When the Regiment Came Back
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“All the uniforms were blue, all the swords were bright and new
When the regiment went marching down the street.
All the men were hale and strong as they proudly marched along,
Through the cheers that drowned the music of their feet,
Oh, the music of the feet keeping time to drums that beat,
Oh, the splendor and the glitter of the sight.
As with swords and rifles new and in uniforms of blue,
The regiment went marching to the fight.

When the regiment came back, all the guns and swords were black
And the uniforms had faded out to gray.
And the faces of the men who marched through that street again
Seemed like faces of the dead who lose their way.
For the dead who lose their way cannot look more wan and gray
Oh, the sorrow and the pity of the sight.
Oh, the weary lagging feet, out of step with drums that beat,
As the regiment comes marching from the fight.”

     As the poem says, thousands of soldiers went off to war to protect their way of life and their beloved home land in the American Civil War.  The war tore a new nation apart just as families were torn apart.  Those who came back from battle were never the same, just as our nation still bears the scars of thousands of young men dead before their time.

    I’ve learned about the Great War or the Northern Invasion from grade school and I reenacted it as a child with my family but what do I really know?  The war took four years and shed blood in almost every state of the current nation of the United States of America and I’ve learned from chapters of textbooks and a few fiction books.  I decided to look into the War Between the States and the more I learn, the more I want to learn.  Thanks to the internet and a few books, I can learn so much more about the American Civil War than I ever learned in history class and you’re welcome to join me on my journey to learn more about this important milestone in the creation of the United States of America.