In honor of Independence Day, I offer up a link to the poem "The Battle of Lexington" by Sidney Lanier. I like that it doesn't sugar-coat the bloodiness too much . . . but it is still romantic in an historical way.
Here's my favorite stanza:
Good men in fustian, stand ye still;
The men in red come o'er the hill.
Lay down your arms, damned Rebels! cry
The men in red full haughtily.
But never a grounding gun is heard;
The men in fustian stand unstirred;
Dead calm, save maybe a wise bluebird
Puts in his little heavenly word.
I can just imagine, men poised for battle and that calm before the chaos where you can hear a bird chirp.
Happy Fourth of July!