Jennie and Jack

They might've been sweethearts before
the war, like so many others
who parted shortly after the South
fired on a fort near Charleston city.

She likely didn't know where he was,
only that he was with the army
fighting to preserve the union,
somewhere neither of them had e’er been.

He likely assumed she was home,
but did he realize their town
in southwestern Pennsylvania
had become a major battlefield?

When she died while baking bread,
after a stray bullet entered her house,
had she known he'd been shot mid-June,
fleeing while refusing to surrender?

When he died in Virginia,
just nine days her, had he been
thinking he’d not see her again,
or did a vision of her guide him home?

Maybe then they joined other souls
In a much more civil place,
where brother doesn't fight brother
and young love blossoms in steady sun.

Jennie Wade (d. july 3, 1863) was the only civilian killed in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Cpl. Johnston Hastings “Jack” Skelly (d. July 12, 1863), died as a result of wounds incurred
after the Battle of Winchester, VA.

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