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Excerpt: "The March" by E.L. Doctorow

Excerpt: "The March" by E.L. Doctorow

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Excerpted from "The March" by E. L. Doctorow. Copyright © 2005 by E.L. Doctorow. Excerpted by permission of Random House Trade Paperbacks, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpted from "The March" by E. L. Doctorow. Copyright © 2005 by E.L. Doctorow. Excerpted by permission of Random House Trade Paperbacks, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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07/10/2013

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original

 
Chapter
 
1
 
I
 
At
 
five
 
in
 
the
 
morning
 
someone
 
banging
 
on
 
the
 
door
 
and
 
shouting,
 
her
 
husband,
 
John,
 
leaping
 
out
 
of 
 
bed,
 
grabbing
 
his
 
rifle,
 
and
 
Roscoe
 
at
 
the
 
same
 
time
 
roused
 
from
 
the
 
backhouse,
 
his
 
bare
 
feet
 
pounding:
 
Mattie
 
hurriedly
 
pulled
 
on
 
her
 
robe,
 
her
 
mind
 
prepared
 
for
 
the
 
alarm
 
of 
 
war,
 
but
 
the
 
heart
 
stricken
 
that
 
it
 
would
 
finally
 
have
 
come,
 
and
 
down
 
the
 
stairs
 
she
 
flew
 
to
 
see
 
through
 
the
 
open
 
door
 
in
 
the
 
lamplight,
 
at
 
the
 
steps
 
of 
 
the
 
portico,
 
the
 
two
 
horses,
 
steam
 
rising
 
from
 
their
 
flanks,
 
their
 
heads
 
lifting,
 
their
 
eyes
 
wild,
 
the
 
driver
 
a
 
young
 
darkie
 
with
 
rounded
 
shoulders,
 
showing
 
stolid
 
patience
 
even
 
in
 
this,
 
and
 
the
 
woman
 
standing
 
in
 
her
 
carriage
 
no
 
one
 
but
 
her
 
aunt
 
Letitia
 
Pettibone
 
of 
 
McDonough,
 
her
 
elderly
 
face
 
drawn
 
in
 
anguish,
 
her
 
hair
 
a
 
straggled
 
mess,
 
this
 
woman
 
of 
 
such
 
fine
 
grooming,
 
this
 
dowager
 
who
 
practically
 
ruled
 
the
 
season
 
in
 
Atlanta
 
standing
 
up
 
in
 
the
 
equipage
 
like
 
some
 
hag
 
of 
 
doom,
 
which
 
indeed
 
she
 
would
 
prove
 
to
 
be.
 
The
 
carriage
 
was
 
piled
 
with
 
luggage
 
and
 
tied
 
bundles,
 
and
 
as
 
she
 
stood
 
some
 
silver
 
fell
 
to
 
the
 
ground,
 
knives
 
and
 
forks
 
and
 
a
 
silver
 
candelabra,
 
catching
 
in
 
the
 
clatter
 
the
 
few
 
gleams
 
of 
 
light
 
from
 
the
 
torch
 
that
 
Roscoe
 
held.
 
Mattie,
 
still
 
tying
 
her
 
robe,
 
ran
 
down
 
the
 
steps
 
thinking
 
stupidly,
 
as
 
she
 
later
 
reflected,
 
only
 
of 
 
the
 
embarrassment
 
to
 
this
 
woman,
 
whom
 
to
 
tell
 
the
 
truth
 
she
 
had
 
respected
 
more
 
than
 
loved,
 
and
 
picking
 
up
 
and
 
pressing
 
back
 
upon
 
her
 
the
 
heavy
 
silver,
 
as
 
if 
 
this
 
was
 
not
 
something
 
Roscoe
 
should
 
be
 
doing,
 
nor
 
her
 
husband,
 
John
 
Jameson,
 
neither.
 
