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Publisher Description

The last man standing in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) post in my hometown of Saugus, MA was Doctor George W. Gale. The post was Gen. E. W. Hinks Post 95, Grand Army of the Republic. Dr. Gale died in 1936 at the age of 99. He had 7 years of military service. The charter of the post was surrendered on June 8, 1936. Over the years I had seen pictures of him at Memorial Day parades and other civic ceremonies. Older citizens around our local ball parks, prodding their own bits of legend, often told stories of his love and interest in baseball. Also, it was said, he told many stories of the war to patients and friends alike, and on many occasions took himself and others to see major league baseball games in Boston, about a dozen miles away. So it was, years after his death, amongst his papers were found the skeletal elements of this story, which I have scratched together from those papers gifted to me, and for the first time in 140 years replay it here as if it were a throwback piece of television, history with attendant drama; our country, our war, our game. 21-year old Corporal Durvin Broadmoor of the 28th Massachusetts of the Irish Brigade woke with a start from a dream on a hill in far off Virginia. War had come again with the false dawn of a June day in 1864. His mouth felt muddy, constrictive, and someplace, as yet untouched, a bone ached. The narrow red scar on his face reared its thin but ugly edge, as if the initial wound's cause for a moment was known again. An itch was at his neck without stop. The imprint of the wagon wheel, against which he had slept fitfully, was surely etched on his back, but the dream, as always, was elusive. Crowd noise had sounded there in the dream, he remembered piecemeal, hawkers and criers loose among massed people each time, but all other elements of the phantasm faded as quickly as clarity came to him. And just as quickly, the crowd dissipated and fled ethereally. Only the diamond shape of the grass surface stayed with him, and a ball in flight, a ragged, not quite round ball working its way in the air, gyrating, pulsating. At length, the sky gray, shadows starting, the ball disappeared, but there was a magic in the disappearance. And that magic lay under his skin.

22 September
Sports Literature Association
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

More Books by Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature