Thursday, December 18, 2014


In our heart we always knew that we left men behind. It was the nature of the war and that enemy. It was just hard to read that we documented leaving our men behind in Chinese hands when we pulled out of Vietnam. The National Security Agency, Army, Navy and Air Force, and the upper echelons of State and the Department of Defense knew damned well that when they signed the Paris Peace Accords they were writing off soldiers, sailors and airmen who were held captive by the Chinese.

                                When our country called for me we came from forge and hill,
From workshop, farm and factory the broken ranks to fill,
We left our quiet happy home and those we loved so well,
To lanquish all our Union foes or fail where others fell.
But now in prison drear we lanquish and 'tis our constant cry,
Oh ye who yet can save us . . . will you leave us here to die?

Did the voice of slander tell ye that our hearts were weak with fear?
That all, or nearly all, of us were captured in the rear?
But the scars upon our bodies from the musket ball and shell,
The missing legs and shattered arms a truer tale will tell;
We have tried to do our duty in the sight of God on high,
And ye who can yet save us now leave us here to die.

There are hearts with hope still beating in our "Northern Homes"
Watching, waiting for the footsteps that will never come.
In "Southern prisons" pining, meager, tatters, pale and gaunt,
Growing weaker, weaker daily from pinching old and want --
Are husbands, sons and brothers who hopeless captives lie,
And ye who yet can save us -- Will you leave us here to die?

From out our prison gate there's a graveyard close at hand,
Where lay fourteen thousand Union men beneath a Southern sand,
And scores are laid beside them as day succeeds each day,
And thus it shall be until we all shall pass away;
And the last can say while dying with upturned glazing eye,
Both faith and love are dead at home and they've left us here to die.
---An Unknown Andersonville POW

Requiescant in pace.