The Civil Dead

The Civil Dead

A Story by Colton Warr

ATTENTION: This story contains some adult elements. Reader discretion is advised.


The Civil Dead

A Short Fiction Series by Colton Warr

“Bloody Beginnings”

The Atlantic Ocean. April 1862. 

A single ship carefully kissed the surface of a cold and calm Atlantic Ocean. The ship was rather large in size, equipped with three tall masts full of white cotton sails. The hull was made of the finest oak and reinforced with steel platings. The ship was scarcely armed despite being alone and holding precious cargo for its destination. The top deck was empty, as it was on most nights. The small crew all lay resting inside of their respective quarters, sleeping on various torn up mats and punctured pillows, if any at all. There wasn't much light seen on the ship. Only that of a small, lit candle resting upon the railing which stood in front of the helm. A man stood there, equipped with a long and scraggly beard and hair just as long. A single hand of his loosely grasped a portion of the wheel. He was rocking back and forth and his head was slowly nodding up and down. He was struggling to stay awake. Just as he was about to finally fall into a slumber a man appeared from below deck carrying his own candle. The man walked up the stairs and set his candle down next to the man whom almost fell asleep. 

“Your shift is over. Get some rest before you fall overboard.” 

“The captain awake?” 

The two men looked at each. 

“Why do you ask?” 

The half asleep man then raised his left hand and extended his pointer finger towards the bow of the vessel. As the second man followed its trace he quickly realized they had reached their destination. 

“F****n’ Haiti.” He finally replied with a grin. 

“Should we tell the captain we’ve made it?” 

The man quickly retracted his grin after hearing such a question.

“You kiddin’ me? That man kills anyone or anything that wakes him. Pour soul. They must not’ve told you….when you’re on board this ship, you never wake the captain. Not for nothin’. He’s a prick with a lust for blood. Why do you think he’s in this business of ours?” 

The half asleep man took a few seconds to let the other man's remarks sink in. He then looked up at the man and nodded. 

“Go pass out. I’ll tell him at first light.” 

As the half asleep man began to leave the other man grabbed a hold of his arm. 

“Don’t forget your damn candle you slumbered s**t.” 

The half asleep man then reached out to grab his candle. As he did, he over shot his reach, knocking the lit candle off of the railing and tumbling down to the top deck, crashing into the wood. Both men proceeded to glance over the railing. The two men were now wide awake.

“Lad, you best go get that in a hurry. Don’t want the captain to wake up to a burning ship.” 

The dropper of the candle then quickly raced down the stairs and to the place of the accident. As he reached it, he bent down and retrieved the candle. Burning one of his hands in the process.


He then blew out the flame and collected the metal plate it was resting on. Just as he was about to stand up, he heard a slight creak followed by what sounded like footsteps coming from behind him. It hit him. He had come to the realization that this all happened in front of the captains quarters. A quiver began to shoot through his spine and it wasn't from the nightly breeze. He then felt a gentle tug on his long hair which he had collected in the fashion of a ponytail. The tug didn't stop until he was looking up at the stars in the sky. The man was still knelt down. 

“It seems as though you’re a fool. And there is no place for fools in this business.” 

The captain's voice was hollow and cold. Even colder when partnered with a condescending threat as such. He continued. 

“Only cutthroats…” 

The man on his knees began to shiver as the grip on his hair grew tighter. He then felt something cold run along his bare and exposed neck. Before he knew what it was it was too late. He felt the captain run what was a rusted knife slowly from the left side of his neck all the way to the right. This slowly opened the man's neck allowing blood to flow and spurt out and onto the top deck. The man began gasping for air. He tried to speak. He tried to breathe. He tried not to drown in his own blood. When the captain was finished he then let go of the bleeding man's ponytail and watched as he face planted into a pile of his own blood which rested in front of him. The captain then knelt down to the man's body and began wiping the rusted, bloodied blade on the now dead man's shirt. 

“Now you’re fit for this business.”

As the captain rose up he stood and examined his work for some time. The man at the helm standing above him and the now dead man had witnessed the entire thing. And he still was watching, unable to look away and wondering if the captain will notice him standing there. He did. The captain looked up at the man peeping over the railing, making direct eye contact with him.

