Poetry, Verse, and Song

and Other Amusements
from the

American Civil War

Volume 1 Compiled by Kraig McNutt The Center for the Study of the American Civil War CivilWarPoetry.com
1

Bold Soldier Boy
Oh, the wild, glorious, roving life of a bold soldier boy! With all thy faults, I love thee still. How pleasant the sweet consciousness that God gives him that he fights in a good cause. His soul is unfettered by the trammels of civilized life. Does he desire to worship? Where he is is his church. Does he wish for sleep? He says with Tecumseh, ―The earth is my mother; I will repose on her bosom.‖ No pent up Utica contracts his powers; he travels far and near, seeing many lands. He sails on the ocean, steams on the river, rattles on the cars, trudges on the mud road, and climbs bold mountains. He bares his breast to the storm and says, ―Thou art my brother.‖ The gentle rains fall upon his brow, and he welcomes them as a mother‘s kiss. He would not exchange the cooling draught of water from the sparkling fountain for all of the drinks of the most fashionable saloon. His fare is rough, but then his appetite is good, and he is not sickened over dainties. He lives a life of toil, but his muscles are strong and his heart is brave. He exists amid dangers, but he heeds them not, for the smiles of the fair, the prayers of the good, and the hopes of the oppressed cheer him on. When he stands in battle, his soul sinks not in fear, for above him is the flag of the free, and beneath the soil he would lie, rather than yield to tyrants. The canon‘s deadly roar, the crash of arms, the shout of the charge are his music. If victory comes, his soul is filled with indescribable joy. If he fails, full well he knows, ―Whether on the scaffold high, — Or in the battle‘s van, — The noblest places for man to die — Is where he dies for man.‖ If he perish, true hearted comrades will dig his grave. ―No useless coffin will enclose his form; he will lay like a warrior, taking his rest, with his martial cloak around him.‖ Why need he dread death? Is not the grave the common receptacle of the young, the beautiful, the beloved? Let not the brave then fear to die. His memory shall be cherished by those who love him. The mighty deeds in ―which he bore an humble part shall live in the traditions of a thousand generations – but, hush, my wandering thoughts! Stillness reigns in camp, ‘tis time for sleep. Good night.

This description of a ―soldier boy‖ was written by Chaplain John J. Hight, 58th Indiana.

2

Killed at the Ford
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) He is dead, the beautiful youth, The heart of honor, the tongue of truth, He, the life and light of us all, Whose voice was blithe as a bugle-call, Whom all eyes followed with one consent, The cheer of whose laugh, and whose pleasant word, Hushed all murmurs of discontent. Only last night, as we rode along, Down the dark of the mountain gap, To visit the picket-guard at the ford, Little dreaming of any mishap, He was humming the words of some old song: ―Two red roses he had on his cap And another he bore at the point of his sword.‖ Sudden and swift a whistling ball Came out of a wood, and the voice was still; Something I heard in the darkness fall, And for a moment my blood grew chill; I spoke in a whisper, as he who speaks In a room where some one is lying dead; But he made no answer to what I said. We lifted him up to his saddle again, And through the mire and the mist and the rain Carried him back to the silent camp, And laid him as if asleep on his bed; And I saw by the light of the surgeon‘s lamp

3

Two white roses upon his cheeks, And one, just over his heart, blood red! And I saw in a vision how far and fleet That fatal bullet went speeding forth, Till it reached a town in the distant North, Till it reached a house in a sunny street, Till it reached a heart that ceased to beat Without a murmur, without a cry; And a bell was tolled in that far-off town, For one who had passed from cross to crown, And the neighbors wondered that she should die.

4

John Burns of Gettysburg
By Francis Bret Harte (1836-1902)

Have you heard of a story that gossips tell Of Burns of Gettysburg? No? Ah, well: Brief is the glory that hero earns, Briefer the story of poor John Burns: He was the fellow who won reknown,– The only man who didn‘t back down When the rebels rode through his native town; But held his own in the fight next day, When all his townsfolk ran away. That was in July, sixty-three,– The very day that General Lee, Flower of Southern chivalry,

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Baffled and beaten, backward reeled From a stubborn Meade and a barren field, I might tell how, but the day before, John Burns stood at his cottage-door, Looking down the village street, Where, in the shade of his peaceful vine, He heard the low of his gathered kine, And felt their breath with incense sweet; Or I might say, when the sunset burned The old farm gable, he thought it turned The milk that fell like a babbling flood Into the milk-pail, red as blood! Or how he fancied the hum of bees Were bullets buzzing among the trees. But all such fanciful thoughts as these Were strange to a practical man like Burns, Who minded only his own concerns, Troubled no more by fancies fine Than one of his calm-eyed, long-tailed kine, Quite old-fashioned and matter-of-fact, Slow to argue, but quick to act. That was the reason, as some folks say, He fought so well on that terrible day. And it was terrible. On the right Raged for hours the heady fight, Thundered the battery‘s double brass,– Difficult music for men to face; While on the left–where now the graves Undulate like the living waves That all the day unceasing swept Up to the pits the rebels kept– Round-shot ploughed the upland glades, Sown with bullets, reaped with blades; Shattered fences here and there,

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Tossed their splinters in the air; The very trees were stripped and bare; The barns that once held yellow grain Were heaped with harvests of the slain; The cattle bellowed on the plain, The turkeys screamed with might and main, And the brooding barn-fowl left their rest With strange shells bursting in each nest. Just where the tide of battle turns, Erect and lonely, stood old John Burns. How do you think the man was dressed? He wore an ancient, long buff vest, Yellow as saffron,–but his best; And, buttoned over his manly breast, Was a bright blue coat with a rolling collar, And large gilt buttons–size of a dollar,– With tails that the country-folk called ―swaller.‖ He wore a broad-brimmed, bell-crowned hat, White as the locks on which it sat. Never had such a sight been seen For forty years on the village green, Since old John Burns was a country beau, And went to the ―quiltings‖ long ago. Close at his elbow all that day Veterans of the Peninsula, Sunburnt and bearded, charged away; And striplings, downy of lip and chin,– Clerks that the Home-Guard mustered in,– Glanced, as they passed, at the hat he wore, Then at the rifle his right hand bore; And hailed him, from out their youthful lore, With scraps of a slangy repertoire: ―How are you, White Hat?‖ ―Put her through!‖ ―Your head‘s level!‖ and ―Bully for you!‖

