Co. B - 21st Illinois
That was the sweetest drink of water
I had ever experienced
In my entire life.
I doubt, had I lived another forty years,
There would have ever been
A drink as satisfying for anyone
As that draught of fresh cool water was
The wet was a salve
To my parched, split and bleeding lips.
separated my tongue from the roof of my mouth
And the insides of my cheeks.
The cool spread from my stomach
Across my chest;
I could feel it being absorbed
By every organ in my body.
My every muscle, every fiber,
With less pain, than I could recall for months.
My lungs inhaled more air
With each breath I took.
It became less painful
And more joyful just to breathe.
Yes, that first drink, from Providence Spring,
At Andersonville Prison,
In deep southern Georgia,
Was, without a doubt,
The best drink
Of anything I ever took.