Letitia
 
would
 
not
 
come
 
down
 
from
 
her
 
carriage,
 
there
 
was
 
no
 
time,
 
she
 
said.
 
She
 
was
 
a
 
badly
 
frightened
 
woman
 
with
 
no
 
concern
 
for
 
her
 
horses,
 
as
 
John
 
saw
 
and
 
quickly
 
ordered
 
buckets
 
to
 
be
 
brought
 
around,
 
as
 
the
 
woman
 
cried,
 
Get
 
out,
 
get
 
out,
 
take
 
what
 
you
 
can
 
and
 
leave,
 
and
 
seemed
 
to
 
be
 
roused
 
to
 
anger
 
as
 
they
 
only
 
stood
 
listening,
 
with
 
some
 
of 
 
the
 
field
 
hands
 
appearing
 
now
 
around
 
the
 
side
 
of 
 
the
 
house
 
with
 
the
 
first
 
light,
 
as
 
if 
 
drawn
 
into
 
existence
 
by
 
it.
 
And
 
I
 
know
 
him!
 
she
 
cried.
 
He
 
has
 
dined
 
in
 
my
 
home.
 
He
 
has
 
lived
 
among
 
us.
 
He
 
burns
 
where
 
he
 
has
 
ridden
 
to
 
lunch,
 
he
 
fires
 
the
 
city
 
in
 
whose
 
clubs
 
he
 
once
 
gave
 
toasts,
 
oh
 
yes,
 
someone
 
of 
 
the
 
educated
 
class,
 
or
 
so
 
we
 
thought,
 
though
 
I
 
never
 
was
 
impressed!
 
No,
 
I
 
was
 
never
 
impressed,
 
he
 
was
 
too
 
spidery,
 
too
 
weak
 
in
 
his
 
conversation,
 
and
 
badly
 
composed
 
in
 
his
 
dress,
 
careless
 
of 
 
his
 
appearance,
 
but
 
for
 
all
 
that
 
I
 
thought
 
quite
 
civilized
 
in
 
having
 
so
 
little
 
gift
 
to
 
dissemble
 
or
 
pretend
 
what
 
he
 
did
 
not
 
feel.
 
And
 
what
 
a
 
bitter
 
gall
 
is
 
in
 
my
 
throat
 
for
 
what
 
I
 
believed
 
was
 
a
 
domesticated
 
man
 
with
 
a
 
clear
 
love
 
for
 
wife
 
and
 
children,
 
who
 
is
 
no
 
more
 
than
 
a
 
savage
 
with
 
not
 
a
 
drop
 
of 
 
mercy
 
in
 
his
 
cold
 
heart.
 
It
 
was
 
difficult
 
to
 
get
 
the
 
information
 
from
 
her,
 
she
 
ranted
 
so.
 
John
 
did
 
not
 
try
 
to,
 
he
 
began
 
giving
 
orders
 
and
 
ran
 
back
 
in
 
the
 
house.
 
It
 
was
 
she,
 
Mattie,
 
who
 
listened.
 
Her
 
aunt’s
 
hysteria,
 
formulated
 
oddly
 
in
 
terms
 
of 
 
the
 
drawing
 
room,
 
moved
 
her
 
to
 
her
 
own
 
urgent
 
attention.
 
She
 
had
 
for
 
the
 
moment
 
even
 
forgotten
 
her
 
boys
 
upstairs.
 
They
 
are
 
coming,
 
Mattie,
 
they
 
are
 
marching.
 
It
 
is
 
an
 
army
 
of 
 
wild
 
dogs
 
led
 
by
 
this
 
apostate,
 
this
 
hideous
 
wretch,
 
this
 
devil
 
who
 
will
 
drink
 
your
 
tea
 
and
 
bow
 
before
 
he
 
takes
 
everything
 
from
 
you.
 
And
 
now,
 
her
 
message
 
delivered,
 
her
 
aunt
 
slumped
 
back
 
in
 
her
 
seat,
 
and
 
gave
 
her
 
order
 
to
 
be
 
off.
 