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Called him ―Daddy,‖–begged he‘d disclose The name of the tailor who made his clothes, And what was the value he set on those; While Burns, unmindful of jeer and scoff, Stood there picking the rebels off,– With his long brown rifle, and bell-crowned hat, And the swallow-tails they were laughing at. ‗Twas but a moment, for that respect Which clothes all courage their voices checked; And something the wildest could understand Spake in the old man‘s strong right hand, And his corded throat, and the lurking frown Of his eyebrows under his old bell-crown; Until, as they gazed, there crept an awe Through the ranks in whispers, and some men saw, In the antique vestments and long white hair, The Past of the Nation in battle there; And some of the soldiers since declare That the gleam of his old white hat afar, Like the crested plume of the brave Navarre, That day was their oriflamme of war. So raged the battle. You know the rest: How the rebels, beaten and backward pressed, Broke at the final charge and ran. At which John Burns–a practical man– Shouldered his rifle, unbent his brows, And then went back to his bees and cows. That is the story of old John Burns; This is the moral the reader learns: In fighting the battle, the question‘s whether You‘ll show a hat that‘s white or a feather.

8

Dead
Author unknown There‘s an empty seat where the old folks meet, When they offer their evening prayer, And a look forlorn, for the dear one gone, As they gaze on his vacant chair. There‘s a silent grief finds never relief, And a face whence the bloom has fled, And a maiden fair, in her beauty rare, Who weeps for her lover — dead. There‘s a lonely grave, where a soldier brave, Lies asleep in the southern land, While a rusted gun still gleams in the sun, On the parched and burning sand. There‘s a home above, where the good God‘s love, Its perfection ever discloses – Where the soldier is blest with eternal rest, And his quiet spirit reposes.

9

Company K
By Anonymous

There is a cap in the closet, Old, tattered, and blue– Of very slight value, It may be, to you: But a crown, jewel studded, Could not buy it to-day, With its letters of honor, Brave ―Co. K.‖ The head that it sheltered Needs shelter no more: Dead heroes make holy The trifles they wore; So, like chaplet of honor, Of laurel and bay, Seems the cap of the soldier, Marked ―Co. K.‖

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Bright eyes have looked calmly Its visor beneath, O‘er the work of the Reaper, Grim Harvester Death! Let the muster roll meagre, So mournfully say, How foremost in danger Went ―Co. K.‖ Whose footsteps unbroken Came up to the town, Where rampart and bastion Looked threat‘ningly down! Who, closing up breaches, Still kept on their way, Till, guns downward pointed, Faced ―Co. K.‖ Who faltered or shivered? Who shunned battle stroke? Whose fire was uncertain? Whose battle line broke? Go, ask it of History, Years from to-day, And the record shall tell you, Not ―Co. K.‖ Though my darling is sleeping To-day with the dead, And daisies and clover Bloom over his head, I smile through my tears As I lay it away– That battle-worn cap, Lettered ―Co. K.‖

11

Come Up from the Fields, Father
By Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Come up from the fields, father, here‘s a letter from our Pete, And come to the front door, mother, here‘s a letter from thy dear son. Lo, ‘tis autumn, Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder, Cool and sweeten Ohio‘s village with leaves fluttering in the moderate wind, Where apples ripe in the orchard hang and grapes on the trellised vines, (Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines? Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?) Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the rain, and with wondrous clouds, Below, too, all calm, all vital and beautiful, and the farm prospers well. Down in the fields all prospers well, But now from the fields come, father, come at the daughter‘s call, And come to the entry, mother, to the front door come right away. Fast as she can she hurries, something ominous, her steps trembling, She does not tarry to smooth her hair nor adjust her cap.

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Open the envelope quickly, O this is not our son‘s writing, yet his name is sign‘d, O a strange hand writes for our dear son, O stricken mother‘s soul! All swims before her eyes, flashes with black, she catches the main words only, Sentences broken, gunshot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish, taken to a hospital, At present low, but will soon be better. Ah, now the single figure to me, Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio with all its cities and farms, Sickly white in the face and dull in the head, very faint, By the jamb of a door leans. Grieve not so, dear mother (the just-grown daughter speaks through her sobs, The little sisters huddle around speechless and dismay‘d), See, dearest mother, the letter says Pete will soon be better. Alas, poor boy, he will never be better (nor maybe needs to be better, that brave and simple soul), While they stand at home at the door he is dead already, The only son is dead. But the mother needs to be better, She with thin form presently drest in black, By day her meals untouch‘d, then at night fitfully sleeping, often waking,

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In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with one deep longing, O that she might withdraw, unnoticed, silent from life escape and withdraw, To follow, to seek, to be with her dear dead son.

14

Christmas Bells
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along

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The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Till, ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And in despair I bowed my head; ―There is no peace on earth,‖ I said; ―For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!‖ Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ―God is not dead; nor doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men!‖

16

Beat! Beat! Drums!
By Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow! Through the windows — through doors — burst like a ruthless force, Into the solemn church and scatter the congregation, Into the school where the scholar is studying; Leave not the bridegroom quiet — no happiness must he have now with his bride, Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain; So fierce you whirr and pound you drums — so shrill you bugles blow. Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow! Over the traffic of cities — over the rumble of wheels in the streets; Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must sleep in those beds; No bargainers‘ bargains by day — no brokers or speculators –would they continue? Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing? Would the lawyer rise in court to state his case before the judge? Then rattle quicker, heavier drums — you bugles wilder blow. Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow! Make no parley — stop for no expostulation; Mind not the timid — mind not the weeper or payer; Mind not the old man beseeching the young man; Let not the child‘s voice be heard, nor the mother‘s entreaties; Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the hearses, So strong you thump, O terrible drums — so loud you bugles blow.

