(After the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas, Confederate stragglers and generals, isolated from the main events of the war, made an early resignation and moved West. Many ended in Central Idaho. Towns like Atlanta and rivers such as the Secesh [SEE SESH—abbreviated from the word “Secession”] still bear Southern names.) Sitting near this wild white-water river, one has to wonder about the effect of this untamed and untouched territory and pristine waters on the war-ravaged men who came here with nothing.)
The men left when the end never ended
Left the red deeds, the enemy, the nerveless fetters
They went west to spend themselves here
Where the Secesh sweeps the glen they rested,
Let the scythe, the dysentery, the stretchers,
Recede by the kestrel’s eye, by the heckler wren,
The shyest grebe, the deerfly, the steep jeweled crest.
Rebels here were sheperds, or eked deeper mettle.
Never regretting Tennessee—
The fettered bells, the cypresses, the levees held.
Here where the creek revels, they defected.
Where evergreen temples bless the clergy elk,
The endless pewter creek wheedles serene.
Here the wretched remember,
Here by a western sky renewed.
The etched, deserter pyches here met
Verbless peddler breezes, elderberry exegetes,
By the secret Secesh creek they settled.
Rebel brew, rebel nerve, rebel embers—
By perseverant geese, by sleet, by tender eddys,
By depths, and by regret,
These men were here redeemed.