Chicago POW camp
History written by the victors
An anthem for the Union dead?
The winds of change
Have blown away legions
Of southern poets and artists:
No longer published, no longer read:
Not all of whom owned plantations
Nor approved of slavery. They just wanted to be free,
Free from the Yankee behemoth to the north.
Poets blown away, anyoldway,
Victims of victors’ justice: Antifa-style.
Re-write the past to suit the present.
Condemn without scholarship,
Dismiss without understanding.
Who knows about the Yankee concentration camps?
Like camp Douglas near Chicago
A place of extreme cruelty and starvation
Run by galvanized Yankees
4,275 Confederate prisoners re-interred from this hell-hole
After the industrial defeat of the Confederacy.
The rural defeated by the urban
Farms annihilated by factories
The hard-nosed north wiped out the softly spoken south.
Paul Hamilton Hayne, born in Charleston,
His family were English, from Shropshire.
He was a poet and editor, reluctant soldier.
His house was burnt, his health destroyed, by war.
After ‘Sherman’s march to the sea’
Hayne remained in Georgia
The cutting winds of ‘reconstruction’, of Yankee dominance,
Passed through the Georgia pines,
The melancholy winds of defeat,
Of loss, sobbed through his final poems.