“Best get a mop.” 

And with that, he turned around and entered his quarters. 

April 6th, 1862. Hardin County, Tennessee. 

It was quiet all along the Federal line. The sun was still about an hour from exposing itself to the mostly sleeping soldiers of The Army of Tennessee. The men had made camp near Pittsburg landing on the Tennessee River. The night was calm, with but a simple breeze to caress the now blooming flowers and trees. Aside from the sentry guards keeping watch, the only other man awake was a man named Cole Niles. He laid in his poorly assembled cot and stared at the inside of his tent while an already burnt out fire smoldered and struggle to stay smoking outside of his tent. He was thinking of what any man serving thinks of…his family. He wondered what they would think of his decision. Cole was a young man who had distinguished himself in the military. He was in the process of attending West Point to become a general when the war broke out. He then dropped everything to fight and distinguish himself on the battlefield rather than the classroom. He had quickly moved up the ranks and had recently acquired himself a position of command. This weighed on his mind as well. Cole couldn't sleep, so he rose from his cot and exited his tent. He began to stroll through the camp, passing many tents that looked like his own, carrying in them men fighting for their families and a cause that seemed much bigger than all of them. His nightly stroll took him to one tent, in particular, one that carried a familiar face. 

“I couldn't sleep worth a damn. How about you?” 

A young African American man quickly recognized the voice and shot up from his lightly burning fire. 

“Sir, I could not either, sir.” He said as he brought an informal salute up to his forehead. 

“Christ, Sci, how many times have I told you? You don't need to salute me when we aren't on the line.” 

The young Sci dropped his salute. 

“I did not know if you had company or not.” 

Cole took a seat opposite of the young man. They sat in silence for a few seconds while they both gazed into the fire. 

“Are you still seeing things in your sleep?” Sci finally asked. 

Cole laughed as he leaned back and did a small check of his surroundings. His laugh quickly faded, however, as he realized that the young Sci had been staring at him with intent since he sat down. 

“Fine. Yes, I have been. They won’t seem to quit.” 

“What did you see this time?” 

Cole took a few heavy breaths and then shook his head. 

“I’m just not sure we need to discuss it right now.” 

Sci leaned in closer to the fire…closer to Cole.

“And if you are shot on the battlefield tomorrow? When then, will we discuss it?”

Cole’s mood changed. He knew, now, that Sci was right. He had been talking about his nightmares for awhile now, why stop? 

“The sky was a dull gray. I saw the house where I grew up.” 

“And where was this? A small village in Kentucky?” 

Cole smirked. Sci hadn't been in the states long, just a few years. He was still adjusting to the language. 

“I guess you could call it that. The town is Cynthiana.” 

Sci shot Cole a look as he knew he had been corrected. Cole continued. 

“So…I saw the house where I grew up. It had been changed. It was old and beat up. A shack of sorts, I suppose. It appeared as lifeless as the sky.” 

Sci interjected. 

“And your family? What of their fate in this dream?” 

Cole just gazed into the fire as he tried to work out the words. 

“They…they were there. They were there but they weren’t. I saw them. I saw their bodies…their…their outer shell but it wasn't them. Not even close.They had been changed. They had been…”

“…Cursed.” Sci interjected again. 

The two men just looked at each other following Cole’s recollection of the nightmare. Cursed. The word hung in Cole’s mind as the small fire dwindled closer and closer to nothing. 

“They just weren't themselves, okay? They were lifeless. That doesn't mean they were cursed by your outlandish religion.” 

Sci took offense to this comment and responded in turn.

“My family practiced voodoo. I did not. I just watched and learned a lot from their actions. I never believed in its power.”

Cole retreated. 

“I supposed there is a difference between believing in something and doing something.”

Just as the sentence left his lips a few soldiers came running by where the two men were sitting. They were carrying rifles in their hands and what appeared to be an envelope. 

“Something important is happening without you, Lieutenant.” Sci said with a grin. 

Cole then quickly shot up from where he was sitting. He watched as the men entered the commanding officer's tent. Several seconds passed and as they did Cole could hear shouts coming from behind him, towards the front of the camp. He could see nothing, though, as the sun was not yet up. He turned back towards the officer's tent only to see the men leave the tent and race off to to the left. A man exited the officer's tent and brought a horn up to his mouth and began to blow in it. This was followed by several more horns from around the camp, some close and some quite far way. 

