Wave the flag slowly: A Gettysburg tale

Civil War reenactment

Members of the Jeff Davis Battery Civil War group fire a canon Sunday as part of a battle reenactment during the 2013 Chautauqua Assembly festival in DeFuniak Springs.

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 04:37 PM.

In 1862, Levi Lewis, Noah Harrell, Miles Jackson and Will Thompson enlisted at Bainbridge, Georgia. 

With comrades from Baker and Mitchell County they composed Company D, 17th Georgia Infantry led by Captain James McGregor and Lieutenant Virgil Parker.  A year later they were weary and hungry as they lit the night’s fire. As veterans they knew something big was coming but looked forward to the bounty foraged from the Pennsylvania countryside. 

With chicken roasting on the spit, Levi broke the silence complaining about his shoes not fitting.  “It ain’t your boots, Levi. It is puttin’ one foot in front of the other,” said Noah Harrell.  “You know we ain’t washed in days. The whole army must stink like a pig pen. I bet them Yankees would run from the smell quicker than a bullet.”

Miles Jackson raised his head from between his knees and said, “Noah, Yankees do not run no more than we do. Besides what are we doing all the way in Pennsylvania?”

“We up here to kill Yankees,” snarled Noah.  “An’ protecting southern honor”.

Miles deliberately answered,” I ain’t never killed no Yankee and I will not be killin’ one.  Tell the truth, Noah.  You ever killed a Yankee?”

“Naw Miles, I really ain’t, sumpin always happens. At Antietam I fell in the creek and my powder got wet. Then the lock broke on my gun’s hammer at Fredericksburg.  It ain’t that I do not want to kill Yankees. Tomorrow I will be ready.”  Levi and Will also admitted they had never killed anyone either.

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