JOHNNY REB

Source

By: Wayne Brown


General Lee surrendered his army at dawn this morning


Confederates sat on the ridge above Appomattox as one


All those months of vicious, bloody fighting and mourning


The day has come; Union victory is now won




Their clothes are ragged; in disarray; filthy to say the least


Their bellies are drawn and hungry for one good meal


But there is no relief; to the victors the spoils and the feast


Johnny Reb is whipped in battle but that’s not how he feels




Though they may be a filthy lot; they are soldiers of season


Having fought for what they truly believed and wanted


Much blood was shed and still stains for those reasons


Many of their fine men died showing courage undaunted




Who is right? Who is wrong? Not for the losers to say


Johnny Reb is done for now; that one truth is clear


He can only go home to what little is left and pray


That things will get better in the coming of a new year




The countryside is ravaged by the violence of war


Farms destroyed; families lost in the turmoil of the fight


For many there is little left; not very much to live for


Just to hope for better with the coming of morning light




General Robert E. Lee did all he could to lead in the fight


The Union wore them down; starved and burned them out


Holding on as long as they could with their strength and might


History will long echo its remembrance of the rebel shout




Some say that the country will be whole again someday


Brothers have laid down their guns to fight no more


Too many were losers on both sides of the fight anyway


All of them pray that the future has better things in store




Time has come for armies to disband; to march home again


Home from a fight that the Confederates did not win


Home to those who have waited long for them to win


Home to peace; to begin living peaceful days once again




You fought the good fight, Johnny Reb, fist to fist


Gettysburg, Sharpsburg, Antietam, Vicksburg, and Shiloh


Missionary Ridge, Corinth, the names too many to list


Win or lose, you fought the good fight; history will say it’s so




Go on back home now, Johnny Reb, you southern boy


Go back home and pray for all men to be forever free


Pull your life back together; love, live, and enjoy


Pray your country will heal and remain in liberty




©Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved


12/30/2011


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Comments 34 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

This is not a politically correct Hub, Wayne. The Confederates are now the only American soldiers that can still be spat upon without recriminations, and their battle flag is considered no better than the Swastika by the left.

I despise political correctness.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@WillStarr...Your point is well taken but the perspective never occurred to me in writing the piece. The history I remember says that the Civil War was fought over the right of secession and that the issue of slavery was only a driving factor in that pivotal discussion. Political Correctness has never held any appeal to me for it paints faces on things chosen by the so-called "elites" of our society. "Undocumented Worker" is a total misnomer which they have assigned to cover the face of the illegal immigrant. The label assumes that the person has documents but they are not readily at hand and that they work...which is a good reason to have them here...bad assumptions on both parts. Soldiers do not create wars, they fight them. They do not choose the cause nor the outcome. I had a belly full of those righteous types who assign labels after returning from Southeast Asia to a thankless public. Too often, the soldier becomes the cause of the conflict in the public eye thanks to an American media which, since Vietnam, has dedicated it journalistic skills to the promotion of liberal causes and the defense of those who act like Jane Fonda....no, don't give me any of that political correctness. Mind you, anyone from the other side stopping by to post their views on the Civil War will have little about the comments they spew which border on political correctness. Thanks much for the encouragement, Will...and for the loan of the soapbox! LOL! WB


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Political correctness is simply another name for censorship.

I also think there is more to the Civil War than slavery.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Hi Wayne,

I was attacking the leftist view of the Civil War and of the Confederate soldier. I was in no way criticizing your excellent article. I apologize if I was not clear.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@dahoglund...I agree on that Don...it is a way for politicians to address a subject without appearing they are talking about it...nothing more than a softening of the intent. Thanks much! WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@WillStarr...Maybe I didn't make myself clear, Will. I understood you intent completely so there is no need for explanation. I fully understood that you were pointing out what others would find "politically incorrect" in terms of subject manner. That was the reason that I took the opportunity to soapbox a bit! Thanks much for the good words. WB


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Being born in Vicksburg, this is very special to me. I grew up breathing evidence of the war. I don't know if you have ever been there, but it's beautiful. There is a huge park dedicated to remembering the war and those who fought and died. You could spend a week there and still not see it all. Some of my first baby pictures were of my father holding me up seated on one of the three cannons that still overlook the river. Wayne, your last line brings it all together in a way that shows us what it was truly for and what we must all still strive for today, liberty. Thank you. I do like your style, down home yet full of nuance and layered with emotion. I had to share this on facebook. The folks back home will love it!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@poetvix...Vicksburg!...I was born and raised in Carthage...just an hour and a half away. Very familiar with Vicksburg....my ggggrandfather lay in a shallow trench there for 44 days before the seige ended...killed a lot of Illinois boys down there as attested by all the park monuments. WB


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Oh wow! I visited Carthage as a child many times. My uncle Jimmy and his family lived there at the time. It's a small world. Funny how we both ended up in Texas. I love it here, but there's no place like home!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

We are fortunate, Wayne, that on Hubpages and other similar sites, we still have a soapbox on which to rant. May that never change.

BTW, I do not see your poetry as a rant, but as a poetic explanation of a very sad chapter in our history.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@poetvix...drop me an email and let me know Uncle Jimmy's last name...I just might know him! WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...Thanks Doc...that is my intent to attempt to share the sadness that mankind incurs from such horrible events in history. We forget that people too often are victims of political disagreement yet they suffer the most though they had no opinion. It is for those situations that I write. WB


Senoritaa profile image

Senoritaa 4 years ago

Probably the hidden message in the poem as I see it is that no matter who "wins" in a war, so many die, suffer, and are wretched on both sides that no side can ultimately be termed as a winner. Your poem is a message toward stopping war and killings, and moving toward a peaceful world.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Senoritaa...True, wars normally do not find a resolution of lasting value but more like temporary domination at best. The issues which split the north and south in the Civil War ran very deep and lasted far beyond the scope of the war...traces are still there today. Lifestyles were entirely swept up in that war and crushed...most were never regained and not so much because slavery disappeared but more due to the environment of the aftermath of that struggle. WB


michelleernst profile image

michelleernst 4 years ago

A reminder that the conquered are still honorable for fighting for their beliefs, for fraternity and perspective are honorable in and of themselves...