 
Where
 
Letitia
 
Pettibone
 
was
 
going
 
Mattie
 
could
 
not
 
get
 
the
 
answer.
 
Nor
 
how
 
much
 
time
 
there
 
was,
 
in
 
fact,
 
before
 
the
 
scourge
 
arrived
 
at
 
her
 
own
 
door.
 
Not
 
that
 
she
 
doubted
 
the
 
woman.
 
She
 
looked
 
into
 
the
 
sky
 
slowly
 
lightening
 
to
 
its
 
gray
 
beginnings
 
of 
 
the
 
day.
 
She
 
heard
 
nothing
 
but
 
the
 
cock
 
crowing
 
and,
 
as
 
she
 
turned,
 
suddenly
 
angry,
 
the
 
whisperings
 
of 
 
the
 
slaves
 
gathered
 
now
 
at
 
the
 
corner
 
of 
 
the
 
house.
 
And
 
then
 
with
 
the
 
team
 
away,
 
the
 
carriage
 
rolling
 
down
 
the
 
gravel
 
path,
 
Mattie
 
turned,
 
lifting
 
the
 
hem
 
of 
 
her
 
robe,
 
and
 
mounted
 
the
 
steps
 
only
 
to
 
see
 
that
 
horrible
 
child
 
Pearl,
 
insolent
 
as
 
ever,
 
standing,
 
arms
 
folded,
 
against
 
the
 
pillar
 
as
 
if 
 
the
 
plantation
 
was
 
her
 
own.
 
 john
 
 jameson
 
was
 
not
 
unprepared.
 
As
 
far
 
back
 
as
 
September,
 
when
 
the
 
news
 
had
 
come
 
that
 
Hood
 
had
 
pulled
 
out
 
and
 
the
 
Union
 
armies
 
had
 
Atlanta,
 
he
 
sat
 
Mattie
 
down
 
and
 
told
 
her
 
what
 
had
 
to
 
be
 
done.
 
The
 
rugs
 
were
 
rolled,
 
the
 
art
 
was
 
taken
 
down
 
from
 
the
 
walls,
 
her
 
needlepoint
 
chairs—whatever
 
she
 
valued,
 
he
 
told
 
her—her
 
English
 
fabrics,
 
the
 
china,
 
even
 
her
 
family
 
Bible:
 
it
 
was
 
all
 
to
 
be
 
packed
 
up
 
and
 
carted
 
to
 
Milledgeville
 
and
 
thence
 
put
 
on
 
the
 
train
 
to
 
Savannah,
 
where
 
John’s
 
cotton
 
broker
 
had
 
agreed
 
to
 
store
 
their
 
things
 
in
 
his
 
warehouse.
 
Not
 
my
 
piano,
 
she’d
 
said,
 
that
 
will
 
stay.
 
It
 
would
 
rot
 
in
 
the
 
dampness
 
of 
 
that
 
place.
 
As
 
you
 
wish,
 
John
 
had
 
said,
 
having
 
no
 
feeling
 
for
 
music
 
in
 
any
 
case.
 
Mattie
 
was
 
dismayed
 
to
 
see
 
her
 
home
 
so
 
depleted.
 
Through
 
the
 
bare
 
windows
 
the
 
sun
 
shone,
 
lighting
 
up
 
the
 
floors
 
as
 
if 
 
her
 
life
 
were
 
going
 
backward
 
and
 
she
 
was
 
again
 
a
 
young
 
bride
 
in
 
a
 
new
built
 
unfurnished
 
manse
 
and
 
with
 
a
 
somewhat
 
frightening
 
husband
 
twice
 
her
 
age.
 
She
 
wondered
 
how
 
John
 
knew
 
the
 
war
 
would
 
touch
 
them
 
directly.
 
