by Francis Orrery Tucknor
Out of the focal and foremost fire,
"Take him and welcome," the surgeon said;
And we watched the war with abated breath,
And didn't. Nay! more! in death's despite
Word of gloom from the war, one day;
I sometimes fancy that were I King
Year of Publication:
Human spirit overcoming adversity
Things to Discuss:
Name the characters in this story poem. Did the story have a happy ending? What did the poet suggest in the last stanza?
About the Poem:
In 1863, following the Battle of Murfreesboro, sixteen-year-old Isaac Newton Giffen was plucked from a makeshift Confederate hospital in Georgia by a country doctor and his wife, who took him into their home and devoted the next six months to nursing him back to health. In addition to tending to his wounds, the doctor's wife taught this uneducated son of a Tennessee blacksmith to read and write. Giffen's recovery was progressing well when news came that his old commanding officer, General Joseph E. Johnston, was being pressed by Union forces near Atlanta, and the boy immediately donned his uniform and returned to the front. Issac Newton Giffen was killed a short time later during the Atlanta campaign.
About the Poet:
Dr. Tucknor was a physician at the Confederate Hospital on Upper Broad St. from 1861-1865.