Grandmother's Story of Bunker Hill Battle; And Other Verse and Prose

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Literary Collections - 116 pages
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Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1891. Excerpt: ... MY HUNT AFTER "THE CAPTAIN. In the dead of the night which closed upon the bloody field of Antietam,1 my household was startled from its slumbers by the loud summons of a telegraphic messenger. The air had been heavy all day with rumors of battle, and thousands and tens of thousands had walked the streets with throbbing hearts, in dread anticipation of the tidings any hour might bring. We rose hastily, and presently the messenger was admitted. I took the envelope from his hand, opened it, and read: -- Hagerstown 17th To H Capt H wounded shot through the neck thought not mortal at Keedysville William G Leduc Through the neck, -- no bullet left in wound. Windpipe, food-pipe, carotid, jugular, half a dozen smaller, but still formidable vessels, a great braid of nerves, each as big as a lamp-wick, spinal cord, -- ought to kill at once, if at all. Thought not mortal, or not thought mortal, -- which was it? The first; that is better than the second would be, -- " Keedysville, a post-office, Washington Co., Maryland." Leduc? Leduc? Don't remember that name. -- The boy is wait 1 The battle of Antietam was fought September 17, 1862. ing for his money. A dollar and thirteen cents. Has nobody got thirteen cents? Don't keep that boy waiting, -- how do we know what messages he has got to carry? The boy had another message to carry. It was to the father of Lieutenant-Colonel Wilder Dwight, informing him that his son was grievously wounded in the same battle, and was lying at Boonsborough, a town a few miles this side of Keedysville. This I learned the next morning from the civil and attentive officials at the Central Telegraph Office. Calling upon this gentleman, I found that he meant to leave in the quarter-past-two-o'clock train, taking with him Dr. George H. Gay, an accomplished and energetic ...

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About the author (2009)

A devoted physician and professor of anatomy and physiology at Harvard College for 35 years, Holmes used his literary talents to enhance his life, not to define it. Literary fame came relatively early to Holmes, when in 1830 he published a few lines of verse in a Boston newspaper in which he objected to the dismantling of the frigate Constitution, which had served its nation victoriously in the Tripolitan War and the War of 1812. The poem, "Old Ironside," was a great success, both for Holmes as a poet and in saving the frigate. However, his medical studies left Holmes little leisure for literature for the next 25 years. That changed, however, with the publication of an animated series of essays in the newly founded Atlantic Monthly in 1857 and 1858, and afterwards published in book form as The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). Not only did these essays help secure the magazine's success, but also brought Holmes widespread popularity. Holmes as an essayist has been compared with all of the great writers in that genre, from Michel de Montaigne to Charles Lamb, but his compositions are closer to conversational than to formal prose. Later volumes---The Professor at the Breakfast-Table (1860), The Poet at the Breakfast-Table (1872), and Over the Teacups (1891)---extend the autocrat's delightfully egotistical talks, mainly of Boston and New England, in which Holmes was, by turns, brilliantly witty and extremely serious. During these same years, he also wrote three so-called medicated novels: Elsie Venner (1861), The Guardian Angel (1867), and A Mortal Antipathy (1885). Though undistinguished as literary documents, they are important early studies of that "mysterious borderland which lies between physiology and psychology," and they demonstrate that Holmes was advanced in his conception of the causes and progress of neuroses and mental disease. Many of Holmes's best poems appeared first in his "Breakfast Table" series. "The Deacon's Masterpiece, or the Wonderful One-Hoss Shay," "The Chambered Nautilus," and "The Living Temple" all may be found in The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). But the bulk of Holmes's poetry is occasional verse, written "on command" to celebrate "the affairs of men and nations." Indeed, so many events are commemorated in his verses that a social history of the times---at least in Boston---may be read in his complete poems. Much more lasting as literary artifacts, however, are his short, humorous verses, like "The Ballad of the Oysterman" (1830), "The Last Leaf" (1831), and "My Aunt" (1831).

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