In
 
fact
 
he
 
didn’t,
 
but
 
he
 
was
 
a
 
man
 
whose
 
success
 
gave
 
him
 
reason
 
to
 
suppose
 
he
 
was
 
smarter
 
than
 
most
 
people.
 
He
 
had
 
a
 
presence,
 
with
 
his
 
voluminous
 
chest
 
and
 
large
 
head
 
of 
 
wild
 
white
 
hair.
 
Don’t
 
argue
 
with
 
me,
 
Mattie.
 
They
 
lost
 
twenty
 
or
 
thirty
 
thousand
 
men
 
taking
 
that
 
city.
 
There’s
 
hell
 
to
 
pay.
 
You’re
 
a
 
general,
 
with
 
a
 
President
 
who’s
 
a
 
madman.
 
Would
 
you
 
 just
 
sit
 
there?
 
So
 
where?
 
To
 
Augusta?
 
To
 
Macon?
 
And
 
how
 
will
 
he
 
ride,
 
if 
 
not
 
through
 
these
 
hills?
 
And
 
don’t
 
expect
 
that
 
poor
 
excuse
 
for
 
a
 
Rebel
 
army
 
to
 
do
 
anything
 
about
 
it.
 
But
 
if 
 
I’m
 
wrong,
 
and
 
I
 
pray
 
God
 
I
 
am,
 
what
 
will
 
I
 
have
 
lost,
 
tell
 
me?
 
Mattie
 
was
 
not
 
allowed
 
to
 
disagree
 
in
 
such
 
matters.
 
She
 
felt
 
even
 
more
 
dismayed
 
and
 
said
 
not
 
a
 
thing
 
when,
 
with
 
the
 
crops
 
in,
 
John
 
arranged
 
to
 
sell
 
away
 
his
 
dozen
 
prime
 
field
 
hands.
 
They
 
were
 
bound,
 
all
 
of 
 
them,
 
to
 
a
 
dealer
 
in
 
Columbia,
 
South
 
Carolina.
 
When
 
the
 
day
 
came
 
and
 
they
 
were
 
put
 
in
 
shackles
 
into
 
the
 
wagon,
 
she
 
had
 
to
 
run
 
upstairs
 
and
 
cover
 
her
 
ears
 
so
 
as
 
not
 
to
 
hear
 
the
 
families
 
wailing
 
down
 
in
 
the
 
shacks.
 
All
 
John
 
had
 
said
 
was
 
No
 
buck
 
nigger
 
of 
 
mine
 
will
 
wear
 
a
 
Federal
 
uniform,
 
I’ll
 
promise
 
you
 
that.
 
But
 
for
 
all
 
his
 
warning
 
and
 
preparation
 
she
 
could
 
not
 
believe
 
the
 
moment
 
had
 
come
 
to
 
leave
 
Fieldstone.
 
The
 
fear
 
made
 
her
 
legs
 
weak.
 
She
 
could
 
not
 
imagine
 
how
 
to
 
live
 
except
 
in
 
her
 
own
 
home,
 
with
 
her
 
own
 
things,
 
and
 
the
 
Georgian
 
world
 
arranged
 
to
 
provide
 
her
 
and
 
her
 
family
 
what
 
their
 
station
 
demanded.
 
And
 
though
 
Aunt
 
Letitia
 
was
 
gone,
 
she
 
had
 
infected
 
them
 
with
 
her
 
panic.
 
For
 
all
 
his
 
foresight,
 
John
 
was
 
running
 
around
 
this
 
way
 
and
 
that,
 
red
faced,
 
shouting
 
and
 
giving
 
orders.
 
The
 
boys,
 
roused
 
out
 
of 
 
bed
 
and
 
still
 
only
 
half 
 
dressed,
 
came
 
down
 
the
 
stairs
 
with
 
their
 
rifles
 
and
 
ran
 
out
 
through
 
the
 
back.
 
