Magnified by its lift against the sky and by the soldier’s testifying sense of the . He was a civilian, if one might judge from his dress which was that of a planter. Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. Ambrose Bierce. This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, by Ambrose Bierce .au/b/bierce/ambrose/tales-of-soldiers-and-civilians/contents.

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Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, by Ambrose Bierce

The floor of the room above was broken through, the splinters pointing at all angles downward. There had been no change, a fact which gave him a certain comfort, he could not have said why.

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? The original publication contained nineteen stories, while those in later publications increased in number; to 22, and to He recognized the blazing building as his own home! He will probably have enough to do in explaining his own connection with this uncommon way of amusing the rear guard of a retreating enemy.

The colonel observed something new to his military experience—something horrible and unnatural: He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children. But for the somewhat methodical disposition of his limbs and a slight rhythmic movement of the cartridge box at the back of his belt, he might have been thought to be dead.

He had not exhausted his means of defense; a new design had shaped itself in his mind—another plan of battle.

Books by Bierce, Ambrose (sorted by popularity) – Project Gutenberg

B This book of short stories was interesting on a number of levels. I understood when I checked it out that this was not a collection of horror stories, but I still thought I would find something of interest here. The brilliance of Bierce’s work comes civjlians the way he depicts reality as elastic as a disturbed mind can make it.

This fact is most obvious in his wartime stories. With their greater infrequency the sounds increased in strength and sharpness. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The yellow grass is beaten down by the feet of infantry. An hour later, after nightfall, he repassed the plantation, going northward in the direction ambrse which he had come.


The sardonic view of human nature that informed his work — along with his vehemence as oof critic, with his motto “nothing matters” — earned him the nickname “Bitter Bierce.

It was hardly profitable to be curious about guns which ambrrose the trick of the cuttlefish, and the season of observation was brief. Not a look backward. The snow had piled itself, in the open spaces along the bottom of the gulch, into long ridges that seemed to heave, and into hills that appeared to toss and scatter spray.

The fiend bowed in token of obedience. The wood is alive with them, and full of confused civillans —the occasional rattle of wheels as a battery of artillery gets into position to cover the advance; the hum and a murmur of the soldiers talking; a sound of innumerable feet in the dry leaves that strew the interspaces among the trees; hoarse commands of officers.

This claim fails to account, however, for the narrative intention behind the twist endings, which are often deeply ironic: If captured—why, that might have been done by a half dozen stragglers. What good or bad angel came in a dream to rouse him from his state of crime who shall say? Bierce employed a distinctive style of writing, especially in his stories.

At nightfall they would take to the road again, climb to the place where their unfaithful sentinel now slept, and, descending the other slope of the ridge, fall upon a camp of the enemy at about midnight. Several Confederate officers and men came out to meet them, and, with uncovered heads, assisted them to take up their sacred burden. Some of them touched him on the face and hands, then fell away, continuing their descent.

This is a selection of Ambrose Bierce’s short stories, taken from several collections that were published during his life.

May 23, Steven Shook rated it it was amazing Shelves: Moved by a sudden impulse, the colonel signed to him to halt.


Suddenly he heard a sharp report and something struck the water smartly within a few inches of his head, spattering his face with spray. Like Poe, Bierce often feels like a literary artist struggling with the boundaries of popular fiction; the reliable surprise closing, in particular, sometimes feels de rigeur.

Unwilling to see the efforts which he could not aid and the slaughter which he could not stay, the colonel had ascended the ridge at a point a quarter of a mile to the left, whence the Notch, itself invisible but pushing up successive masses of smoke, seemed the crater of a volcano in thundering eruption.

Bierce is also infamous for his “Devils Dictionary” a collection of alternate meanings for words: They had marched all yales previous day and night and were resting. In the sudden blackness that followed the extinction of the flame he felt a sense of relief; he could no longer see the object of his aversion. Not a sign of feeling in his face; he mabrose thinking.

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adn Do you happen to know that Captain Coulter is from the South? It’s also extremely funny in places. Presently his bugle was heard singing in the cedars, and in an incredibly short time a single gun with its caisson, each drawn by six horses and manned by its full complement of gunners, came bounding and banging up the grade in a storm of dust, unlimbered under cover, and was run forward by hand to the fatal crest among the dead horses.

I must keep my eye upon the gun; the smoke will apprise me—the report arrives too late; it lags behind the missile.

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians

Figures of prostrate men and horses were plainly visible. But the gray column of infantry toiling up the mountain road was singularly tempting. Presently the captain spoke, slowly and with apparent effort: