Should Decatur Honor a Union Soldier?

Dave got to this one before me, but at Monday’s Decatur City Commission meeting, Chris Billingsley spoke out in favor of the city doing something in 4 years on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Decatur to honor the Union Soldier, John W. Sprague, who won the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 22, 1864.

During his comments to the commission, Billingsley stated that roughly 500 men died in battle along what is now North McDonough Street that day.

Here’s Sprague’s write up from the Army’s Medal of Honor website

Rank and organization: Colonel, 63d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Decatur, Ga., 22 July 1862. Entered service at: Sandusky, Ohio Born: 4 April 1817, White Creek, N.Y. Date of issue: 18 January 1894. Citation: With a small command defeated an overwhelming force of the enemy and saved the trains of the corps.

Obviously, the Battle of Atlanta took place in 1864, not 1862, so I dare say the Army’s website has its dates wrong.  For clarity, Sprague’s Wikipedia entry reads thusly…

During the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, Sprague was in command of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps. During the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, at a subaction near Decatur, Georgia, he masterfully conducted a delaying action under heavy enemy fire and received praise from his superiors. With only a small command, he defeated an overwhelming Confederate force and saved the entire ordnance and supply trains of the XV, XVI, XVII, and XX corps.[2][5]

According to Wikipedia, not 8 days later Sprague was promoted to to the rank of brigadier general.

75 thoughts on “Should Decatur Honor a Union Soldier?”

  1. Why on earth would we commemorate someone who was given the Medal of Honor by what was then the enemy?

    1. I don’t see why decatur wouldn’t honor union army soldiers. The two rival armies was more alike than different. They both were fighting for their beliefs which is union: wanted america to be one country, confederate: wanted to be separate from the north. Black people were very misguided in this war but still knew the truth about the union army, they still wanted slavery as their rival did. they treated blacks like pure crap and they killed alot of black people as well. Lincoln was not black people hero. He was just as crooked. Black wanted to fight for something so they fought on the side rumored to be fighting for them but they were clearly not.

  2. He was an American war hero, regardless of which side he was on. Yes, he should be honored. This shouldn’t even be a question.

  3. Absolutely. We are no longer “the South.”. We are the southern territories of a union of states, a union that was made stronger as a result of a terrible civil war.

    1. Agree agree agree! The U.S. is stronger for having settled its regional differences, even though so many died on both sides of the several issues at stake. If people had listened to Rhett Butler, things could have been settled peaceably and rationally, with justice and freedom for all. I recently re-read UNCLE TOM’S CABIN and find I understand much much more now than years ago when I first read it. Ditto GONE WITH THE WIND. And living in Georgia has taught me more than all the U.S. history classes I ever had in school.

      1. Does south Florida count? I know Palm Beach County, where I’m from, is often called the sixth borough of New York City, but when I was growing up, it was a lot less influenced by northern…uh…culture. 🙂

  4. I’m all for recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Decatur, and have no problem with honoring a Union soldier who fought bravely, but would like somebody to thoroughly research the facts on the battle. The way I’ve always heard it, and the way it’s written on the marker on the Square, this was the only battle the Confederates won anywhere in or near Atlanta. Wheeler’s troops had the Union supply wagon train surrounded. If Spraque deserves credit, it’s for high-tailing it out of Decatur without losing the entire train. If this is wrong, I’d like to see documentation to the contrary (other than the words on a Medal of Honor citation (as they were typically grandiosed).

  5. Oh, my! The mere suggestion of this has left me with a most unpleasant case of the vapors.

    Such a treasonous act would surely be dealt with harshly and forthwith upon the glorious day that the South does indeed rise again. Hallelujah!

    (insert sarcostrophe)

  6. Fiddle-dee-dee! The very idea of honorin’ a thievin’ bluecoat is simply disgraceful– disgraceful, I say!

  7. anyone ever seen a map of the battle of Decatur? Where the troops came in from, where the lines were or anything else? I’ve never seen a detailed map, just a couple showing the battle of atlanta with decatur in the perifery.

    would be ineteresting to see…

  8. Ditto on the vapors.

    Of course the city should honor the memory of the sacrifice on both sides. It might provide great fodder for disagreement and antagonism on these very pages.

