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"After the Battle"
by Joseph Altsheler
adapted to radio drama
by Don Kisner & Dennis Rhodus

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Synopsis

On a Civil War battlefield, two soldiers, one Union and one Confederate, are left alone as the battle moves on. The Union soldier is wounded. It is pitch dark, and they cannot see each other. The Confederate soldier tries to help the wounded man and make him more comfortable. He goes to a spring for water and gets food from the packs of dead soldiers nearby. The two men, sworn enemies, share a meal and become friends.

The Confederate soldier relates a story of how, when he was just a boy back in Kentucky, his father was killed in a feud. He tells the Union soldier, that the man who killed his father is the only man he could look in the eye and shoot point-blank. He has heard that the killer joined the Union Army, and he has some hope of finding him in the war.

A forest fire, started by cannon blasts, threatens to engulf them, and the Confederate soldier tries to help the other man to safety. Seeing that the wounded man is reluctant to be moved, he attempts to pick him up and carry him. Just at that moment he sees the wounded man's face for the first time and recognizes the Union soldier as the man who murdered his father. The Confederate soldier considers leaving the killer in the path of the fire to die, thinking this would be a just death for the murderer of his father. In the end though, the Confederate soldier carries the wounded man to safety.