When we get back home, thems of us who get home, we’ll all be talking about how we was balls-out, charging up this hill today. But that ain’t the truth. No, sir. Truth is we’re all cowards here, each and every one of us. Sitting behind this line, waiting for Sergeant to give the call. Even Callahan—big-talkin’ Virginian motherfucker—he’s already gone and pissed his trousers. I expect he’d have shit ‘em too, ‘cept we ain’t had nothing to eat for the last seven days.

(beat)

Damn it’s cold down here in the gully, colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra.

(laughing)

See ‘em Yankees on top of the hill? Laughing and jawing? Fresh-faced New England motherfuckers. Them Northern recruiters never told ‘em about the quick step and camp itch. Heh! I guess they’ll learn soon enough.

(whispering)

Fuck, here comes the Captain.

(beat)

He’s walking the line, trying to motivate us. Saying some shit about God and country and glory. Glory. Hell, I only signed up because my brothers were going. Didn’t want them to think I was pussy. Now Josiah and Jubal Lee are dead. Expect I’ll be joining ‘em soon enough. Little Joe gone run off with a hooker from Nashville. Pretty little thing. Probably kill him with the clap, too.

(beat)

The war takes us all, one way or another, don’t it? Glory. There ain’t much glory laying in the mud with a bayonet in your guts, head blasted open by a Minié ball. No, sir. No glory at all.

(alarmed)

Sergeant’s looking our way. Think he’s gonna give the call?

(beat)

Well, fuck it.

(excited)

You ready, boys? Let’s go kill some Yankees!

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