Thursday, June 6, 2013

March II.

This is coolbert:


Continuing extracts and commentary from the novel "The March" by E. L. Doctorow:

That approach of the Army of the West under the command of Sherman having the nature of an "end time event.", the apocalypse.

As seen and heard and FELT by the black slave Jake Early whose master had fled in advance of Sherman, Early and his compatriotts observing a very change to the atmosphere itself. Those three corps sized columns as if a wrath of GOD, world-changing!

"He [Jake] himself stood in the middle of the road with his stuff and did not move. He listened. For the longest while there was nothing, but the mild stirring of the air, like a whispering in his ear or the rustle of woodland. But then he did hear something. or did he? It wasn't exactly a sound, it was more like a sense of something transformed in his own expectation. And then, almost as if what he held was a divining rod, the staff in his hand point to the sky westerly. At this, all the others stood up and came away from the trees: what they saw in the distance was smoke sprouting from different points in the landscape, first here, then there. But in the middle of all this was a change in the sky color itself that gradually clarified as an upward-streaming brown cloud risen from the earth, as if the world was tuned upside down."

And, as they watched, the brown cloud took on a reddish case. It moved forward, thin as a hatchet blade in front and then widening like the furrow from the plow. When the sound of this cloud reached them, it was like nothing they had ever heard in their lives. It was not fearsomely heaven-made, like thunder of lightning or howling wind, but something felt through their feet, a resonance, as if the earth was humming. Then carried on a gust of wind, the sound became for moments a rhythmic tromp that relieved them as the human reason for the great cloud of dust. And then, at the edges of this sound of a trompled-upon earth, they heard the voices of living men shouting, finally. And the lowing of cattle. And the creaking of wheels. But they saw nothing. Involuntarily, they walked down the toward the road but still saw nothing. The symphonious clamor was everywhere, filling the sky like the cloud of red suet that arrowed past them to the south and left the sky dim, it was the great processional of the Union armies, but of no more substance than an army of ghosts."

It is not without reason that Margaret Mitchell when she wrote her great novel "Gone With the Wind" referred to Sherman as the "wind".

"War makes all of man's other activities seem trivial by comparison" - - Patton.


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