    Wish they could have settled things with a pair of banana seat bicycles and a couple of brooms, like in Quick Change. BTW, is the Bill Murray interview worth the cost of this months GQ?

  9. Some years ago I bought a thin pamphlet that showed all the troop locations and engagements in and around Decatur, overlayed over a current street map. I’ll have to find it during the next four years before the 150th anniversary.

    The truth is out there.

  10. I enjoy history. But the persistant glorification of war is troubling to me. I hope it is ok for me to have a point of view.

    1. Sure it’s ok. Is it OK for your point of view to be troubling to others, as theirs are to you?

      1. Not to cross threads or unnecessarily ratchet up the level of hostilities, but I believe this site has proven to all that there are indeed places in Decatur where differing points of view are not allowed. To wit, Tacqueria del Sol and Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market. Also, Free Westchester!

  11. Given all of the memorials around here, including on our own courthouse square, that glorify treason in defense of slavery, it would be nice to include something honoring a union soldier.

  12. Agreed, TOK. I think the opposite question is the one to ponder: why honor those who fought against the U.S. to preserve an evil way of life? No matter what the other issues were, that is the one that matters.

    1. *sigh* All you filthy Yankees make me tired with your self-righteous blather about the ‘evil South’. Have you ever seriously read any history. Do you really think that ‘Gone With The Wind’ was anything but magnolia-and-moonlight fiction?

      Where do you suppose the American slave-trading business sailed in and out of…? Paid for by whose dollars…? Live cargo sold down South in an agrarian economy that had no other way to get their crops in, that they then sold to whom…?

      Ever heard of the Fanueils, Royalls, and Cabots of Massachusetts? The Wantons, Browns, and Champlins of Rhode Island? The Whipples of New Hampshire? The Eastons of Connecticut, Willing & Morris of Philadelphia? No fewer than 6 of Philadelphia’s mayors were slave traders. Ezra Stiles was a slave trader while he was President of Yale University.

      To distill the War down to its historical import, it was the rise of the Industrial Revolution over Agrarian society. Stop interpreting the agrarians as having horns and pitchforks.

      Race relations in the US would be much better if Yankees owned up to their part of that sorry historical enterprise. Let’s commemorate that.

      1. Well, the Georgia declaration of secession makes it clear that disputes over slavery (in particular, the expansion of slavery into new territories) was viewed by those folks as one of the main reasons to secede.

        “The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. […] Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason, and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of separation. Our Northern confederates, after a full and calm hearing of all the facts, after a fair warning of our purpose not to submit to the rule of the authors of all these wrongs and injuries, have by a large majority committed the Government of the United States into their hands. […] The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is made a power in the state.”

        1. Since when do we assume that politicians’ cited reasons for this or that represent their actual reasons? Really! I mean, since when???

        2. Well, the Georgia declaration of secession makes it clear that disputes over slavery (in particular, the expansion of slavery into new territories) was viewed by those folks as one of the main reasons to secede. – karass

          Um, yeah, because the slaves were the only method of getting the crops out of the ground and into the markets. So it was a direct assault on the backbone of the agrarian economy. It was about economics.

          Here’s a perverse bit of history… Eli Whitney’s cotton gin actually made cotton a hugely profitable export and increased the necessity for slaves to pick it. He was from Massachsetts.

          1. Why is my moniker here? I don’t think it has any quotes that I posted and it isn’t responding to any of my posts.

            1. oops! An honest mistake… the reply thread should have been for TOK.

              My humble and sincere aplogies, ma’am…

              1. Apology accepted, sir or ma’am. One of the pleasanter aspects of life in the deep South, Republican or Democrat, black or white, Confederate Day celebrators or not, is the use of ma’am and sir and other polite conventions. All of my northern relatives think my husband and children are so well-bred and cordial. Fiddle-dee-dee! Bless their hearts!

