“Shiloh: A Requiem” by Herman Melville

Battle of Shiloh Anniversary Special:
So many ever dead.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Shiloh: A Requiem”

Herman Melville

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
O’er the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh —
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain,
Through the pauses of the night —
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh —
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there —
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve —
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.

“What I Saw of Shiloh” by Ambrose Bierce, part 2

Battle of Shiloh Anniversary Special:
The sounds of war are deafening as Bierce mesmerizes to the end. Bierce fires his shocking cynicism at Americans, at Christians, at soldiers, and ultimately at all humans as he denotes his own dark place in our dark world.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“What I Saw of Shiloh”

Ambrose Bierce

part 2


I suppose the country lying between Corinth and Pittsburg Landing could boast a few inhabitants other than alligators. What manner of people they were it is impossible to say, inasmuch as the fighting dispersed, or possibly exterminated them; perhaps in merely classing them as non-saurian I shall describe them with sufficient particularity Continue reading

“What I Saw of Shiloh” by Ambrose Bierce, part 1

Battle of Shiloh Anniversary Special:
The sights of war are incredible as Bierce builds the tension. Bierce describes, with artistry and clarity, an historic battle and his own fearsome marching into it, at night, in a thunderstorm.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“What I Saw of Shiloh”

Ambrose Bierce

part 1


This is a simple story of a battle; such a tale as may be told by a soldier who is no writer to a reader who is no soldier.

The morning of Sunday, the sixth day of April, 1862, was bright and warm. Reveille had been sounded rather late, for the troops, wearied with long marching, were to have a day of rest. The men were idling about the embers of their bivouac fires; some preparing breakfast, others looking carelessly to the condition of their arms and accoutrements, Continue reading