The Reaper’s Weave
He had, after the bayonet pierced his right leg, believed that death had come to take him. For the piercing was the third successive wound and his windpipe and shoulder had been ripped open. He sank into that midnight, leaving the field of that battle at Seven Pines. His sweat mixed with his blood and the sting was less painful, for a numbness had spread over him, though the wound to his arm burned like lye in his bone. His mind called to a close that dreary scene before him. That screaming private.
He was left for dead as he’d requested. Not carried to the rear. Left for dead on the field. Struggling back to consciousness as a hostage of the Union. For he had not died as he presupposed, though his immediate heroes caused him to think upon dying…hell.
Then came the blessed exchange and General Pettigrew returned to that honorable position.
A year after that conspiracy upon his life, on July 3, the handsome general again faced that conspiratorial weave. That infamous bastard called death who clings to war like a scab to a wound, came for him again. His horse had been shot out from under him and as he ran with his men, he received a wound to his hand. The hideous wound to his hand recognized as potentially mortal by General Robert E Lee, who condolenced as General Pettigrew ran to the rear, his right hand mangled and bleeding, his profound disappointment burning within his chest. It was called Pickett’s charge, but General Pettigrew was leading a third of the assault.
On the Maryland side of the Potomac River, General Pettigrew ran with his men. July 14 had arrived with a mission for the general as he moved into position on the front line. That final weave would be drawn through his chest, point blank range. He left his command post eternally, three days later in Bunker Hill, West Virginia.
The reaper’s weave took him, for the last time and he would not awake with the Union. There would be no exchange. General Pettigrew went on home.