Trust In The Lord And Bobby Lee by J. Alan Hostetter
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Trust In The Lord And Bobby Lee by J. Alan Hostetter

(Elisabeth Thorn/Armistead/Confederate Troops)

(Thorn)
Fortune favors the bold, they say,
They've tapped a good measure before today,
For this sword leadeth to victory:
Unshakable trust in The Lord and Bobby Lee.

(Armistead, drawing his sword)
We're almost out of the woods, good friends,
Come dusk, with luck, this war ends.
(Thorn)
They march as one, Virginia's sons,
Thirteen thousand shouldered guns!

Pettigrew, Trimble and Picket appear,
Step out of the thicket into the clear,
Into the heat of the afternoon light,
A dress parade, a magnificent sight.

Bonny blue flags on standards fly,
No beast nor man nor bird heard high.
Columns of gray a mile wide,
Believing their enemies, like cowards, hide.

Behold the Rebel tidal wave,
The ravenous bear enticed from his cave,
The hornet's nest, the snake in the grass,
The wrong end of a riled jackass!

Blue batteries let loose their cannonade
And cut the silence of the late day raid.
Brimming with love for the South, they march,
Bomb blasts stiffen their stubborn starch.

(Armistead)
Steady, boys! Dress left! Fill the gaps!
This is how Napoleon redrew maps.
(Thorn)
Iron and lead hurl down like hail,
Steadfast past the scrub and the swale.

(Armistead/Confederate Troops)
We are breaking (Yes, we're breaking!)
We are breaking (Yes, we're breaking)
Hearts are breaking watching comrades as they fall.

(Thorn)
They pause at the road to fire at the wall,
Smoke too dense to see at all.
They climb the fence through canister and grape.
Panicked screams and no escape.

(Armistead/Confederate Troops)
And we're crying (Yes, we're crying!)
We are crying (Yes, we're crying!)
We are crying, please, Lord, let us breach that wall.

(Thorn)
Double-time into the Reaper's scythe
The mangled, torn and gut-shot writhe,
Flags fall forward and arise in the fray,
Unable to flee, unwilling to turn away.

(Armistead/Confederate Troops)
We are falling (Yes, we're falling)
We are falling (Yes, we're falling)
We are falling to our knees, about to crawl.

(Thorn)
Stampeding like a herd of buffalo bulls,
Howling like ravenous mountain wolves,
Savage, blood-thirsty, avenging brutes,
Scarecrows in rags and shredded boots,

Intent on murdering their Northern foe,
The Rebel yell! They will not slow,
A violent, valiant, virulent horde,
Protected on high by none other than The Lord.

Muskets fire at point-blank range,
Bodies blown back unnaturally rearranged.
A funnel of men behind race through
A fatal hesitation is averted by his cue:

(Armistead, placing his hat on his raised sword)
Virginians! With me!

(Thorn)
Armistead cries,
Crests the stone wall at the rise.
Blue against gray, vengeance, the prize.
Armistead shot and, days later, dies.

It's hand-to-hand, no time to reload,
Mortal wounds and the warrior code.
Fists and swords and pistols raise,
Arterial sprays in the sulfurous haze,

The bayonets tear flesh, hack bone,
Fixed on muskets, like spears, thrown,
Used as clubs, the rifle stocks
Break skulls, crush hands wielding rocks.

(Armistead/Confederate Troops)
And we're dying (Yes, we're dying)
We are dying (Yes, we're dying)
Very soon there will be no one left at all.

(Thorn)
General Stuart's cavalry was to attack the rear.
That the scheme had failed is abundantly clear.
The plan to split the enemy, abandoned.
Who lives and who dies, almost random.

And the corpses pile up and the slaughter peters out,
And it starts to sink in, their assault is a rout,
As survivors are disarmed, hands reach overhead,
Some retreat in defeat, because the others are dead.

(Armistead)
Take me to Hancock!
(Thorn)
Armistead pleads.
(Federal)
Hancock is hit, sir!
(Thorn)
The Federal concedes,
(Armistead)
Tell him Old Lo sends his regrets!
(Thorn)
Like brothers once, no one forgets.

Feverish rage turns to monstrous disgust.
Faces ashen, sickened by bloodlust,
Exhaustion, muskets drag, shoulders stoop,
The great gray tide recedes to re-group.

The old man watches by his trusty gray mount,
Tears down his beard, more than he can count.
It's all his fault, he will openly proclaim.
But they won't let him shoulder all of the blame.

Behind his back, the sun burns red
And darkness descends from the trees overhead.
The field grows dim in the dying light
And soon comes the rank stench of death with the night.

The South's campaign in Pennsylvania lost,
Now drowning in sorrow at irretrievable cost.
Fortune reversed, victory defrayed.
Time to bind their wounds, the piper paid.

(Armistead/Confederate Troops)
All we wanted (All we wanted)
All we wanted (All we wanted)
All we wanted was a nation of our own.

(Thorn)
Faith insufficient to carry the day,
And the army shall move south now without delay,
Forsaking the wounded and dead where they lay,
And July shall roast flesh and hasten its decay.

And far across the field, the huzzah cheer (HUZZAH!)
And all pray this war won't last out the year.
But The Lord turns His back on these sons of Eve
For He has lost trust even in those who believe.

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Trust In The Lord And Bobby Lee by J. Alan Hostetter