“Get to the horses. Now.” Cole said as he turned to Sci. 

They both took off running. Sci to the stable and Cole towards his tent. Upon his arrival, Cole gathered everything he could, which wasn't much. His rifle, sword, pistol, canteen and a small leather bag full of some of his belongings. He then raced from his tent towards the stable. The camp was now buzzing with soldiers who were all trying to get ready in a now wide awakened state. Cole was weaving through men while shouting “Everybody up! We’re under attack!” 

He arrived at the stable where he saw most of his men getting prepared for battle.

“Where is Collins? And where the hell is Stuart? I need them on the wings. Collins on the left. Stuart on the right. Pass it along.” 

Cole began readying his horse while he tried to make sure everyone under his command was present and accounted for. 

“Mount up!” 

Cole and his men all took their place on the backs of the finest horses Kentucky and Tennessee had to offer. 

Head for the pond. That’s our rally point. We wait for further instruction there.”

Cole felt his adrenaline rush as he barked out orders. The war was still in its early stages. And this theater hadn't seen too much of it yet. He had a feeling they were about to. Just then a young boy raced up to Cole.

“Lieutenant Niles, sir. General Grant has ordered a defensive line just ahead of Hornets Road. The scouts have spotted a large Rebel formation coming from the woods near the landing. he’s ordered-“ 

Cole cut the boy off. 

“Son, you go tell Mr. Grant that my men will be at the rallying point we discussed. There I will await further orders. My men are taken care of. Go pass this message along to a commander who isn't me.” 

He then looked ahead and spurred his horse towards the pond. 

Haiti. April 1862.


The ship of the cutthroat captain had made port during the day. The captain and his crew frolicked on land tasting everything the town had to offer. After sunset, the Captain and a small band of men had left the town. They traveled on foot through the thick jungle of the island. They were all armed with blade and pistol. As they walked a quiet conversation broke out. 

“Why can’t these special slaves be in some fancy restaurant?” One of the men said to another. 

They both smiled and laughed. The small band of men then halted immediately and the captain turned to the men. 

“Not a single word should be spoken in these woods. They have been cursed for some time.” 

With that, the captain turned back around and continued to lead the men to their destination. After several silent minutes passed the small band of men reached what appeared to be an abandoned slaughter house. The inside was lit up by what could only be candles. The light danced from window to window. The men then entered the slaughtering house, captain first. Upon their entrance, the men noticed that the inside had been redecorated. There were bones and dead animals scattered about the floor. Most of the men held their noses immediately. The captain did not. He had been here before. The captain looked ahead at a doorway covered in various beads and beetles all strung together by string. Finally, a figure made their way out from the doorway. Who appeared was an older lady covered in bones and God knows what else. She had long finger nails with the utmost amount of dirt beneath them. She lost looked as if she was dead…and then she spoke. 

“My dear captain of slaves, I knew the oceans of this world would bring you back to me.” 

The captain and the woman then embraced for a hug. 

“It does me well to see you tonight. Did your husband finally die?” 

As those words left the captain's mouth a figure revealed himself from behind the lady. 

“No, he did not.” The husband said. 

He, too, was dressed in bones and carried with him a large walking staff that was made of all human bone. A sense of awkward and stuffiness suddenly fogged up the room. 

“Ahh, so the fine priest lives. You look as old as ever.” 

The captain's remarks were followed by an outreached hand as if awaiting a shake. The priest shook the captain's hand and pulled him in close. 

“And you look mighty confused, captain of slaves.” 

As the captain was pulled in he noticed that the priest had two different eye colors. His left was a light blue and his right was pitch black. The captain’s thoughts quickly returned to why he was here. 

“I am not confused. I am here for my slaves. And you have them…or you die. You know how this works.” 

The old Priest stared into the eyes of the captain. 

“Death has already come and gone for me.” 

“My blade screams otherwise.” 

The old priest smiled and he turned and walked towards his desk. He grabbed a leather-bound record book and tossed it to the captain. 

