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Sherman’s Baby

Author Barry Stewart Mann
Air Date 6/17/2005

Sherman’s Baby Transcript

The soldier stepped away from the cannon, awaited the command, then pulled the cord. The report sounded across the valley: “Boom!” There among the crowd, two little boys, Troy and Adam, looked around amazed – “Wow” – while their two older siblings smiled widely – “Cool!” 

Their Dad had always loved the Civil War, so it was no surprise that the family visited Civil War sites whenever possible. In the past, they’d been to Gettysburg, Antietam, and more. Now, they were at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the largest in the nation. 

The oldest brother loved the maps and timelines in the Visitors’ Center. The big sister was fascinated with stories of families split by war. But Troy and little Adam, well, they just liked the guns and cannons – looking at them, climbing on them, pretending to be soldiers with them. Their dad smiled at their games: after all, the Civil War is hard to explain to a preschooler and a toddler. 

But Troy and Adam must have been listening. Later on, after a full day of touring the battlefields, the younger boys settled down to play in the hotel room. After a while, their mom stopped to listen, and quietly called the others over, as Adam asked Troy: 

“You a Feh’ret?”

Troy responded: “No, I’n a Union.” 

“Me too. I a union.” 

“I have to go fight. I need you to hold my baby.”

“Otay. I hode you baby.” 

Their dad couldn’t help himself. “Whatcha guys doing?” 

Troy explained. “I’m Sherman and I’m going to the war. He’s E. Lee and he’s taking care of my baby.” 

Their big brother laughed. “Don’t be silly. Sherman and Lee were on different sides!” 

“No,” Adam insisted, “We fens.” 

Dad explained, “Sorry, boys, your brother’s right. Lee was Confederate and Sherman was Union.” 

Troy took a deep breath. “Dad, we know. But this is after. They made up and then they were friends and Sherman had a baby and so E. Lee took care of it. It’s after.” 

Dad was about to respond, but their Mom smiled and said, “You’re right, Troy, honey. I can’t imagine a better end to the story than Lee taking care of Sherman’s baby.” She winked at the others, as if a wink could change history. And Adam added reassuringly, “I do dat, Mommy. Don wowy. I tay tare Sherman baby.” 

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