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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Western States: Mission Ridge, Tenn.

On the Heights of Mission Ridge

By J. Augustine Signaigo (1835–1876)

WHEN the foes, in conflict heated,

Battled over road and bridge,

While Bragg sullenly retreated

From the heights of Mission Ridge,—

There, amid the pines and wildwood,

Two opposing colonels fell,

Who had schoolmates been in childhood,

And had loved each other well.

There, amid the roar and rattle,

Facing Havoc’s fiery breath,

Met the wounded two in battle,

In the agonies of death.

But they saw each other reeling

On the dead and dying men,

And the old time, full of feeling,

Came upon them once again.

When that night the moon came creeping,

With its gold streaks, o’er the slain,

She beheld two soldiers, sleeping,

Free from every earthly pain.

Close beside the mountain heather,

Where the rocks obscure the sand,

They had died, it seems, together,

As they clasped each other’s hand.