“There are your slaves. You can load them up in the morning. You can-“ 

“Nay, we load them now.”

“But they are asleep?” 

The captain then stepped up to the old priest.

“Then wake them. We’ll be waiting outside.” 

The captain and his men then turned and headed for the door. 

“Until next time, my darling.” He said as they exited. 

There were some 50 slaves that were in the process of being loaded onto the captain's ship. They were asked to acknowledge their name and show their mark before stepping on board. 

“And gents, make sure they get unclothed before they get on board, too. Wouldn't want them to get too hot.” A crew remembered yelled out. 

They captain continued to oversee the loading process until something else caught his eye. There was a hooded figure pushing a wheelbarrow full of crates towards the ship. The captain turned and waited for the figure to reach him. He didn't speak, he wanted the figure to start things off. 

“I come with regards from the priest. He apologizes for moving out into the jungle and for his behavior earlier this evening. He also-“ 

“F**k his regards.” 

Everyone stopped in their tracks as such a remark was made. The captain opened one of the crates as the hooded figure watched in silence. 

“I will take his food, though. Load it up, men. Let’s get the hell outta here.” 

And with that, the hooded figure turned and began walking back towards the jungle. 

Battle of Shiloh. April 6th, 1862.

As the sun reached directly overhead the Battle of Shiloh began to unfold. A Confederate force of 30,000 men moved against the Federal position near the Tennessee River at Pittsburg Landing. Cole Niles and his cavalry men continued to hold by what would be known as the “Bloody Pond.” He could hear the battle going on all around him. He knew that this was a surprise attack and that the North would need every man it could get to defend this position. But his “further instructions” never came. Cole was getting restless.

“Cole, I think it unwise to charge without being ordered to.”

It was Sci who was attempting to dissuade Cole of joining in the action. Others chimed in. 

“I agree. Grant hasn't dispatched anything to us because he wants us here, in this exact spot, for a reason. The time may just not be right for our move yet.” 

“Grant is a pompous a*s who wouldn't know whether to send us or not even if Lincoln wrote directly to him saying to send us.” 

“I disagree. The general will give us direction.” Sci added. 

“Yeah? How’s your direction on that rifle of yours, negro?” 

“Alright, that’s it. All of you, still your tongues!” Cole shouted. 

A silent period of a few seconds passed as Cole peered through his binoculars and the action unfolding in front of him. He could see a battalion collapsing in front of his eyes. Northern infantrymen were beginning to turn and run in a hasty retreat. Coles thoughts were at light speed as he pondered what to do. Images of his fellow soldiers dying were right in front of him.  


Cole put away his binoculars and acquired his short-barreled rifle in hand. 

“Prepare to charge! I’m not waiting around for this battle to claim me. I will claim it.” 

The men drew their rifles and cocked back the hammers. 

“We are heading straight for our retreating men. We hit the advancing column head on and send them running back to the hills of Mississippi. Then we reform back near the road. Nothing more, ya hear me?” 

“Yes, Sir!” 

Cole turned from his men back towards the battlefield. It was hot for April. He could see men struggling everywhere his eyes would let him. The day was not even close to being theirs. 

“4th cavalry, Charge!” 

The men rode off heading straight in the direction of their retreating men. As they rode passed them some men turned back to fight while others continued to retreat. None of that mattered to Cole. He was ready for what he was riding into. As the cavalry unit reached a close enough range, the mounted infantry opened fire with their rifles from horseback. Cole took the first shot, sending a nameless man to his grave. Sci hit his mark as well, striking a man directly between his eyes. The Confederates dropped one after the other as Cole’s cavalry men slammed into their, by now, half retreating line. Cole fired another shot, at point blank range, and blew the left side of a man's face clean off, showering Coles sleeve with blood. He then turned to his next target, flipped his rifle, and swung it at the man's head. The blow sent his now caved in skull to the blood-soaked grass. Cole was acting off of pure adrenaline now. He wasn't thinking, just acting. He placed a bayonet on the end of his rifle and took off towards his next target, who was running away from the battle. He reared back and threw the rifle at the man's back like a spear. The blade perfectly entered the man's back at a very fast speed, sending him crumbling and screaming towards the ground. Cole then drew his sword and began slicing any man in his path. He was seeing red, or, gray in this case. Just as he retracted his blade from a man's back he turned and looked to the woods. He snapped out of it as he saw the Confederates reforming their line in the trees and taking aim at the cavalrymen. Cole was close, and with sword drawn he only had time to yell. 

