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“Stones stand at stiff attention as sun nears”


Here stationed without trumpet, without tears
Are the unwilling dead. Days walk the rounds
Of sentry duty past the ordered mounds.
Stones stand at stiff attention as sun nears,
Inspects them and departs. On earthen ears
The volley from the silent rifle sounds
And the slow winds police the sterile grounds
Where seconds march of equal rank with years.
Look long and with your heart until you see
In place of stone the man he planned to be,
Uproot the useless grass and find in place
The sons he might have fathered, or erase
The bare, official words and read instead:
He laughed at dying, so he is not dead.

– Luise Putcamp jr., Sonnets for the Survivors, Kaleidograph Press, 1952
“Military Cemetery” published here with permission of the author


“In that vicinity, — upon ground traversed in part by every visitor to the Cemetery, and lying immediately below and around it, — occurred the first serious conflict between the British and American troops, on the memorable 26th of August, 1776.”

Green-wood Illustrated
Nehemiah Cleaveland (1796-1877)
New York: R. Martin, 1847
First edition
F129 B7 G756 1847

Illustrated with engravings from drawings taken on the spot by James Smillie.


“These men came here from the east and from the west, stood side by side, and fought and fell in one common cause and for one common country…and their dust is now in common…”

Revised Report of the Select Committee Relative to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery
Pennyslvania. General Assembly. House of Representatives.
Harrisburg: Singerly & Myers, state printers, 1865
E475 .55 P41