17

Battle-worn Banners
by Park Benjamin I saw the soldiers come today From battlefield afar; No conquerors rode before their way On his triumphal car; But captains, like themselves, on foot And banners sadly torn, All grandly eloquent, though mute, By pride and glory borne. Those banners soiled with dirt and smoke, And rent by shot and shell; That through the serried phalanx broke – What terrors they could tell! What tales of sudden pain and death In every cannon‘s boom, When even the bravest held his breath And waited for his doom. By hands of steel those flags were waved Above the carnage dire, Almost destroyed, yet always saved, ‗Mid battle-clouds and fire. Though down at times, still up they rose And kissed the breeze again, Dread tokens to the rebel foes Of true and loyal men, And here the true and loyal still Those famous banners bear; The bugles wind, the fifes blow shrill, And clash the cymbals, where With decimated ranks they come,

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And through the crowded street March to the beating of the drum With firm though weary feet. God bless the soldiers! Cry the folk Whose cheers of welcome swell; God bless those banners, black with smoke And torn by shot and shell! They should be hung on sacred shrines, Baptized with grateful tears, And live embalmed in poetry‘s lines Through all succeeding years. No grander trophies could be brought By patriot sire to son, Of glorious battles nobly fought, Brave deeds sublimely done. And so, today, I chanced with pride And solemn joy to see Those remnants from the bloody tide Of Victory!

19

Barbara Frietchie
By John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Up from the meadows rich with corn, Clear in the cool September morn, The clustered spires of Frederick stand Green-walled by the hills of Maryland. Round about them the orchards sweep, Apple and peach tree fruited deep, Fair as the garden of the Lord To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

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On that pleasant morn of the early fall When Lee marched over the mountain-wall; Over the mountains winding down, Horse and foot, into Frederick town. Forty flags with their silver stars, Forty flags with their crimson bars, Flapped in the morning wind: the sun Of noon looked down, and saw not one. Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then, Bowed with her fourscore years and ten; Bravest of all in Frederick town, She took up the flag the men hauled down; In her attic window the staff she set, To show that one heart was loyal yet. Up the street came the rebel tread, Stonewall Jackson riding ahead. Under his slouched hat left and right He glanced; the old flag met his sight. ―Halt!‖ — the dust-brown ranks stood fast. ―Fire!‖ — out blazed the rifle-blast. It shivered the window, pane, and sash; It rent the banner with seam and gash. Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

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She leaned far out on the window-sill, And shook it forth with a royal will. ―Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country‘s flag,‖ she said. A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, Over the face of the leader came; The nobler nature within him stirred To life at that woman‘s deed and word; ―Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! March on!‖ he said. All day long through Frederick street Sounded the tread of marching feet: All day long that free flag tossed Over the heads of the rebel host. Ever its torn folds rose and fell On the loyal winds that loved it well; And through the hill-gaps sunset light Shone over it with a warm good-night. Barbara Frietchie‘s work is o‘er, And the Rebel rides on his raids no more. Honor to her! and let a tear Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall‘s bier. Over Barbara Frietchie‘s grave, Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

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Peace and order and beauty draw Round thy symbol of light and law; And ever the stars above look down On thy stars below in Frederick town!

23

Ad Poetas
By George Henry Boker (1823-1890) O brother bards, why stand ye silent all, Amidst these days of noble strife, While drum and fife and the fierce trumpet-call Awake the land to life? Now is the time, if ever time there was, To strike aloud the sounding lyre, To touch the heroes of our holy cause Heart-deep with ancient fire. ‗T is not for all, like Norman Taillefere, To sing before the warlike horse Our fathers‘ glories, the great trust we bear, And strike with harp and sword. Nor yet to frame a lay whose moving rhyme Shall flow in music North and South, And fill with passion, till the end of time, The nation‘s choral mouth. Yet surely, while our country rocks and reels, Your sweetly-warbled olden strains Would mitigate the deadly shock she feels, And soothe her in her pains. Some knight of old romance, in full career, Heard o‘er his head the skylark sing. And, pausing, leaned upon his bloody spear, Lost in that simple thing.

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If by your songs no heroes shall be made To look death boldly eye to eye, They may glide gently to the martyr‘s aid When he lies down to die. And many a soldier, on his gory bed, May turn himself, with lessened pain, And bless you for the tender words you said, Now singing in his brain. So ye, who hold your breath amidst the fight, Be to your sacred calling true: Sing on! the far result is not in sight Of the great good ye do.

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My Portion is Defeat - Today
By Emily Dickinson My Portion is Defeat — today – A paler luck than Victory – Less Paeans — fewer Bells – The Drums don‘t follow Me — with tunes – Defeat — a somewhat slower — means – More Arduous than Balls – ‗Tis populous with Bone and stain – And Men too straight to stoop again –, And Piles of solid Moan – And Chips of Blank — in Boyish Eyes – And scraps of Prayer – And Death‘s surprise, Stamped visible — in Stone – There‘s somewhat prouder, over there – The Trumpets tell it to the Air – How different Victory To Him who has it — and the One Who to have had it, would have been Contended — to die –

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Fate of Sergeant E. Mettetal
A Poem: Composed in 1890 by A. M. Mettetal

A prisoner lies in the Florence cell With languid thoughts of home Of parents dear, of friends beloved From whom he sought to roam. He heard his country‘s wild alarms At traitorous hands upraised To rend the banner, that our sires With blood and sufferings raised.

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The patriotic fires that glowed Within his manly breast Roused stern ambitions voice for fame Sought in the fair lands oppressed. Decked in a suit of deepest blue And soldier‘s knapsack bound He bade his home and friends adieu For deeds of glory crowned. At Fredericksburg the rebel hosts Were met in strong attire There many of our brave boys fell Neath Secessions galling fire At Fitz Hugh‘s landing we will find our bravest boys in blue At Gettysburg they fought, they bled Still to their country true On many a battle field they fought On fair Virginia‘s plains And many of our twenty fourth Were numbered with the slain. At the battle of the Wilderness The fate of one is told The ‗dashing sergeant‘ here was missed Yet dear the prize was sold To southern dungeons he‘s reduced To pine away in grief While friends at home who know his fate Can send him no relief For long – long months he‘s thus confined With naught his heart to cheer Though far away, are parents dear From whom he longs to hear.

