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The O:JA&L Masters Series
Flash Fiction

Featured Writer: Michael Martone


FromThe Tiny Book of Forts by Michael Martone. Click on the title to explore more of his work in the new PDF chapbook available now as a free offering from O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press.

The fight for the advanced rifle pits in front of the Battery Wagner during the siege of Fort Wagner, 1863, by Frank Vizetelly of The Illustrated London News.

The fort was made of sand, slabs of sand, 30 feet high, edged and molded like sandcastle sand on a sand beach. They buried the dead of the 54th, all together, in the sand walls, and buried their own dead there too in the sand. And the Union bombardment continued for weeks on end, unearthing the dead that reeked, the smell driving out the last of the garrison, the water already fouled. Twenty years later, survivors of the siege returned to find the sand all washed away, and today Morris Island itself is almost all gone.


About the writer: Michael Martone is an American author. A prolific writer, he has published 30 books and chapbooks. From 1996 to 2020, he was a professor at the University of Alabama where he taught in the Program in Creative Writing. Martone is now retired.

Image: The fight for the Advanced Rifle Pits in front of the Battery Wagner during the Siege of Fort Wagner, 1863 by Frank Vizetelly (1830-1883) of The Illustrated London News. From Illustrations of the War in America by Our Special Artist. December 3, 1863. p. 564. Public domain.

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