The day is warm, the sun shining,
a soft breeze is blowing, the fall colors are in their glory.
Yet on this Georgian hillside, a heaviness is in the air,
and an unseen stirring leaves ones very being wounded and torn.
The sorrow of thousands of souls are calling to the living.
Suffering is felt on the whispers of the breeze.
It is told by tall oak trees standing sentinel over long abandoned wells,
dug to escape, bone chilling cold, starvation,
the blazing Georgia sun, disease
and above all the burning desire for freedom.
It is spoken in earthworks
built to keep others at bay with the weapons of war.
Had I not been told the story of this place,
. . . all is not well
would still have been whispered in my ears.
White carved stones stand is perfect rows,
dedicated to the men who died at this beautiful place,
now tarnished by cruelty and suffering.
The feeling in my heart and in my soul is this...
It is their bodies that now rest in the red Georgia clay
but their souls still linger
within the stockade walls,
and this is what they wish to tell us,
if we will but listen.
make sure this happens Never Again!
allow not yourselves to war against one another again,
stand united and strong against that which ails your
country and fight together as brothers should,
not divided, desolate and alone.
Andersonville, Douglas, Belle Isle or Elmira.
Let no man hold a brother captive again.
So as you leave this place,
May you leave in peace and may you Never let us be forgotten .
Julia K. Hogston
November 5, 2000