“Back to the road! Get back to the road!” 

Just as the words left his mouth the Confederate line opened fire sending a bullet into Coles left arm. He was lucky he wasn't hit anywhere else. A lot of his other men, however, were not as lucky. Cole began to ride away, one handed, and he tried to rally his men to a retreat. He could see men being shot off their horses as they tried to ride out of the fighting. The fray of it all was horrifying, all of the sudden. Cole caught a glimpse of a man in blue fighting on the ground. He must’ve been shot off of his horse. As he got closer he noticed it was Sci. He was surrounded by a few Rebel soldiers. Sci was swinging his sword connecting with the occasional Confederate musket. He was disarmed by one of the outnumbering soldiers and then stabbed in the thigh. Sci fell to the ground and began to crawl towards his horse. As he did a gray back took aim. Just as he was about to pull the trigger Cole and his horse slammed into the enemy soldier, likely shattering a few ribs. Sci drew an old war mace from his fighting days in the islands. It had several pieces of shrapnel pointing out of it. He rolled over and got up to his feet and slammed it into the injured soldier on the ground. The mace connected with the man's head and caused a small explosion of blood to cover Sci. Cole pulled up next to him. 

“Can you ride?” 

Before Sci could answer a cannon came crashing into the ground right in front of the horse, spooking it, and sending Cole tumbling backward into the ground. 

“Cole!” Sci screamed as he ran over to him.

A few Confederate soldiers charged Sci before he could say anything else. He hit the first one out of the way sending the man tumbling directly onto Cole. Sci continued to defend himself and Cole and the man struggled on the ground. The Confederate soldier drew a hunting knife and thrust it directly at Cole while he was drawing his pistol. Coles draw, luckily, guarded from the enemy strike and prevented him from being stabbed. Cole then brought his pistol up to the man's neck and pulled the trigger. Cole was now covered in the goo and gore of the man's head, as it almost came clean off. He rose up, firing at several soldiers in the process. He noticed Sci on the ground, not moving. 


He ran over and noticed he was still breathing. A couple of friendly soldiers then rode up aside of the two of them. 

“He’s still breathing. Get him on a horse, now!” Cole yelled.

“We’ll get him after the battle moves on. We need you now.”

“Soldier, you take him on your horse now. That’s an order and a threat. Go!” 

Atlantic Ocean. April 1862.

On board, the cutthroat captain's ship were now 50 new slaves from Haiti. All cleared to specialize in certain skills. Some fighters. Some carpenters. And some who could cook and be a house slave. The captain would receive a hefty some of money as a reward for this advanced group. And so he celebrated with a grand feast that the entirety of the crew was invited to. They set up a large table and gathering area on the middle deck of the ship, one level above where the slaves are kept and one level below the top-deck. Any man who knew how to play an instrument was playing and even if a man didn't know how to dance he was. The captain sat at the edge of the table. He was drinking wine for this occasion and not rum, as he usually would. After some more partying he finally decided that now would be a good time to make a speech. So he stood up, which is all he had to do for his crew to be silent. 

“Gents, this may be our finest run to date. We have with us a fine group of negros, no?

The men cheered while others stomped their feet in hopes that the slaves beneath them would get no sleep tonight. The captain continued. 

“The Confederate States of America will pay us handsomely for these specimens.” 

The men cheered and stomped again. 

“We own that priest. His land. His slaves. His food…his wine and…” 

The men hung in suspense while the captain took another drink. 

“…his wife.” He said with a  smile. 

The men let loose their loudest cheer yet. 

“But that being said…” 

The captain stopped in his tracks. He then turned and looked at the floor. The crew didn't know if he could hear something or if he was just really drunk. They stared on with interest. The captain then laid down on the floor, on his stomach, with his ear pressed against the floor board. He could hear the faint sound of a baby crying beneath him. Once he was certain he shot up from the ground in a drunken state. 

