• March 24, 2020

Magnified by its lift against the sky and by the soldier’s testifying sense of the . He was a civilian, if one might judge from his dress which was that of a planter. Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. Ambrose Bierce. This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, by Ambrose Bierce .au/b/bierce/ambrose/tales-of-soldiers-and-civilians/contents.

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It was a pass, and through it ran a turnpike, which, reaching this highest point in its course by a sinuous ascent through a thin forest, made a similar, cuvilians less steep, descent toward the enemy. Officers, if officers there were, were indistinguishable; all worked together—each while he lasted—governed by the eye.

There was blood in the hair of solsiers woman; there was blood in the hair of the man. On foot, from necessity or in deference to his dismounted commander or associates, his conduct was the same.

In wmbrose the mass with a view to determining that point, his attention was arrested by what seemed to be a ring of shining metal immediately in front of his eyes. In andBierce gradually expanded Tales by adding new stories e. Some, pausing, made strange gestures with their hands, erected their arms and lowered them again, clasped their heads; spread their palms upward, as men are sometimes seen to do in public prayer.

The stories skirt the line between the uncanny and the supernatural, pitting hapless characters victims more like in fateful situations whose ironic outcomes defy wit or bravery. This night was bright enough to bite like a serpent. Showing of 5 reviews. But when the commander asked him if in his scout he had learned anything of advantage to the expedition, he answered: He felt toward them txles kind of reasonless antipathy which was something more than the physical and spiritual repugnance common boerce us all.

The lips, too, were white, like those of a stage negro.

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians

In another moment he was upon his feet, rifle in hand, striding rapidly forward with little attempt at concealment. Everywhere near the creek, which here had a margin of lowland, the earth was trodden into mud by the feet of men and horses. Ten thousand pairs of eyes are fixed upon him with an intensity that he can hardly fail to feel; ten thousand hearts keep quick time to the inaudible hoof beats of his snowy steed.


A wave of derisive laughter runs abreast of him all along the line. The line officers in their proper places flatten themselves no less, and the field officers, their horses all killed or sent to the rear, crouch beneath the infernal canopy of hissing lead and screaming iron without a thought of personal dignity.

At the same moment an officer approached him on foot from the rear and saluted. But this would defeat his object. So long as he advances the line will not fire—why should it?

He stilled his breathing, and at the cracking of a twig beneath his knee stopped his progress and hugged the earth.

Birce of prostrate men and horses were plainly visible. To halt is to withdraw. Was there anybody on the horse? Should be required reading for students of American literature.

As he was commonly in full uniform, especially in action, when most officers are content to be less flamboyantly attired, he was a very striking and conspicuous figure. He felt his head emerge; his eyes were blinded by the sunlight; his chest expanded convulsively, and with a supreme and crowning agony his lungs engulfed a great draught of air, which instantly he expelled in a shriek!

I read this book pretty much straight through, but if I were to read it again, I would probably jump around in the collection more instead of reading it from cover to cover. But this was a flight! Talds the wall is topped with a fierce roll of smoke for a distance of hundreds of yards to right and left.

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians – Wikipedia

The colonel, humiliated and indignant, was about to order Captain Coulter in arrest, when the latter spoke a few words in a low tone to his bugler, saluted, and rode straight forward into the Notch, where, presently, at the summit of the road, his field glass at his eyes, he showed against the sky, he and his horse, sharply defined and motionless as an equestrian statue.


Nothing appeared quite familiar; the most commonplace objects—an old saddle, a splintered wheel, a forgotten canteen—everything related something of the mysterious personality of those strange men who had soldiets killing us. Are the guns near the house? My errand here is to place it in your hands.

English Choose a language for shopping. Bierce intends to unsettle his readers in order to drive home his point.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. He shuddered and turned from it with a feeling of sickness and disgust, resumed him seat upon the log, and, forgetting military prudence, struck a match and lit a cigar. He tried to break the strip with his hand, but had no leverage. Some sense of the s With anyone who appreciates the macabre mixed with the martial, this is a fascinating read.

The unnatural prominence of nose, the absence of chin, the fierce eyes, gave this man the appearance of a great bird of prey crimsoned in throat and breast by the blood of its quarry. On and on, straight for the hedge lined wall, he rides. There are living sounds, too, such as are never heard under other conditions: For a while he believed that he had died and been buried, and he tried to recall some portions of the burial service.

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, by Ambrose Bierce

I intended, also, to tell her what she had done—but not that she did it. The colors move slowly back; the lines face about and sullenly follow, bearing their wounded; the skirmishers return, gathering up the dead. He means, if not killed, to ride through and overlook the country beyond.