping
The fruits of their labors performed at Lone Jack.