Mattie
 
went
 
to
 
her
 
bedroom
 
and
 
stood
 
not
 
knowing
 
where
 
to
 
start.
 
She
 
heard
 
herself 
 
whimpering.
 
Somehow
 
she
 
dressed
 
and
 
grabbed
 
whatever
 
she
 
could
 
from
 
her
 
armoire
 
and
 
bath
 
and
 
threw
 
 
everything
 
into
 
two
 
portmanteaus.
 
She
 
heard
 
a
 
gunshot
 
and,
 
looking
 
out
 
the
 
back
 
window,
 
saw
 
one
 
of 
 
the
 
mules
 
go
 
down
 
on
 
its
 
knees.
 
Roscoe
 
was
 
leading
 
another
 
from
 
the
 
stable,
 
while
 
her
 
older
 
boy,
 
John
 
Junior,
 
primed
 
his
 
rifle.
 
It
 
seemed
 
only
 
minutes
 
later,
 
with
 
the
 
sun
 
barely
 
on
 
the
 
treetops,
 
that
 
the
 
carriages
 
were
 
waiting
 
out
 
front.
 
Where
 
were
 
they
 
to
 
seat
 
themselves?
 
Both
 
carriages
 
were
 
loaded
 
with
 
luggage
 
and
 
food
 
hampers
 
and
 
sacks
 
of 
 
sugar
 
and
 
flour.
 
And
 
now
 
the
 
morning
 
breeze
 
brought
 
the
 
smoke
 
around
 
from
 
the
 
stacks
 
where
 
John
 
had
 
set
 
the
 
fodder
 
alight.
 
And
 
Mattie
 
felt
 
it
 
was
 
her
 
own
 
sooty
 
life
 
drifting
 
away
 
in
 
the
 
sky.
 
when
 
the
 
 jamesons
 
were
 
gone,
 
Pearl
 
stood
 
in
 
the
 
gravel
 
path
 
still
 
holding
 
her
 
satchel.
 
The
 
Massah
 
had
 
only
 
glanced
 
at
 
her
 
before
 
laying
 
his
 
whip
 
on
 
the
 
horses.
 
Roscoe,
 
driving
 
the
 
second
 
carriage,
 
had
 
come
 
past
 
her
 
and,
 
without
 
looking,
 
dropped
 
at
 
her
 
feet
 
something
 
knotted
 
in
 
a
 
handkerchief.
 
She
 
made
 
no
 
move
 
to
 
retrieve
 
it.
 
She
 
waited
 
in
 
the
 
peace
 
and
 
silence
 
of 
 
their
 
having
 
gone.
 
She
 
felt
 
the
 
cool
 
breeze
 
on
 
her
 
legs.
 
Then
 
the
 
air
 
grew
 
still
 
and
 
warm
 
and,
 
after
 
a
 
moment
 
in
 
which
 
the
 
earth
 
seemed
 
to
 
draw
 
its
 
breath,
 
the
 
morning
 
sun
 
spread
 
in
 
a
 
rush
 
over
 
the
 
plantation.
 
Only
 
then
 
did
 
she
 
pick
 
up
 
what
 
Roscoe
 
had
 
dropped.
 
She
 
knew
 
immediately
 
what
 
it
 
was
 
through
 
the
 
cloth:
 
the
 
same
 
two
 
gold
 
coins
 
he
 
had
 
showed
 
her
 
once
 
when
 
she
 
was
 
little.
 
His
 
life
 
savings.
 
Dey
 
real,
 
Miss
 
Porhl,
 
he
 
had
 
said.
 
You
 
putem
 
’tween
 
yer
 
teeth
 
you
 
taste
 
how
 
real
 
dey
 
is.
 
You
 
see
 
dem
 
eagles?
 
You
 
git
 
a
 
passel
 
of 
 
dese
 
an
 
you
 
c’n
 
fly
 
lak
 
de
 
eagles
 
high,
 
high
 
ober
 
de
 
eart—das
 
what
 
de
 
eagles
 
mean
 
on
 
dese
 
monies.
 
