York River, Witness to War

The Sligo Journal, Issue No 1, Spring 2011, p.45

(1781)
South of town and towards the bay
Peaceful York meanders onward;
Washington keeps moving inward.
Battles won are now forgotten —
Ripe Cornwallis feels so rotten;
Naval forces stop his movements.
Heavy storms increase York’s currents.
Food is scarce, the rations nothing;
Starving soldiers everywhere dying.
Reinforcements led by Clinton
Have no trail to march or tread in.
Winding river milks the day
South of town and towards the bay.

(1862)
Winding river milks the day;
Scattered lines, Magruder’s prattle
Fools the union into battle.
Johnston strengthens his defenses
While McClellan digs his trenches.
Slaves who talk of wagons riding
Must have seen the soldiers hiding.
Stoneman quickly chases after
Johnston’s men so full of laughter.
Franklin sails straight up the shoreline,
Weary of the roughened sunshine.
South of town and towards the bay,
Winding river milks the day.

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