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Wayne - You have some great comments being made here. The Civil War was primarily based upon economics. The Industrial north against the Agrarian south. The abolition of slavery was really a side issue. The south wanted to keep the cheap labor and the north wasn't agreeing. Secession then became the issue.

Just my thoughts on some of this.

The Frog


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

There were all sorts of reasons for the war. The industrial North was rich and powerful, while the agricultural South was viewed as a poor relative and treated with disdain.

There were lots of hard feelings between the two.

In fact, we have the same disdain today for 'fly-over-country' by the haughty political elite, who view us as illiterate hicks, 'clinging to their guns and religion.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@michelleernst...Very true though I sometimes think we forgot that in both Korea and Vietnam in terms of our own people. WB

@The Frog Prince...True but it eventually all boiled down to an arguement over succession rights. WB

@WillStarr..Good Point, Will. Jon Huntsman alluded to that last week when he made his comments concerning the Iowa vote versus New Hampshire. WB


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Jon Huntsman alluded to that last week when he made his comments concerning the Iowa vote versus New Hampshire."

Exactly. They respect only themselves and the elitists. Ordinary Americans are looked down upon, and have been for some time. However, the political elite do fear us, the 'great unwashed', so they don't want us to be armed.


mathira profile image

mathira 4 years ago from chennai

Though I am not familiar with the background with which the poem was written, you were excellent in bringing forth the spirit Wayne.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Can't put this any other way -- I loved this poem and will cherish it. Enjoyed Will's comment of "the great unwashed" of which I am a part. My family fought for the South and died for it and now I'm told they were "unworthy" and their flag should be lowered forever because the NAACP objects. It will fly at my house as long as there's a southern breath in this old body. I love my country and consider the southern states a part of it -- so far! Again, great, great work. Best, Sis


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@mathira...The Civil War was the greatest internal struggle ever endure in the USA. Some aspects of the divisions which caused the war are still there today on both sides. Overall, it probably made us a better country but we shed a lot of blood in the process and destroyed many lives. WB

@Angela Blair...Thank you. I am glad that I could inspire your southern spirit and pride. The war was a terrible thing for everyone. One only has to tour the park at Vicksburg to get a sense of how many boys from Illinois died on that one battlefield and how many times such a process was repeated. While the south suffered throughout the war, the aftermath was much worse with the advent of carpetbaggers and scalawags descending on the region. WB


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"My family fought for the South and died for it and now I'm told they were "unworthy" and their flag should be lowered forever because the NAACP objects."

The left openly despises the South, and would like to crush it and eliminate any sort of honor for those who fought gallantly during the War Between the States.

In any case, the flag they are always trying to tear down is actually the Confederate battle flag, and not the Confederate States flag at all:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_Confeder...


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Wayne ~ A wonderful way to learn history and promote discussion. I love poems that tell a story with movement, emotion and send a thoughtful message. Just look at all the interactions here and finding others with similar heritage. Blessings in the New Year, Debby


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@WillStarr...You are never better than when you are inspired, WillStarr...never better. Glad I could touch that nerve a bit. I had a ggggrandfather who walked away from Vicksburg with a hole through his jaw from a musket ball after lying in a shallow trench for 44 days. He might have been wrong by God he was persistent. WB

@Debby Bruck...Thanks much. I never thought this poem would generate so much interest...just goes to show you what a writer knows! LOL! WB


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 4 years ago

Happy New Year Wayne Brown, although I don't a lot about your American Civil War, I do know that a lot of lives were changed forever, much blood was let and families shattered. War is an ugly thing but necessary for cleansing it seems by politicians and other world order believers. It appears mankind has a thirst for blood and thus the spilling of it will never cease.

Wayne your poetry was very descriptive as always and one is drawn in by your words. You spin a tale like no other in verse and I am always left like many of your fans, waiting for your next scribe. I have been away from your page far to long, time to pick up where I left off and digest your amazing work. Peace and blessings to you and yours my brother.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@saddlerider1...I seem to have plenty of distractions myself about now...all having the same high priority. Thanks for the good words...Happy New Year to you! WB


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US

Voted up in every way but "funny". I offer one helpful criticism: you forgot to capitalize Southern. Wonderful job!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Brett Winn...Thank you. I have a southern heritage which always makes me feel that good men died for principles they believed in...not slavery, principles of liberty in terms of States Rights. WB


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US

Wayne ... I totally agree. One of my best friends is from Michigan, and she has always found it odd that these issues are so important to me. We're planning to meet this spring at Gettysburg, (I am in NC) and she's reading up on her history in preparation. I sent her your poem.


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=1066&b...//www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WME45_First_Confederate_Flag_Marker_and_Monument_Louisburg_North_Carolina&docid=0tfaZjfzwC_-bM&imgurl=http://img.groundspeak.com/waymarking/186bb895-da7...


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Brett Winn...Thanks Brett but the link does not seem to work...just goes to a blank Google page.


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 4 years ago from US

Sorry ... try this, http://tinyurl.com/6mpg2f2 .... it's a local monument to the creation and first flying of the CSA battle flag.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Brett Winn...Thanks much...I'll check the link.

WB

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