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At length a message from the north Proclaimed the captive free Proclaimed him free to seek the home And friends he longed to see. Alas! poor Emile! tragic fate Which we must call thine own Has taken from thy parents dear A worthy, noble son. On board the ‗General Lyon‘ bound To fair Potomac‘s shore He little thought that he should see His native land no more Yes! there upon the burning deck Me thinks I see him stand With features turned to catch a glimpse Of his dear native land. Alas! the billows madly toss Hope dies within his breast Now conscious that he soon must lie Beneath the ocean‘s crest The angry waves roll o‘er the wreck At midnights awful gloom And he‘s left struggling with the tide Against a frightful doom But all in vain, exhausted now He sinks beneath the wave That rolls above that sinking form To shroud the soldier‘s grave Still do I hear those accents mild Oh father! mother! hear thy child He sinks! he dies! he‘s gone

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No little mound of earth is left On which to strew my flowers No marble slab by which to kneel Mid Elmwoods shady bowers There‘s but one solitary rock On Carolina‘s shore Cape Hatteras on the Atlantic side Mid billows deafening roar. Yes! there he sleeps our darling boy Who fought our flag to save But why these tears since now he fills A martyred patriots grave. A father‘s locks are turning gray A mother‘s voice is dumb. The sisters smiles have flown away While I bedeck his tomb. O! brave defender of our rights Renew affections chain The memory of one blighted flower Can make it strong again O! Emile we can never forget The laurels thou hast won Has made thee follower of our Brave Gallant Washington. Composed by A. M. Mettetal The poem was composed in 1890 by: Angelique Martine Mettetal Angelique was born 10-23-1816 and died 4-27-1911. She is buried in Redford Cemetery, Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan

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Her Letter Came too Late
Colonel W.S. Hawkins of the Confederate Army, and a prisoner of war at Camp Chase in 1864, wrote this poem. A near friend and fellow prisoner was engaged to be married to a young lady in the South, who proved faithless to him, and had written him a letter which arrived soon after his death. The letter was opened and answered by Col. Hawkins in the following lines:

Your letter, lady, came too late, For Heaven had claimed its own. Ah, sudden change! From prison bars Unto the Great White Throne! And yet, I think he would have stayed To live for his disdain, Could he have read the careless words Which you have sent in vain. So full of patience did he wait Through many a weary hour,

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That o‘er his simple soldier faith Not even death had power. And you — did others whisper low Their homage in your ear, As though among their shadowy throng His spirit had a peer. I would that you were by me now, To draw the sheet aside, And see how pure the look he wore The moment when he died. The sorrow that you gave him Had left its weary trace, As ‘twere the shadow of the cross Upon his pallid face. ―Her love,‖ he said, ―could change for me The winter‘s cold to spring.‖ Ah, trust of fickle maiden‘s love, Thou art a bitter thing! For when these valleys bright in May Once more with blossoms wave, The northern violets shall blow Above his humble grave. Your dole of scanty words had been But one more pang to bear, For him who kissed unto the last Your tress of golden hair. I did not put it where he said, For when the angels come I would not have them find the sign Of falsehood in the tomb. I‘ve seen your letter and I know The wiles that you have wrought

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To win that noble heart of his, And gained it — cruel thought! What lavish wealth men sometimes give For what is worthless all: What manly bosoms beat for them In folly‘s falsest thrall. You shall not pity him, for now His sorrow has an end, Yet would that you could stand with me Beside my fallen friend. And I forgive you for his sake As he — if it be given – May even be pleading grace for you Before the court of heaven. Tonight the cold wind whistles by As I my vigil keep Within the prison dead house, where Few mourners come to weep. A rude plank coffin holds his form, Yet death exalts his face And I would rather see him thus Than clasped in your embrace. Tonight your home may shine with lights And ring with merry song, And you be smiling as if your soul Had done no deadly wrong. Your hand so fair that none would think It penned these words of pain; Your skin so white — would God your heart Were half as free from stain. I‘d rather be my comrade dead, Than you in life supreme:

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For yours the sinner‘s waking dread, And his the martyr‘s dream. Whom serve we in this life, we serve In that which is to come: He chose his way, you yours; let God Pronounce the fitting doom.

34

Appomattox

I stand here on this dusty road, My rifle by my side. They say we must surrender And yet I‘m filled with pride. In knowing deep within my heart, I gave my Southland all, Like every man who took up arms And answered Freedoms‘ call. I‘ve worn the gray most proudly And loved our banners dear. To give them up and walk away, The thought brings me to tears. The worst for our brave men. At least we‘ll all be going home, To be with Kith and Kin. Throughout the years that follow, This tragic fateful day, We‘ll be proud of our fair flag And how we wore the gray.

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John Bell Hood, poem

Sadly and wearily, Eyes dimmed by grief, Thou, who has fought for us With thy blood bought for us, Freedom so brief– Slumbereth now peacefully, Resteth now fair, Could I but have thee now, Soothe from thy furrowed brow All lines of care! Bleeding and aching wounds Counted for naught, They did not pierce thy heart,

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Injustice‘s cruel dart Such sorrow wrought. Only the victor is Honored and cheered, But Defeat‘s martyr must To kind oblivion trust, Misery reared. Yet, where is he so strong, Standing alone, Fighting with Dignity All the Malignity, As thou hast done? Though thou art dead and gone, Better than fame Thou hast to us bequeathed, With holy memories wreathed– A noble name. Slumber now peacefully, Thou didst thy share, Thou hast not lived in vain; Leaving the stormy main, Rest thee now fair.

