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Posts Tagged ‘war’


A Picture from Edna

This is one example of graffiti that occupying Union soldiers left upon the walls of Blenheim in Fairfax, Virginia during the War Between the States. This photograph is from the attic, however when wallpaper was recently removed from the main floors of the old Greek Revival farmhouse, graffiti was discovered everywhere. This “Soldier’s Lament” records:

4th Month

No money

No whiskey

No Friends

No Rations

No Peas

No Beans

No Pants

No Patriotism (underlined)

“Blenheim,” located at 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia, is a brick home built by REZEN WILLCOXON about 1858, to replace an earlier frame dwelling. This 12-acre former farm, includes a cemetery for several generations of the Willcoxon family who lived here. Blenheim is renown for its outstanding examples of Civil War soldier graffiti. It is currently being restored. The day we were there, a recent tropical storm had left many downed trees, but no damage to the structures.

The image, Soldier Graffiti, was originally uploaded by Edna Barney. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Veterans Day 2008 – In Flanders Fields 

Flanders Fields Cross

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, Row on Row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian physician, also died in France, the same year as my great aunt’s husband, Frank Heming, a casualty of World War I. In 1916 McCrae was Chief of Medical Services at a Canadian Hospital in France, where wounded soldiers from Arras were received. His poem remains one of the most memorable war poems. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres Salient in the spring of 1915. Poppies sprout best in newly cultivated soil and, when this was written, the entire Western Front was covered with poppies blooming as never before seen on the freshly dug graves.

Thank You Veterans of 2008

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That is how my mother always described her stint during World War Two when she was serving her country as one of the now famous “Rosie the Riveters.” Although she never described it as service, she was obviously proud of the opportunity the war brought for her to work in a Baltimore defense plant or factory performing jobs that would have ordinarily gone to men.

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