Son of the Morning Star, or Custer at the Little Bighorn
Historically accurate, narrative poem
25 June, 1876 - Valley of the Little Bighorn
Nothing stirs this June night, not a summer’s breeze or a breath of life. All is eerily quiet, and on yonder hillside, shroud of darkness and death descended, lay ten score men and more, naked, mutilated and dead, strewn grotesquely white among their horses slain, as bulwarks of flesh against the Sioux in vain. Stench of death everywhere, the din of battle no longer there, said to have sounded like snapping threads in the tearing of a blanket, albeit their frenzied volleys found mostly air.
Swept away like chaff by a vengeful Gall, from Finley Ridge to Calhoun Hill, the men of Companies C and L were first to die, then next to fall was Company I. Further down the ridge on a death pocked hill, gathered around their commander in a desperate band, remnants of E and F with a Fugitive few were the last of the soldiers to stand. Mortally wounded, bullet through breast, a brevet or coffin had been his request. Down upon knees begging no quarter, revolver still firing the latter he receives. As the death blow falls, so also falls Son of the Morning Star.
From out of the smoke dust and din, only one from the Command emerges to return home again. Look! Up on the hill there is a stirring, amongst the shadows and gun smoke yet lingering, a solitary figure to life still clinging, is struggling to reach the river refreshing to bathe his wounds and ease the pain inflicted by humans gone insane. But of the day on that hillside far, of the carnage and death he did see, of the smoke and the hell and of a fallen star he would no-one ever tell, for he was Keogh’s mount, the valiant horse Comanche.
Earlier that day much like a cavalier Knight, Custer with his 7th arrived spoiling for a fight. Into the valley of the Little Bighorn they rode, battalions deployed to sweep left and charge to the front, while his columns of four detached to the right. Further ever further was pressed the advance, in to the jaws of perdition where they hadn’t a chance, to keep the appointment with destiny on that hillside far and eternal night for Son of the Morning Star.
No, nothing stirs this June night, not a summer’s breeze or a breath of life and across the valley up on yonder hillside, all now is eerily quiet.
Copyright © Curtis Forsythe | Year Posted 2017