“Who let a f****n’ baby on my ship?” 

Everyone was silent as he scoured around for the culprit. Finally, a man stood up in the back. 

“Come with me. Bring my whip.” 

The man followed the captain's orders and grabbed his whip and followed him down to the bottom level. Both men were carrying candles to light their path. The Captain raised his up higher to reveal the newly acquired slaves. They were all sitting in fetal positions, attempting to cover their privates from the captain. All of them were chained to the floor, sitting in their own mess. The captain stepped forward, listening closely for the baby. 

“I know what one of you brought aboard my ship. The faster you reveal it to me, the less you will be whipped.” 

The captain continued to walk through the slaves. The sound was getting closer and was clearly being muffled. He finally reached it. A woman was trying to cover the babies mouth. The captain stared down at them and smiled. 

“Come here.” He ordered as he waved for his crew member.

The man arrived and handed over the captain's whip. He unraveled it and lightly draped it over the woman. 

“Take the baby from her.” 

The crew member bent down and grabbed the baby. It now started to cry and scream immensely. The captain then reared back and swung the whip at the woman, striking her across the face. The woman screamed and the baby screamed louder. The captain unleashed another vicious swing, this time connecting with her shoulder. The woman was in tears as she tried to remain strong. The whip couldn't break her. 

“She is a tough slave, no?”

The captain asked his crew member. The man shook his head in agreement. 

“Throw the baby overboard.” 

The entire room went breathless. Even if they didn't speak English, they knew by his hand gestures what was ordered. Even the crew member was hesitant. But he had no choice. He then led the captain back to the stairs. An army of screams and cries rang out from the slaves. They were pulling and tugging on their chains, trying to break free so they could save the baby. To no avail. The two men then exited the lower deck. 

“Go and do what I asked of you. That is your punishment. No whippings for you. Then come and join the party.” 

The captain then smiled and went up to his chambers. He locked the door and laid down his whip on his desk before laying down himself. He stared up at the spinning ceiling. He was drunk. He could no longer keep hold on his eyelids and he faded into sleep. A few minutes passed and it was clear that the now passed out captain is not alone. Out from underneath his bed scurried a very large rat. The rat moved slow and with a limp but was still able to get itself onto the captain's desk which was parallel to his bed. The rat had large teeth that appeared to be sharpened and already bloodied. It had patches of hair missing as well as skin. Its face seemed to be all flesh. The rat sniffed around a bit and then jumped from the desk to the bed. The captain was still asleep. The rat then sniffed all over the captain's chest; the captain unfazed by the large rodent on him. As the rat's nose and mouth got to the Captain's eyes the rat suddenly plunged his teeth into one. This awakened the captain as he noticed he could now only see with one eye. The rat then took another plunge, this time into the captain's neck. Its teeth sank all the way to the vertebrae as a fountain of blood began to flow and spurt from the captain's head. His hands were around the rodent but couldn't manage to budge the animal at all. Each time he pulled, its teeth sliced through a new area of his neck. Until finally, the captain of slaves was no more. His breathing ceased and his arms went limp. The rat then retracted his teeth and scurried away.     

The other man arrived at the top deck and brought the baby over to the railing. It had stopped crying for a second and was staring up at the man with its big blue eyes. The man then looked out to the ocean, as if it was going to tell him what to do. He then looked back at the baby and sat it down on the deck. 

“I can’t do it. Maybe if you just crawled off….it wouldn't be my fault and I would still be clear of punishment. What’d you say?”

The baby stared back up at him with those same big blue eyes. It then let out a little giggle as it played with its own feet. The man smiled and looked back out to the ocean. He found himself lost for a second within her motion. A sound from behind him snapped his glance back to the ship. A figure moved about in the shadows. 

“Who’s there?”

No response. The figure continued to move closer as a strange sound accompanied it. As if it was dragging something. 

“Captain? Is that you?” 

Still no response. The figure finally was close enough to be seen. It was the captain. There was something different about him. He was moving slow and dragging one of his legs.

“Captain, look, I’m sorry. I just can’t throw this baby over okay? I’ll take the punishment. I’ll take the whipping.” 