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Picket Guard

All quiet and calm, lies the broad battle plain, When heroes by hundreds lay sleeping, They hear not the wail that has gone over the land, They heed not the eyes that are weeping, There‘s many afond mother mourns for her boy, And many a maid for her Lover, And many a wife sits in sadness and gloom, Lamenting the days that are over. When the contest was raging with fury and might, On that scene now so calm in its beauty,

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A soldier was seen in the midst of the fight, Never flinching from danger, or duty. Death‘s carnival raged, and the shot and the shell, In the hot air around him were flying, But he heeded them not, till he sank to the ground, And the hero and soldier lay dying. Oh Father! forgive for the sake of thy son, Receive now my soul in thy Keeping, Farewell, darling wife, I shall see you no more, Soon this form in the grave will be sleeping, He took from his breast, where it lay through the strife, A picture he looked on with pleasure, He pressed his pale lips to the form he loved best, Thanking God for so precious a treasure. My darlings in vain for my coming you wait, Your Father, who loves you is dying, Good Angels are waiting to bear me away, Not alone on the field am I dying. Frankie and Alice and dear little Fred, No more shall I hear your sweet prattle, Or feel your soft Kisses upon my rough cheek, Farewell! I have fought my last battle: Then dear ones be good, and your mother obey, And grieve not her heart in its sadness, Remember your father with Kindness and love, How he died for his country with gladness, My eyes growing dim and my pulse beating slow, I feel that my heart strings are riven, The shadows have passed… dearest Wife I must go Bring the children and meet me in Heaven. This was written by E. H. Buterbaugh for a Union soldier form PA .

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Thirty-seven
By Private Miles O‘Reilly THREE years ago today ‗We raised our hands to heaven, And on the rolls of muster Our names were thirty-seven ; There were just a thousand bayonets, And the swords were thirty-seven, As we took the oath of service With our right hands raised to heaven. Oh ‘twas a gallant day, In memory still adored. That day of our sun-bright nuptials With the musket and the sword‘: Shrill rang the fifes, the bugles blared, And beneath a cloudless heaven Twinkled a thousand bayonets, And the swords were thirty-seven. Of the thousand stalwart bayonets Two hundred march today; Hundreds lie in Virginia swamps, And hundreds in Maryland clay; And other hundreds, less happy, drag Their shattered limbs around. And envy the deep, long, blessed sleep Of the battle-field‘s holy ground. For the swords—one night, a week ago, The remnant, just eleven, Gathered around a banqueting board With seats for thirty-seven;

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There were two limped in on crutches, And two had each but a hand To pour the wine and raise the cup As we toasted ―Our flag and land!‖ And the room‘ seemed filled with whispers As we looked at the vacant seats, And, with choking throats, we pushed aside The rich but untasted meats; Then in silence we brimmed our glasses, As we rose up—just eleven, And bowed as we drank to the loved and the dead Who had made us THIRTY-SEVEN.

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Christmas Night of 1862
by William Gordon McCabe (1841-1920)

The wintry blast goes wailing by, The snow is falling overhead; I hear the lonely sentry‘s tread, And distant watch-fires light the sky. Dim forms go flitting through the gloom; The soldiers cluster round the blaze To talk of other Christmas days, And softly speak of home and home. My sabre swinging overhead Gleams in the watch-fire‘s fitful glow,

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While fiercely drives the blinding snow, And memory leads me to the dead. My thoughts go wandering to and fro, Vibrating between the Now and Then; I see the low-browed home again, The old hall wreathed with mistletoe. And sweetly from the far-off years Comes borne the laughter faint and low, The voices of the Long Ago! My eyes are wet with tender tears. I feel again the mother-kiss, I see again the glad surprise That lightened up the tranquil eyes And brimmed them o‘er with tears of bliss, As, rushing from the old hall-door, She fondly clasped her wayward boy Her face all radiant with the joy She felt to see him home once more. My sabre swinging on the bough Gleams in the watch-fire‘s fitful glow, While fiercely drives the blinding snow Aslant upon my saddened brow. Those cherished faces all are gone! Asleep within the quiet graves Where lies the snow in drifting waves, And I am sitting here alone. There‘s not a comrade here to-night But knows that loved ones far away

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On bended knee this night will pray: ―God bring our darling from the fight.‖ But there are none to wish me back, For me no yearning prayers arise. The lips are mute and closed the eyes– My home is in the bivouac.

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He is Gone and I Have Sent Him
He has gone, and I have sent him! Think you I would bid him stay, Leaving, craven-like, to others All the burden of the day? All the burden? nay, the triumph! It is hard to understand All the joy that thrills the hero Battling for his native land? He has gone, and I have sent him! Could I keep him at my side While the brave old ship that bears us Plunges in the perilous tide? Nay, I blush but at the question, What am I, that I should chill All his brave and generous promptings Captive to a woman‘s will? He has gone, and I have sent him! I have buckled on his sword, I have bidden him strike for Freedom, For his country, for the Lord! As I marked his lofty bearing, And the flush upon his cheek, I have caught my heart rebelling That my woman‘s arm is weak. He has gone, and I have sent him! Not without a thought of pain, For I know the war‘s dread chances, And we may not meet again. Life itself is but a lending, He that gave perchance may take;

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If it be so, I will bear it Meekly for my country‘s sake. He has gone, and I have sent him! This henceforth be my pride, I have given my cherished darling Freely to the righteous side. I, with all a mother‘s weakness, Hold him now without a flaw; Yet when he returns I‘ll hail him Twice as noble as before. Source: Harper‘s Weekly, November 1, 1862

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The Hero of Franklin
By Mrs. D.N. Bash

General David S. Stanley

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The western sun is streaming across the Southern sky, Bright bayonets are gleaming as troop on troop pass by; Here, messengers are hastening to do a chief‘s behest, There, weary men have halted for greatly-needed rest; For all day long the battle raged, as battle must, When brothers strive with brothers, and feel their cause is just. But now the sun is setting, the hard day‘s work is o‘er, And watchful friend and foeman alike their dead deplore. From far and near, the camp-fires send forth a feeble gleam, While picket watches picket, on either side of stream. With heavy hearts, the leaders consult as best they may. And seen with anxious forethought to plan the coming day. But hark! What means the tumult? Again is heard the peal Of musketry, and cannon, and clang of glancing steel. What means the sudden onset? Whence come the noise of war? From every side the answer is heard above the roar. The rebels are upon us! Forrest has crossed the ford And Hood upon our ramparts, with al his host has poured.

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No time was now for counsel, for right and left give way; No power on earth can save us, and Hood will gain the day. But to one man the peril brings purpose stern and high, And, seizing on the moment, with fury in his eye, He dashes ‗mid the conflict, his only conscious thought, ―The patriot dead must be avenged, the battle lost refought.‖ Like lightning in a tempest, he dashes far and near, Death in his fiery onset, and anguish in his rear. From line to line he hastens to meet the fierce attack, And faltering hosts are strengthened, the foe is driven back. What matter that a bullet an ugly wound has made, Or that a host of heroes beneath the sod are laid? Once more the tide of battle is turned against the foe – For this the hearts of Freeman with grateful ardor glow. It was the hour of danger, the hour of glory, too, The hour that nerves the bravest unwonted deeds to do. Proud of their gallant leader, and proud of gallant deeds, The soldiers shout, ―We follow where e‘er the general leads.‖

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All honor, then, to every man whose valor saved the day Upon the field of Franklin, and turned the bloody fray. And when one‘s children‘s children shall read of heroes past, Around the name of Stanley a glory shall be cast.
Source: Minty and the Cavalry, Joseph Gale, 1886.

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The Old Home
When I long for sainted memories Like angel troops they come, If I fold my arms and ponder On the old, old home. The heart hath many palpages, Through which the feelings roam, But it middle aisle is sacred To the old, old home. Chorus: Oh, the old, old home. Oh, the old, old home I‘ll fold my arms and ponder on the old, old home. Where infancy was sheltered, Like rosebuds from the blast; Where boyhood‘ brief elysian, In joyousness was past. To that bright spot forever. As to some hallowed dome; Life‘s pilgrim binds his visions Tis‘ his old, old home. Chorus: Oh, the old, old home. Oh, the old, old home I‘ll fold my arms and ponder on the old, old home. A father sat how proudly By the bright hearthstone‘s says, And told his children stories, Of his early Manhood days:

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While one soft eye was beaming From child to child ‗twould roam; Thus a mother counted her treasures In the Old, Old home. Chorus: Oh, the old, old home. Oh, the old, old home I‘ll fold my arms and ponder on the old, old home. The birthday gifts and festivals, The blended Vesper hymn, But one dear one was swelling it Is with the Seraphim. The fonds good night of bedtime How quiet sleep would come, And fold us all together, In the Old, Old home. Chorus: Oh, the old, old home. Oh, the old, old home I‘ll fold my arms and ponder on the old, old home. Like a wreath of scented flowers, Close intertwined each heart, But time and change in concert, Have blown that wreath apart. Yes fondly cherished memories, Like Angels ever come If I fold my arms and ponder On the Old, Old home. Chorus: Oh, the old, old home. Oh, the old, old home I‘ll fold my arms and ponder on the old, old home.

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Sullivan Ballou Letter
July 14, 1861 Camp Clark, Washington My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . . I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . . Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field. The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . . But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .
Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.

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Barney Williams (1823 – 1876), Irish songster, comedian and performer, played for the troops
Barney Williams, (Bernard O‘Flaherty) was born in Cork county Ireland in 1823. His parents immigrated to America when he was a young boy and settled in New York. By 1836, at age 13, he was connected with the Franklin theatre. He learned clogging while in Ireland and became the first professional clogger in America by 1840. In his early performance-days Barney performed negro minstrels, the circus, and performed a variety of song-n-dance routines. In 1843 he played the role of Jerry Murphy in Bumpology at the Chatham theatre in New York. In these days Williams played in several roles in the Tyrone Powers repertory, including Paddy O‘Rafferty in Born to Good Luck, and Terry O‘Rourke in The Irish Tutor. By 1845, at age twenty-two, Williams was manager of Vauxhall Garden, NY. Apparently Williams career never took off until he married Maria Pray in 1850. It was then that he shed his role as a black-faced minstrel and focused on the celebrated Irish comic boy. In 1854 the Williams husband-wife team played in San Francisco to much success. The next year they traveled abroad to Europe and found success there as well, especially England. It was at The Adelphi Theatre in London that Barney debuted in Rory O‘Moore. In 1856 Barney wrote the song, My Mary Ann for his wife. The couple continued performing in London and became huge hits to the public, though not always viewed similarly by the critics. From 1856-1857 the Williams performed at The Adelphi. According to the London Times they performed the following: Bobbing Around, Polly, Won’t You Try Me, Oh?, and My Own Mary Anne.Some of their more popular performances were Ireland As it Is, Barney the Baron and Our Gal. In 1859 the Williams returned to America (New York) for engagements at Niblo‟s Garden. The first acts they performed there were Innisfallen, and The Men in the Gap. By the time of the Civil War, in 1863, the Williams‘ were also playing in Washington, D.C., performing The Fairy Circle in Grover theatre in February. On February 26th they performed at Grover‘s for Abraham Lincoln. Apparently, that evening Barney was able to get a hand-written note to the President asking for his approval of appointing a

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nephew of Williams to West Point. Lincoln did not approve the appointment but did respond to Barney in writing the next day. In October of 1863 Pvt. Miles O‟Reilly of the 47th NY mentions Barney Williams, among others, performing for the 47th while they were heading down the Hudson.

In December 1864 we find Barney and Maria being billed at Niblo‘s Garden in New York to appear in Irish and Yankee Life together.

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On December 6th the Williams‘ debuted the The Connie Soogah (The Traveling Peddler) at Niblo‘s. There is evidence that Barney sang The Bowld Soldier Song for the Irish Brigade of the 63rd New York, probably in 1864 as well. In 1867 Barney began managing Wallack‘s theatre in New York He died on April 25th, 1876 in New York City.

