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Project by redtail posted 06-10-2020 08:23 PM 748 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I made this box to display a treasured family heirloom. I’ll get to the story below.

The box is made of curly maple and was entirely with hand tools. It is finished with Boiled Linseed Oil and beeswax and is roughly 3”x4”. The box is designed to allow the contents to be seen from the front and the back. I did not use glass but what I think is lexan.

A couple of years ago I was able to bring the box and pin to Edwin’s grave in the National Cemetery at Cold Harbor.

The story:

This is the fraternity pin of my Great-Great-Great uncle Edwin Rogers. He was a member of the 31st Maine and was killed at the battle of Cold Harbor in 1864. 30 years after his death a poem was written by one of his fraternity brothers:

Brothers in DKE, A Poem

Upon a southern battlefield the twilight shadows fall;

The clash and roar are ended, and the evening bugles call.

The wearied hosts are resting where the ground is stained with red,

And o’er the plain between them lie the wounded and the dead.

Then out upon the sodden field where the armies fought all day

There came a group of soldiers who wore the Rebel gray.

But peaceful was their mission upon the darkened plain;

They came to save their wounded and lay at rest the slain.

And tenderly their hands performed the work they had to do;

And one among them paused beside a wounded boy in blue,

A Northern lad with curly hair and eyes of softest brown,

Whose coat of blue was red with blood that trickled slowly down.

A bullet hole was in his breast, and there alone he lay

At night upon the battlefield and moaned his life away.

The Rebel paused beside him and in the lantern’s light

He saw upon the Yankee’s breast a fair, familiar sight.

It was the pin of DKE, the diamond, stars and scroll-

The emblem of a Brotherhood that bound them soul to soul.

He raised his hand and quickly tore his coat of gray apart

To show the dying soldier a Deke pin on his heart!

Then close beside the Yankee dropped the Rebel to his knee

And their hands were clasped together in the grip of DKE.

“I’m from Theta,” said the Yankee, as he tried to raise his head,

“I’m from Psi in Alabama,” were the words the other said,

“Brothers from the heart forever”-nothing more was left to say

Though one was clad in Northern blue and one in Southern Gray.

But the wounded lad was dying; his voice was faint at best,

As he murmured out his message for “Mother and the rest.”

And as the Rebel soothed him with his head upon his knee,

He heard him whisper “Bowdoin” and “The Dear old DKE.”

And he bandaged up the bosom that was torn by Rebel Shot

And bathed the brow with water where the fever fires were hot

And kissed him for his mother and breathed a gentle prayer

While angels’ wings were fluttering above them in the air.

Then to a lonely country home far in the heart of Maine

A letter made the journey from that Southern battle plain;

It told about the conflict and how he bravely fell

Who was the son and brother in that home beloved so well.

It told the simple story of that night when he had died,

All written by the Southern Deke who God sent to his side.

And when it all was written the writer sent within

A little lock of curly hair and a battered diamond pin.

And thirty years have passed away, but these simple relics are,

Of all a mother treasures dear, the dearest still by far.

A simple tale and simply told, but true; and I thought it might

Well stir the hearts of loyal Dekes, so I tell it here tonight.

The Northern soldier’s name is found on Bowdoin’s honor roll;

The names of both are blazoned fair on Delta Kappa’s scroll.

God bless our noble Brotherhood; its past is sweet to hear,

And its grandeur and its glory grow with each succeeding year.

And the story of its heroes shall an inspiration be

To us who proudly wear today the pin of DKE.





1 comment so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3155 posts in 1873 days


#1 posted 06-10-2020 08:26 PM

(Takes hat off.) Very nice.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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