The captain grew closer and closer to the man as the moonlight finally revealed his now deformed nature. The captain had an eyeball hanging from its socket and a huge gash in his neck. Bone was visible in both places and his entire outfit was covered in blood. He moved closer to the man. 

“Captain…are you-?” 

And within an instant, the now dead captain lunged onto the man and dug both his nails and his teeth into his body. Blood began to spurt everywhere, even onto the baby, as the man was ripped open and eaten alive. 

Battle of Shiloh. April 6th, 1862.

The sun had now dove beneath the trees of Hardin county, Tennessee as the Battle of Shiloh’s first day came to an end. There was still the occasional skirmish here and there, but for the most part, the fighting had subsided. Cole and Sci arrive back at the medical tent thanks to the assistance of a few of Coles men. Cole woke up in a hospital bed to the vision of a tent roof and a man with a bloodied apron standing over him. Cole shot up and was immediately struck by a headache. 

“You should probably take it easy, sir.” 

Cole ignored the comment. 

“Where is Sci?” 


“Sci, the man who was with me. Where is he? Has he been treated? Is he alive?” 

A few seconds passed as the doctor grabbed a list of patients and then responded. 

“S**t, I thought his name was said sky, not Sci. He’s in the next tent over.” 

Cole then left his medical tent and raced to the other one. He felt the pain of his injuries as he was moving. He entered the tent and noticed a lack of his friend. He grabbed the closest medical officer to him. 

“Sci. Where is Sci? The man who was taken with me.” 

“He’s out back. We have no room for him in here yet.” 

Cole looked around and noticed an abundance of white men being treated. He grabbed the man again. 

“You won’t treat him because he's colored, will you, you little s**t.” 


The two men struggled as Cole grabbed a hold of his neck. 

“Is that why you won’t treat him? Answer me right now!” 

The man finally answered. 

“Yes. I was told to treat whites first.” 

“You son of a b***h. How about you treat him because he’s a human being and could die out there. How about you treat him because it's your job.”

“I’m just following orders.” 

Cole tightened his grip. 

“Then how about you treat him because an officer commands you to treat him, corporal.” 

Silence filled the now tense and tight tent. The commanding medical officer then entered. 

“Lieutenant Niles, enough! They are following my orders. We get to Mr. Scipio when we get to him. That's final. Now get some rest.” 

Cole let go of the man and turned to the officer. 

“I’ll do it myself.” 

Cole gathered up some supplies and headed for the back of the tent. A man grabbed his arm. 

“We need all of the supplies in here for the patients, sir.” 

Cole turned to the man and stepped close to his face.

“I am using them on a patient.”  

About two hours later, Cole sat aside a sleeping Sci just outside of the medical tent. Groans and moans still find their way out of the tent even still as more and more patients are tended to. A man exited the tent with a crate of severed limbs. He walked about 30 yards out and dumped them into a hole dug specifically for that purpose. Then the man came back to the tent. As he passed, he acknowledged Cole. 

“You know, that ain’t too bad for one hand.”

“Thanks. I guess you do that when you don’t want to lose a friend.” 

“What went down in here was wrong. You were right.” The man responded.

“They say this is a war for freedom. For equality. You ever get the feeling that’s just disguising something else? Justifying something bigger than us?” 

Coles comment and question seem to have startled the man. 

“All I know is that we are fighting for what is right.” 

The man then entered the tent. Cole still hadn't been fully treated so his left hand where he was shot was still slightly injured. He then spaced out looking out towards the woods. He started to think of his family back home. He wondered what he always did with thoughts associated with them; would his father still shake his hand? Would his mother still kiss his cheek if they knew what he was doing? His thoughts were altered by Sci. His arm hit Coles leg in his sleep. As Cole continued to watch Sci he quickly noticed that something was happening. He was shaking and tossing and turning. Cole shook Sci. 

“Sci, wake up, d****t!” 

Sci finally woke up. He gasped for air and clinched his injuries. 

“Did you see things in your sleep?” 

Sci looked up at Cole and continued to gasp. He collected his thoughts. He didn't answer Cole. 

“Who did you see?” 

Sci continued to breathe heavily until he was collected. He then looked straight into Cole's eyes as if trying to find his soul. 

