American History Stories—Volume IV - Mara L. Pratt

Joe Parsons

At one of the hospitals, was a boy of twenty, who had been shot in the eyes. He used to enjoy sitting by the window, his eyes bandaged, and singing: "O, I'm a sojer boy!"

"What's your name, my boy?" asked a visitor.

"Joe Parsons, sir?"

"What is the matter with you?"

"Blind, sir, blind as a bat; shot at Antietam.

"But it might ha' been worse," he said. "I'm thankful I'm alive, sir."

"You see, I was hit, yer see, and it knocked me down. I lay there all night, and in the morning the fight began again. I could stand the pain, but the balls were flyin' all round, and I wanted to get away. At last I heard a groan beyond me."

"Hallo," said I. "Hallo, yourself," said he.

"Who are you?" said I. "A Gray Jacket?"

"Yes," said he; "and you're a Blue Jacket."

"My leg is broken," said he.

"Can you see?" said I.


"Well, I can't; but, I can walk. Now if you'll do the seeing, I'll do the walking and get us both away from here."

"All right; agreed."

"So that's the way we saved ourselves. And now I'm getting along pretty well."

"But my poor boy," said the visitor, "you will never see again."

"Yes I know that, but—'I'm a bold, bold sojer boy.'"

"A bold, bold sojer boy"—and the visitor passed on, leaving Joe singing as merry as a lark.