          2. So “economics” justified the status quo? And if it truly was all about economics, then once that battle was lost race relations should have worked out in short order. What happened? Why Jim Crow laws? All about economics too huh? Please, spare me the white man’s burden whining. I’m sure the proud German citizens thought they were on the right side too, as long they were winning and their economy was humming along.

        3. The right to choose between being a slave state and being free- not the institution itself – was the impetus. Deeper readings into this demonstrate that. John C. Calhoun’s writings, especially in his peak year of 1828, highlight the complexity. Slavery was the backbone of the Southern economy and allowed cheap, highly competitive production of agricultural raw materials for export to the North and to Europe manufacturers. The crux of the issue was states’ rights and interpretation of federalism under the Constitution. Of course the motivation was economic preservation for the few wealthy white elites, but the issue was states’ rights and right of self governance. Ironically, Jackson’s push for agrarian populism antagonized the issue. The federal government at that point wasn’t particularly pushing for an end to the institution but to limit the power of the slave states in Congress by limiting the number to states to those already existent. The end result was that no, states have limited rights and can’t simply leave the union on a whim (HI RICK PERRY!) and the federal government through the three branches is the ultimate authority.

          1. Rick Perry…LOL

            Also, it’s sort of interesting how the states’ rights thing has resurfaced, isn’t it? Not just the Arizona thing, but nationally there seems to be a growing trend of animosity (understandably) to the bloat of the centralized government…

            nelliebelle, you seem quite the scholar (or at least a collector of degrees)…have you read any Philip Bobbitt?

      2. Oh, and the Mississippi declaration of secession is also worth looking at:

        “In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

        Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

        That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.”

        1. TOK, have you read the quotes you’re posting…? They both specify the economic importance of slavery.

          Other than being horrible and cruel, slavery was a very expensive and inefficient method for moving products to market. But it was pretty much all there was until mechanized crop support was developed, long after the War had ended.

          It’s not pretty, but slavery has been a part of human history for millenia. I’m not condoing it, by any means.

          1. Yeah, I did read them. I’m not disagreeing that economic issues played a huge role–I mean, duh, slavery was a huge part of the southern economy. And I’m not asserting that everybody in the Northern states had clean hands either. But the Civil War wasn’t just “the rise of the Industrial Revolution over Agrarian society,” it was a conflict between an industrializing region and an Agrarian society that used widespread chattel slavery to raise its crops. Lots of other western societies managed to get through the industrial revolution (and have agrarian areas too) without a civil war over slavery.

            1. Lots of other western societies managed to get through the industrial revolution (and have agrarian areas too) without a civil war over slavery. – TOK

              Really…? Who, pray tell? Surely you don’t mean England? They had been slave merchants for a couple of centuries prior to Industrialization, then they depended on child labour. Ever hear anything about the tuberculor squalor of European factory cities?

              History is often ugly, but it’s how we got here.

              1. Right, England (for instance) got through the industrial revolution and didn’t have a civil war over slavery (they abolished slavery peacefully in 1833) because they didn’t have a large part of their country that had depended on widespread chattel slavery to raise crops. They did have child labor and horrible conditions in many of their factories (ditto for the U.S. when it industrialized).

              2. TOK, where do you think the English kept their slaves for two centuries plus?

                Oh, yeah, their New World colonies…

              3. Well, the Slavery Abolition Act did abolish slavery in Britain’s New World Colonies at the time, e.g.,in the West Indies.

                But in any case, I’m not arguing that England is uniquely awesome or anything like that. Originally, I was just responding to RW’s comment that “To distill the War down to its historical import, it was the rise of the Industrial Revolution over Agrarian society.” It’s not false, but I think that it’s misleading to put it that way, because it leaves out the role of chattel slavery in the Agrarian society in question and in the conflict between the agrarian and industrialized areas. Likewise, the point of copying the quotations from the Georgia and Mississippi declarations is not to deny that economic factors played a huge role in the Civil War, but just to remind folks of the role that slavery played. The southern states thought that the institution of slavery was under attack–even though there wasn’t a push by the Republicans to abolish it right away in the states that already allowed slavery–and they seceded to preserve that institution, long-term. I don’t see how anything you or RW have posted here undercuts that, so I’m starting to get a little fuzzy on what we’re disagreeing about–and maybe we aren’t disagreeing.

  13. Wow, a topic that generates even more posts per minute than local elections! Dear southern-born hubby despite his educated, progressive ways nonetheless likes to mutter intermittently “we could have won that war…” ( I always reply “yes and then the South would be the third world country on the southern U.S. border instead of Mexico”)

    1. Jilyco, to what is your “absolutely not” referring? The South could have won. It’s long and complicated, but yes, there is evidence that France and Britain were about to enter the war on the side of the South. The South’s raw material and agricultural exports were valuable and weakening the growing United States was in the best interest of many European nations.

      What do you think the Emancipation Proclamation(s) were? The small minority of abolitionists winning a moral victory or a calculated political move to make sure the war was about slavery and nothing but slavery? It didn’t free slaves in the Union/border states or Tennessee or West Virginia… that didn’t happen until after the war.

      1. Nellie,
        Thank you for succintly clarifying the issue and the politics behind it. Looking back, the war appears to most to have been strictly about slavery. At the time though, I don’t think that was the case and some other very good and significant principals were lost in the exchange. We are better for the result, but the the cost has been dear.

  14. Here are the points I was trying to make to the City Commission:
    1. Tomorrow is the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Decatur. As far as I know, there is nothing planned by the city or the DeKalb Historical Center to commemorate the event. I think this is wrong.
    2. The Battle of Decatur was no small event. Several years ago, a historian (Dr. Evans who may now work at the Kennesaw National Battlefield) told me that maybe 1,500 Confederate troops organized a battle line near the creek at South McDonough and Oakview. Most of the 500 Union troops were located around the square but they had numerous rifle pits throughout the present Agnes Scott campus, near the railroad tracks, and all along North McDonough Street. Union troops also had two large canons located across the street from Chik-fil-a. The Confederate troops suffered terrible casualties during the charge but were able to drive the Union troops off the square and captured several wagons of supplies and maybe 25 to 30 prisoners (the monument on the square and at the cemetery say 230 prisoners but other sources say it was probably 25 to 30). At the end of the battle, more than 500 soldiers lay dead or dying on McDonough Street and around the square.
    When I questioned Dr. Evans about the number of casualties and where they were buried, he told me that many of the Confederate dead were later buried at Oakland cemetery but some were buried where they fell. He was quite sure that the number of soldiers killed during the battle was over 500.
    3. I was told that John Sprague led a group of Union troops to defend and remove from the square the U.S. flag. These actions, as well as the defense of the Union wagon train, were the reasons why he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
    4. I asked the commission to think about what Decatur should do to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Decatur in 2014. I believe that the brave men on both sides, as well as the civilians who suffered during and after the battle, should be honored.
    5. Finally I suggested that Decatur should have some sort of memorial on the square that recognizes the bravery of John Sprague. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for what he did 146 years ago. I told the Commission, “Wouldn’t it be something if in four years, a small Southern town honored both a Union commander and the brave Sons of the South?” (Or something like that)
    Our town bends over backwards to organize book, beer and art festivals but none of these events compare to the sacrifices that Americans paid 146 years ago along McDonough Street and throughout downtown Decatur. Our freedom has never been free. It was bought and paid for by the blood of both Union and Confederate soldiers on July 22, 1864. It is being defended today by our troops around the world. I suggest that you think about that tomorrow. I look forward to working with others to create an appropriate celebration for the 150 anniversary of the Battle of Decatur in 2014.

    1. Thanks, Chris. I totally agree with your suggestion and hope our city leaders will act on it. In particular, I hope we can have a well-researched account of what really happened in our little burgh all those years ago. The historical markers tend to spin the tale from the Confederate viewpoint, and I’d love to have the whole story.
      Some years ago I participated with a Scout group in a walking tour of the Battle of Decatur led by an amateur historian (perhaps Dr. Evans cited above?) that took us through the MAK District and up to the Square. His key point was that if this battle had gone differently and the Confederates had captured that supply train, the outcome of the whole Battle of Atlanta could have been changed. And if that had happened, perhaps the presidential election of 1864 (which at the time was going badly for Lincoln) might have turned out differently. And if that happened . . . So maybe this is like that butterfly flying above Moscow? Anyway, this is a big deal and deserves at least as much attention and effort as a beer festival.
      By the way, I hope everyone realizes what a great asset Chris Billingsley is to our city, and especially our kids. Thanks, Chris, for all you do.

      1. Maybe somebody could write a grant application to the beer festival so that some of their proceeds go to paying for a historical commemoration of the battle and recognition of Colonel Sprague.

    2. Mr Billingsley,

      When you spoke on this at the meeting Monday night, my thoughts were: “Huh! Interesting! I did not know all that! Yes, the 150th anniversary might should be acknowledged in some way. Why is Mr. Billingsley first bringing this up to the City Folks here?”

      You’re being a bit scoldy as if they’ve somehow shirked their responsibilities of honoring past military efforts. You caught them totally by surprise Monday evening. The folks at City Hall are almost always quick to point folks in the right direction for getting results when asked. Kudos that they rarely ever say “That’s not my job.” In this instance, it’s probably not. They are tasked with overseeing the City’s present day needs & projecting future ones. Surely they’d be glad to provide you with the appropriate contact info for this quest. (Which seems like Dekalb County & the Dekalb History Center. Unless you’re planning to put up a statue next to a flower pot by City Hall. )

      The City Folks do an outstanding job of supporting the mentioned festivals. They’d very likely be quite helpful to a passionate group of history buffs wanting to create a 150th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony. Heck, the Beer Festival folks might even be willing to chip in some grant money for the cause. ( Of course now that you’ve bashed them here for the umpteenth time, you really should buy them a beer before asking.)

      I wouldn’t begrudge a private group for funding a statue if they feel strongly about its inclusion with the other war monuments. I would be greatly troubled by a City of Decatur or Dekalb County stamp of approval (or $$$ spent) on an event that doesn’t also focus on how citizens now view this tragic part of our history.

  15. I’ve got a copy of what has to be the best map of the Battle of Atlanta, made by Wilbur G. Kurtz, who was the “Historical Consultant” to the film production of Gone With The Wind. It shows Atlanta in 1938 and all the battle lines drawn on it. Scott Boulevard doesn’t exist on the map. It shows how small Atlanta was not so long ago. Maybe I can scan it…Also available at the Dekalb History Center

  16. As a disclaimer, one of my many thousands of unused graduate degrees is in history,with a specific focus on master-slave dynamics pre-1856. However, I hate Civil War history with a passion and would rather shoot myself in the eye than endure it. All the good stuff on the Civil War for me happened before the actual battle; besides, I spent many summers at Shiloh battlefield, which borders my great grandfather’s former farm, looking at the real live graves of my grandfather’s relative buried right there whilst wearing a small butternut hat from the gift shop. My grandma was DOC and DAR; the DOC was more important.

    That’s not coloring this opinion at all.

    A few points:

    I don’t understand the point of this proposed memorial and celebration. The monuments you see around Southern town squares today are typically the results of the uptick of Confederate patriotism in the 1890s, built by DOCs and intended to be slap back after Reconstruction. I am oversimplifying a lot, but II get why those monuments were built. The also signaled the beginning of post-Reconstruction apartheid. So what’s the point of some memorial commemorating both sides?

    Also, after Reconstruction, white Southerners celebrated Confederate Memorial Day for generations. There are reasons in the South that honoring and memorializing the Civil War has gone out of vogue.

    I also find this racially tone deaf and deaf to the history of the South since Reconstruction, period. The Civil War is not something that is celebrated and commemorated among most black families in the South. Yankees weren’t celebrated much as liberators; not that much changed down here after the Civil War and Yankee carpetbaggers exploited blacks at every turn. Modern racism, Jim Crow, the sharecropping system (virtually enslaving both poor black and whites) and separate but equal were born and I can’t really imagine many black folks feeling a lot of love for this sort of thing. I can’t imagine anyway you can spin this that is positive – throwing in a Yankee soldier doesn’t ameliorate the fact that this a Civil War commemoration, something that has been dying out in the South since 1960s and should probably stay buried.

    Also, who is going to pay for this? I don’t see the city being able to attract a lot of sponsorship for a Civil War festival…. so we have to foot the bill?

    I don’t get it- I don’t get the point.

    1. nelliebelle, thanks for bringing the war into social context.

      Civil War commemoration may be weakening as years go by. However, the 150th anniversary is stirring a lot of preparation and activity in regions of this state with major sites, such as Chickamauga. They are investing money in their historic sites to capitalize on the potential tourist revenue. They may also be investing their perspective in the interpretive signs, materials, and presentations that they will be giving that year.

      I would suggest that we need you and others to temporarily set aside your hate of the history, and make your views known when the history is discussed. The history is continually being written, and so your participation is needed.

      PS–The state government of Georgia still gives state workers the day off on Confederate Memorial Day.

      1. The state Confederate Memorial Day holiday is a national embarrassment. It wouldn’t be if it were called something like Civil War Memorial Day or State Memorial Day but singly out the Confederate side of the war for honor is widely interpreted as a slap in the face to African Americans who were enslaved by Confederacy supporters. Did you know that many African American state workers make a point of working on that holiday (for free of course), if only from home?

      2. Again, the point of this is what? How is this attracting tourists- it’s a minor battle site, doesn’t compare to major sites, so again, what is the point?

    2. NellieBelle-Well said! Let’s not forget that racism in all varieties is still alive and well even in “progressive” Decatur/Atlanta…

  17. The 150th anniversary would be a good time to remember the human cost of all our wars.
    Praise the past, but we need to honor the present. We need a monument to those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those are my heros…

  18. You know what I am? Bored. Although it is amusing to watch everyone head to their respective highhorses…

  19. Hi “y’all”
    I definitely think we need to commemorate something about the 150th anniversary; we need to write a grant to the beer festival to see if they will sponsor something like that (let’s look at beer fest 2011, since I wonder if it’s too late for this year) I am glad Chris brought it up, but beyond another doggone statute or memorial, it would be interesting to bring all the history of the ” players” soldiers, civilians, north and south, black and white, into a fuller context and a true understanding of what was happening in our little ole burg of Dee-Catur in the 1800s. We can be politically correct until the cows come home, but the truth is, these commemorations are going to occur whether we like it or not, it’s an excellent educational opportunity …

  20. History is important. We all seem to forget it, to our detriment. We like to pretend bad things didn’t happen,. Yes, it’s 2010, but human nature doesn’t seem to have changed much. We should examine our past more closely — it is influencing our present.

  21. This is only tangentially related to the topic, but, hey, it’s Friday…

    The Roman Road

    The Roman Road runs straight and bare
    As the pale parting-line in hair
    Across the heath. And thoughtful men
    Contrast its days of Now and Then,
    And delve, and measure, and compare;

    Visioning on the vacant air
    Helmeted legionnaires, who proudly rear
    The Eagle, as they pace again
    The Roman Road.

    But no tall brass-helmeted legionnaire
    Haunts it for me. Uprises there
    A mother’s form upon my ken,
    Guiding my infant steps, as when
    We walked that ancient thoroughfare,
    The Roman Road.

    — Thomas Hardy

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