Historical Events Poem – Agony of Thirst

September 24, 2016

Historical Fiction

I

July 4, 1187, Knights Templers fought one of the

Bloodiest crusade’s battles at the Horns of Hattin.

In the hot desert sun they found no water to quench

Their thirst. Saladin’s men completely enclosed

The crusaders sealing their fate. Saladin spared none

Except for their Grand Master. Saladin said to

King Guy, “Have no fear. It is not the custom of kings

To kill kings,” after giving him a drink of water.

Thirst brought their failure-defeated.

II

Battle of Ankara, July 20, 1402,

Fought around Cubuk, Anakara.

Sultan Bayazed I, faced Timur

The conqueror, Ruler of Timurid

Empire Turku-Mongol forces.

Battle raged at Catal Hill, in Cubuk Valley.

Timur diverted the water supply to off-stream

Reservoir leaving Sultan Bayazed’s army

Thirsty. Sultan Baized escaped into mountains

Timur pursued, captured Bayazed-defeated.

III

Battle of Maychew, March 31, 1936,

Northern Front Second Italo-Abyssinian War.

Haile Selassie send message to wife

Empress Menen Asfaw, “Soldiers dead,

Wounded, enemy also injured, 20,000 battle

Weary, thirsty survivors .” Emperor’s thirsty

Army marched to Lake Ashangi. Water of Lake

Ashangi was sprayed with deadly chemicals

By the Italian Royal Air Force, poisoned.

Emperor’s thirsty army-defeated.

IV

Battle of Medina, August 18, 1813,

20 miles south of San Antonio, Texas.

Gutierrez-Magee Republican Forces

Fought the Mexican War of Independence

Against Spanish Gen. José Olivarez de Toledo,

And Dubois Spanish Royalist Army led by

Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo. Republicans, hot,

Thirsty, tired, broke ranks and ran-defeated.

V

Conquest of Egypt, summer 1798, invaded

and occupied by Napoleon’s army. French

Troops landed at Alexandria. Marched, tired,

And thirsty to Cairo. Beset by Bedouin

Irregular fighters. Towns and villages

Leading to Cairo turned violently deadly

Against occupiers. August 1799, Bonaparte

abandoned Egypt, left his troops-defeated.

VI

Bataan Death March 1942,

78,000 U.S. and Philippine soldiers

Surrendered to Japanese. March more

Than 65 miles to prison camps in

Scorching heat of Philippine’s jungle.

Fifteen thousand died en route

Thirsty and had no water. Most

Devastating time of conflict during

World War II-captured.

VII

Battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778,

Heroine Mary Ludwig Hayes, was

Nicknamed “Molly Pitcher.”

Fought at Valley Forge beside

Her husband William Hayes, a gunner.

Legendary-she cooled hot guns,

And bathe parched throats.

Across bullet-swept ground

Her striped skirt fluttered.

Brought pitcher after pitcher of

Cooled spring water to exhausted

Thirsty soldiers. Towns named

“Molly Pitcher Spring.”-Survivalist!

© Joseph S. Spence, Sr., 8/8/09

© All Rights Reserved

Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is the co-author of two poetry books, A Trilogy of Poetry, Prose and Thoughts for the Mind, Body and Soul, and Trilogy Moments for the Mind, Body and Soul. He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which focuses on succulent cuisines and drinks. He is published in various forums, including the World Haiku Association; Milwaukee Area Technical College, Phoenix Magazine; and Taj Mahal Review. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for the state of Arkansas, USA, and is an adjunct faculty at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He has completed over twenty years of service with the U.S. Army.

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