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“My Mary Ann” (1856) The Yankee Girls Song Words by Barney Williams Music by M. Jyse New York. NY: Henry McCaffrey Plate No. 402 [Source:051/056@Levy] 1. Fare you well, my own Mary Ann. Fare you well for a while. For the Ship it is ready and the wind it is fair, And I am bound for the Sea, Mary Ann, and I am bound for the Sea, Mary Ann. 2. Don‘t you see that turtle dove, A sitting on yonder pile! Lamenting the loss of its one true love, And so am I for mine, Mary Ann, and so am I for mine, Marry Ann. 3. A lobster in a lobster pot, A blue fish riggling on a hook, May suffer some, but oh! no not, What I do feel for my Mary Ann, what I do feel for my Mary Ann. 4. The pride of all the produce rare, That is our kitchen garden grow‘d, Was punkins, but none could compare In angel form to my Mary Ann, in angel form to my Mary Ann.

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Irish songster and entertainer to the troops during the Civil War, Barney Williams received the following accolades from his contemporaries: . . . the genuine Paddy, the true Irish peasant. When he opened his mouth you could smell the shamrock. Barney Williams . . . held a dominating place on the American stage as the portrayer of Irish comic roles from the middle 1840′s till the 1870s. He could make an audience roar by hispantomimc excellence. Williams possessed the true Irish spirit of the comical . . .

It all started simply enough. I was reading through other parts of the December 2, 1864 issue of The New York Times. As I was thumbing through the classifieds, more specifically the section labeled ―Amusement,‖ I stumbled upon this particular ad and it caught my eye:

Several things struck me. One, the ad was promoting a husband/wife team. Two, they were comedians. Three, they used song in their routine. Fourth, there appeared to be an Irish connection. The information caught my attention enough to do a quick Google search on Barney Williams. I soon discovered Barney Williams was originally born Bernard O‘Flaherty, born in Cork, Ireland, and he performed for President Lincoln as well as for the troops during the Civil War (at least for the 47th NY according to Miles O‘Reilly) Excellent speeches were made by General Daniel E. Sickles, Mr. James T. Brady, John Van Buren, Wm. E. Robinson, Commodore Joseph Hoxie, Judge Charles P. Daly, Daniel Devlin, and others; while Dr. Carmichael, Mr.John Savage, Mr. Stephen C. Massett, Mr. Barney Williams, and several celebrated songsters, amateur and professional, favored the company with patriotic and expressive melodies as the good vessel steamed up the Hudson on a brief pleasure trip.

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In 1853, The Spirit of the Times maintained that Barney Williams, ―as a representative of the Irish character, excels chiefly in the impersonation of the rustic peasant: poor in pocket, yet rich in humor, with a smile for his own troubles and a sign for another‘s grief.‖ A reviewer for the New Orleans Picayune in 1854 claimed that ―in the presentation of the genuine Paddy, the true Irish peasant,‖ Barney Williams gave his audiences ―the broad, unmistakable, wide awake ‗broth of boy,‘ alike ready to fight or shake hands, equally at home with the girls or the boys.‖ In 1858 theCork Examiner stated that Irish themselves regarded Williams as a ―real Paddy, and a true son of the sod.” While the stage Irishman often appeared as a cross between a buffoon and a savage, the Examiner claimed to see in Williams‘s impersonation ―the genuine Irishman of humble life – brave, honest, warm hearted, up to all kinds of fun, with no conscientious aversion to a ‗drop of the native,‘ a decided taste for getting into scrimmages, and a willingness to go any and every length for a friend. ―How his black eyes

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twinkle, and what fun there is in his face!‖ marveled one reviewer. ―He seems brimful, and running over, with good humour, and looks as if care never had or could touch him . . . ―
Source: ‗Twas Only an Irishman‘s Dream, p. 86-7.

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Here are some of the names of plays in the NYPL collection that are hand-written by Barney Williams: The bachelor‘s whim Born to good luck The Connie Soogah Yankee help Darby O‘Donnell Emerald Isle Emerald Ring Female Forty thieves The Fenians of Mullingar Grist to the Mill Governor‘s Wife An hour in Seville The Irish Ambassador An Irish joke An Irish legacy The Irish Yankee Jack Sheppard Kate Kearney The Knight of Arva The Ladder of Love The Lakes of Killarney Latest from New York Law for ladies The Leprechaun Lucifer Matches Melissa Meddle Miles O‘Reilly My brother Teddy One of the right sort Orphan of TIpperary Paul Dogherty Shamrock The three sisters Twelve Precisely The Wept of the Wish-ton-wish Women will talk

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Don‟t be Caught „dead‟ with playing cards
―A few things I will never forget while in the service, at one time not engaged in battle, quite a number of the Boys was playing cards, having what they term a good time. All of a sudden we heard firing off to the right and the boom of cannon off to the left and officers riding back and forth, and we was soon in line and marching to the firing line where we hear we would have to face death. So the Boys began to throw away their cards. No one wanted to be killed with a deck of cards in his pocket. But I never saw a Testament thrown away during a battle.‖
- Personal recollection of (1845-1935), Thomas Jefferson Williams (right), 120th Indiana, Company D.

114th Pennsylvania boys play cards to relieve the boredom.

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James I Robertson, Jr., writes, ―The one development that could bring an abrupt halt to gambling was the call to battle. Men would promptly throw away cards, dice, and other gambling instruments so that, if wounded or killed, no ‗passports to sin‘ would be found in their persons. Avid gamblers could then be seen intently reading their Bibles as they awaited the command to form ranks. Such repentance was generally short-lived. The more ardent gamblers who survived the battle would rush frantically into woods and fields in search of discarded items.‖
Soldiers Blue and Gray, Robertson: p. 95.