Pearl
 
felt
 
the
 
hot
 
tears
 
in
 
her
 
throat.
 
She
 
went
 
around
 
the
 
big
 
house,
 
past
 
the
 
outbuildings
 
and
 
the
 
smoking
 
fodder
 
and
 
the
 
dead
 
mules,
 
and
 
past
 
the
 
slave
 
quarters
 
where
 
they
 
were
 
busy
 
singing
 
and
 
putting
 
their
 
things
 
together,
 
and
 
down
 
along
 
the
 
trail
 
through
 
the
 
woods
 
to
 
where
 
the
 
Massah
 
had
 
given
 
leave
 
to
 
lay
 
out
 
a
 
graveyard.
 
There
 
were
 
by
 
now
 
six
 
graves
 
in
 
this
 
damp
 
clearing,
 
each
 
marked
 
by
 
a
 
wood
 
shingle
 
with
 
the
 
person’s
 
name
 
scratched
 
in.
 
The
 
older
 
grave
 
mounds,
 
like
 
her
 
mother’s,
 
were
 
covered
 
with
 
moss.
 
Pearl
 
squatted
 
and
 
read
 
the
 
name
 
aloud:
 
Nancy
 
Wilkins.
 
Mama,
 
she
 
said.
 
I
 
free.
 
You
 
tole
 
me,
 
Mah
 
chile,
 
my
 
darlin
 
Porhl,
 
you
 
will
 
be
 
free.
 
So
 
dey
 
gone
 
and
 
I
 
is.
 
I
 
free,
 
I
 
free
 
like
 
no
 
one
 
else
 
in
 
de
 
whole
 
worl
 
but
 
me.
 
Das
 
how
 
free.
 
Did
 
Massah
 
have
 
on
 
his
 
face
 
any
 
look
 
for
 
his
 
true
made
 
chile?
 
Uh
uh.
 
Lak
 
I
 
hant
 
his
 
marigol
 
eyes
 
an
 
high
 
cheeks
 
an
 
more
 
his
 
likeness
 
dan
 
de
 
runts
 
what
 
his
 
wife
 
ma’m
 
made
 
with
 
the
 
brudders
 
one
 
and
 
two.
 
I,
 
with
 
skin
 
white
 
as
 
a
 
cahnation
 
flow’r.
 
Pearl
 
fell
 
forward
 
to
 
her
 
knees
 
and
 
clasped
 
her
 
hands.
 
Dear
 
God
 
Jesus,
 
she
 
whispered,
 
make
 
a
 
place
 
fer
 
dis
 
good
 
woman
 
beside
 
you.
 
An
 
me,
 
yore
 
Porhl,
 
teach
 
me
 
to
 
be
 
free.
 
slowly,
 
the
 
slaves,
 
with
 
their
 
belongings
 
wrapped
 
in
 
bundles
 
or
 
carried
 
in
 
old
 
carpetbags,
 
walked
 
up
 
to
 
the
 
main
 
house
 
and
 
distributed
 
themselves
 
out
 
front
 
under
 
the
 
cypresses.
 
They
 
looked
 
into
 
the
 
sky
 
as
 
if 
 
whatever
 
it
 
was
 
they
 
were
 
told
 
was
 
coming
 
would
 
be
 
from
 
that
 
direction.
 
They
 
wore
 
their
 
Sunday
 
clothes.
 
There
 
were
 
seven
 
adults—two
 
men,
 
the
 
elder
 
Jake
 
Early
 
and
 
Jubal
 
Samuels,
 
who
 
had
 
but
 
one
 
eye,
 
and
 
five
 
women,
 
including
 
the
 
old
 
granny
 
who
 
could
 
not
 
walk
 
very
 
well—and
 
three
 
small
 
children.
 

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