Only a Private

Image from The Online Photographer

For the “Union.”


Only a private!
Not much to tell,
No Major, no Colonel,
No Officer fell.
Only a private,
Lay him away,
Silently, calmly,
No grand display

Bursts forth a volley
Over the mound,
Memory and body,
Hid in the ground.
Only a private,
Name soon forgot,
In the great army,
The private’s lot.

In a snug cottage,
Over the plain,
Waiting the coming
Of private again.
Mother and sister,
Reading the news,
Only a private,
Name William Hughs.

Only a private,
My idol boy,
Only a private,
A sister’s joy.
Only a private,
Bullets had slain,
And then rebounded
Back o’er the plain.

Heedlessly wounding,
Two in it train,
Mother and sister,
Bullets have slain.
Officers lead,
Privates, we know,
Only the privates
Level the foe.

Nobly the privates
Leave home and friends,
Seeking not honor,
Our Flag to defend.
Only a private
Would we could be,
Pour out our life’s blood,
Thus humbly.


The Union (Georgetown, Delaware) May 12, 1865

Tags: , , ,

3 Responses to “Only a Private”

  1. LilMissJoan Says:

    Nicely written..
    A private though is still an honorable role,
    in real life, i’ll take down the only..:)

    • mrstkdsd Says:

      Thanks for the comment. I agree, being a private is honorable. I didn’t write the poem, in was written in 1860 something. I just ran across it in a digital image of the paper it was printed in and typed it up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: