Five Forks: Waterloo of the Confederacy
It’s springtime now in Virginia and the forsythia is sprouting and the dogwood flowering, splashes of yellow and red and white. There are great expanding red buds on the trees, mourning doves lowing in the loblolly pines, cardinals among the cherry blossoms, green magnolias, mists in the dawn . . . and when the sun gets above the trees the pine woods smell warm and sweet. April 1st is cloudless after days of rain. A mockingbird sings in the bright clear morning.
Five Forks could be anywhere, just a country crossroads. It could be anywhere: a fine day out in the woods, with the damp smell of the earth and last-year’s rotting leaves. It’s places like these where war comes—anywhere at all—in the spring countryside with the sound and smell of battle. . . .