Five men sit at a table playing cards and betting. Ships sail by in the background. First prisoner: ―I‘ve lost twice‘s on that damn‘d old ace.‖ Dealer: ―Hurry up and make your bets.‖ Third prisoner: ―How many times has the jack won.‖ Fourth prisoner: ―I‘ll wait and see how the cards runs.‖ Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society,

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Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society,

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Sheet music – Louisville Citizen Guards
Louisville Citizen Guards, published by D.P. Faulds & Co., Louisville, Ky, n.d., Sarony, Major & Knapp, N.Y. lithographer, with hand colored lithographed cover of two militia men at attention with tent camp in background, after a daguerreotype by Webster & Bro., Louisville, 5 numbered pages with blank rear cover,

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August of 1860. Kentucky is represented here (below) with Simon Bolivar Buckner‘s unit the Kentucky State Guard at Louisville. This is Bucker‘s own unit, the Citizen Guard. They would be the heart of the 5th Kentucky Infantry in the Confederate Army.

Kentucky had both pro-Southern and pro-Northern militia elements. The pro-South Kentucky State Guard may have used a blue flag with a light blue circle in the center, which bore the federal coat of arms therein. One such example for a KSG unit does survive today.

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Original Handwritten Poem Inscribed to Abraham Lincoln From Colonel Thomas Worthington of the 46th Ohio OVI
February, 1864-Dated Civil War Period, Original Manuscript Poem Signed, "Col. T. Worthington," written in Pencil, entitled "Tis but one hundred thousand men," Very Fine. eBay

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Tis but one hundred thousand men! 'If we can't kill you in battle ----- we can starve you Chivalric rebel to death.' From Madawaska's icy shore To Rio Bravo's burning sands, From wild and wide Atlantic's roar To mild Pacific's golden strand, Up, up ye friends of freedom all, To drive the vipers from the den Where pine your friends in famined thrall ! Tis but one hundred thousand men ! From where the Everglades spread wide To Minnesota's farthest wild, From far Superior's icy tide To Pensacola's zephyrs mild, Grasp, freemen, grasp your brands of wrath And march, march fiercely forward them To snatch your braves from lingering death! 'Tis but one hundred thousand men ! O think ye, at your groaning boards Where August crowns the bloom of day, And brown November heaps his hoards Of plenty on your winter's day. Think ye of these whose fetters bind Their famined frames in treason's den; And can ye linger yet behind ? 'Tis but one hundred thousand men ! Unsatisfied where fields of blood Their crimson harvests daily bear, These traitor-friends of demon mood Deem not of honorable war. 'If ye are not in battle slain With famine ye'll be murdered' - then Forward ! they shall be free again,
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Though t'were ten hundred thousand men ! Call out the states of '87, The first five free from slavery's stain To these the glorious boon be give To snatch our braves from treason's chain. Ohio far Wisconsin greets; Calls Illinois to Michigan And Indiana bravely meets The call ten myriads of men.

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Colonel Thomas Worthington of the 46th Ohio Infantry, was commissioned on October 1861 and was later Courtmartialed and cashiered from the Union Army as the result of a bitter dispute with General Sherman over Sherman's alleged errors at the Battle of Shiloh. More than a poem, this is a significant, historical document. It expresses the personal feelings of the author, and links him directly to his well documented Civil War service. A highly important, museum quality piece. The author of this Poem, Colonel Thomas Worthington, is himself quite famous. He has a book written about him entitled, "Tom Worthington's Civil War: Shiloh, Sherman, and the Search for Vindication" by James D. Brewer.

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Patriotic cover endorsed by Major (John) Poland of the 13th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers eBay item for sale January 2011

Original soldier‘s poem –

The Western Virginia Hills

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Source: eBay, January 2011 The Old Union Wagon In Uncle Sam’s dominions in 1861 The fight between Secession to the Union was begun The South declared they'd have the 'Rights' that Uncle Sam denied Or in Secession's wagon they'd all take a ride Chorus Hurrah for the wagon The old Union wagon We'll stick to our wagon & all take a ride The makers of our Wagon were men of solid wit They made it out of Charter Oak that wouldn't rot or split Its wheels were of material the strongest & the best And two were named the North & South and two the East & West Our Wagon bed is strong enough for any revolution In fact tis the hull of the old 'Constitution' Her coupling strong her...long and any where you get her No tyrants from can break her down no traitor can upset her Now the old Union Wagon the nations all admired Her wheels had run for four score years and never once been tired Her passengers were happy as long her way she whirled And the Old Union Wagon was the glory of the world But when Old Abe took command the South wheel got displeased Because the public fat was gone that kept her greased And when he gathered up the reins & started on his route She plunged into Secession & knocked some fellers out Now while in the Secession's mire the wheel was stuck very tightly Some lousy passengers got in & cursed the driver slightly But Abram couldn't see it so he didn't heed the Clatter There's too much black mud on the wheel that's what's the matter So Abram gave them notice that in eighteen sixty three Unless the Rebels dried it up he'd set their niggers free And then the man that led the war to fight against our nation Would drop his gun & home he'd run to fight against starvation When Abram said free the slaves that furnished their supplies
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It opened Northern traitors months & Southern traitors eyes The slaves said they will run away if you this ruely freed them But Abram guessed perhaps they best go home and oversee them A sound our Union Wagon with shoulders to the wheel A million soldiers...with hearts as true as steel And of all generals high or low that helped them save the nation There's none that strike a harder blow than General Emancipation.

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eBay – January 2011

Our Union
Dissolve this mighty Union Go stop you rolling sun Blot out the planets from this sphere Which now in oder run Go stop the raging billows Go calm the raging sea And then this mighty Union May be dissolved by thee Dissolve this happy Union Command our Good to sleep And cause the sons of Freedom In bitterness to weep But hark they say with one accord This blessed land shall shine The Freedom of this Country Be preserved by power divine Dissolve this matchless Union Oh what a wicked thought The blast this mighty structure That was so dearly bought Dissolve the starry Union Go hide your shameful heads Behold the mighty hand of God Her spangled Banner spreads Dissolve this wide spread Union Her mountains on your frown Volcanoes in their fiery mist In floods to sweep your down
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But hark from every State the sound Of union still is heard Her countless sons assemble round Their banners at a word

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eBay – January 2011 Vermont postcard – Poem, From the Bloody Fray

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