Gene Ladnier
220 CR 124
Walnut, Miss. 38683 (662) 223-4658

The Forgotten Rebel Soldier

There is a graveyard both far and near where a forgotten soldier lies, no flowers there are sprinkled nor tears from mourners eyes.

For there I stood not long ago in remembrance of these brave, when suddenly I heard a weeping voice speaking softly from the grave.

“Did we win our freedom that we fought so hard to save? Do they still respect that battle-flag flying gently above our grave?”

“I died in youth without a chance to see my children play, yet I prayed to God with all my might to help me through that day.”

“My son,” God said, oer the weeping winds and gently swaying field, “The price you paid your life for theirs, this I cannot yield.”

“But it’s not fair!” he cried in vain, “There were many a volunteer, our names were picked by lot and chance, misfortune brought us here.”

The price of freedom is paid by some so that others may have no fear, you my son, have paid that price, your duty was sharp and clear.”

“Our Southern people have forgotten us Lord, of us their memories wain, beneath this stone of dirty white, I feel we have died in vain.”

“So long as one remembers you and what you did for all, so long as freedom stands and peace abides your memory they shall recall.”

“The honored field of duty is a terrible price for those who die, but for all true sons of Dixie your flag will always fly.”

“On this hallowed ground my son, you are not alone, throughout the history of your land, brave acts and deeds were sown. To your left and to your right, in front, behind and near, the spirits of your fallen friends, I will forever hold so dear.”

“But my Lord it don’t seem fair, for those who never bled, to live in bliss and harmony, not a tear for us they shed?”

“The loss you paid, your eager youth, your children never born, your hopes and dreams and everything, through you their price was torn.”

As I listened to these gentle words which filled my eyes with tears, my sight beheld the Rebel flag they carried for many years.

Each star and bar that gently shined was multiplied ten thousand fold, to embrace the lives of those who died, brave men, brave deeds untold.

And as the saddened voice continued, a feeling of pride and honor spread, for here is what the weeping spirit of that forgotten soldier said.

“I am that forgotten soldier, and maybe I died in vain, but if I were alive, and my country called, I’d do it all again.”

I rode the trail with Beford Forrest, others fought with Bobby Lee, at Gettysburg and Shiloh, from Antietam to the sea.

“For I believe in Dixie, and for the rights of all free men, so if I were alive – for Dixie – I’d do it all again.”
“You may say that we were Rebels, who fought for slavery, but the truth be known, on the bottom line, we fought to set men free.”

“You can hide our tattered battle flag, and the memory of our deeds, you can forget our gentle way of life, and the honored Southern creed.

“But I will forever stand and take my place, among the soldiers of the free, I would die again for Dixie, God bless the Confederacy.”

A poem by Gene Ladnier, author of: “Fame’s Eternal Camping Ground.” (Nathan Bedford Forrest at the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads), and author of the “Rebel Chronicles” 3 book series, all available at or copyright: May, 2000.