“I saw a Priest with a walking staff made of bone.” 

Somewhere on the coast of South Carolina. April 7th, 1862.

It was the early morning hours of the following day. The sun was not yet ready to show up from the other side of the world just yet. The night was still dark. The ocean slowly rolled in and glazed over top of an already soaked sandy beach. The ocean's gentle waves brought various shells, seaweed, and the occasional critter along with it. That was most nights. This would not be most nights. On the night of April 7th, 1862, the Atlantic Ocean brought with it a large, three-masted and lowly armed slave ship. The ship had found itself aground and sat resting on the soaked sandy beach in South Carolina. The masts were torn up and the hull had just a tint of dark red to it along with a few gaping holes running from the bow of the ship all the way to the stern. It was quiet. None of the row boats had been used nor the anchor been dropped. The ship had simply been guided by something from somewhere in the Atlantic to a beach in America. The ship wasn't the only thing standing on the beach. Just off of the bow and standing directly in front of the ship stood a group of figures. They were all covered in blood. There were pieces of skin underneath their nails. Some had holes in their stomachs and chests, others had but one eye. They all had only one thing in common. They stood, in unison, facing a small farmhouse that could be spotted from the beach. Their eyes, if they had them, were black like a shark's eyes. The only thing that happened before they moved was this; the figure in front, with one eye dangling and bone coming out of his neck, opened his mouth wide. And before anything was heard a small flow of blood left his mouth. Then he let out a devilish scream. The scream almost sounded like a word….”Cursed.”

© 2016 Colton Warr

Author's Note

Colton Warr
"The Civil Dead" acts as a dedication to the inspiration "The Walking Dead" has offered a young storyteller like myself. There will be a new one up every other weekend until the finale on Halloween night! Thank you for your continued support.

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I am glad the next two installments are already written so I don't have to wait for them.

Good story

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Haha and I'm glad you enjoyed this one enough to say something like that! I appreciate the kind word.. read more
I hope you will forgive me when I write that I didn`t read this through, but picked out paragraphs, and,
greatly enjoyed them. Well written, fine background, lots of work here...a good yarn !

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

No worries, I appreciate you reading anything at all! I'm glad you enjoyed what you read! The second.. read more
an epic write for an epic story the civil war. well written and reeks of hardwork and effort.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, Andrew! I appreciate your kind words! The Civil War is my favorite era in Histo.. read more
As a fan of The Walking Dead I can say....Very well done...waiting for the rest

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, my friend! I'm so glad you enjoyed this first installment! The Civil War is one.. read more
This story is amazing. I will return and read again. You made the feel of history come alive and strong. Civil war. A bloody war. Thank you for sharing the outstanding story.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, my friend! I am so happy that you enjoyed this opening installment! The Civil W.. read more
Coyote Poetry

4 Years Ago

A powerful piece and you are welcome.
That is so engaging and interesting.. some really good character portrayals and quite thrilling for sure. Good read! :)

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much!! I appreciate the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed the characters! Stay tuned for.. read more

4 Years Ago

To you too! Looking forward :)
I am not a fan of The Walking dead as it is all subplots and weak on the main plot line, so after reading it was the inspiration for your story I sighed deeply. But I need not have worried, the time period of your story doesn't give much of a technological advantage to the living. Thrilling without being gory, good characters and paced to read, well done I give it five out of five Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, my friend! I appreciate you giving this a read! That's a fair enough point abou.. read more
and as i read it brings back teaching from high school years,such a waste of lives
and spikes between families

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

You're exactly right. And that will further happen as this series moves forward. Thanks for stopping.. read more
A gripper, not my usual type of reading material, but very interesting thus far. Valentine

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much, Valentine! I'm glad you took the time to read this and enjoyed it despite you not.. read more
It is a really thrilling and interesting story! : )

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, my friend! I appreciate you stopping by and checking it out! Peace and success .. read more

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10 Reviews
Added on August 5, 2016
Last Updated on October 21, 2016
Tags: Zombies, Story, Stories, Love, Hate, War, Friendship


Colton Warr
Colton Warr

Richmond, VA

Rolling Stone... Twitter: @colton_warr Instagram: colton_warr Facebook: Colton Warr more..


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