"A soldier of the Union mustered out," Is the inscription on an unknown grave At Newport News, beside the salt-sea wave, Nameless and dateless; sentinel or scout Shot down in skirmish, or disastrous rout Of battle, when the loud artillery drave Its iron wedges through the ranks of brave And doomed battalions, storming the redoubt. Thou unknown hero sleeping by the sea In thy forgotten grave! with secret shame I feel my pulses beat, my forehead burn, When I remember thou hast given for me All that thou hadst, thy life, thy very name, And I can give thee nothing in return.
Featured in our collection of Poetry for Students and Civil War Stories
Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow library , or . . . Read the next poem; An April Day