Archive for the ‘Civil War’ Category

The Blue and the Gray

May 28, 2012

The Blue and the Gray.

(On the Unveiling, on Monument Day, of the Monument to the Confederate Dead at Chicago.)

The conflict’s o’er, the banner’s furled,
A cause is lost and won,
And martyred heroes sweetly rest
‘Neath stars or glowing sun.
Some calmly lie where gleaming shafts
Rise proudly toward the sky;
Some sleep in the hush of wooded nooks
Where light winds softly sigh.

Some rest where once the battle raged
In tempest of shot and shell,
Where deeds of valor were grandly wrought
And brave men fought and fell —
Fell ‘mid gleam of musket and sword,
And glory of battle array,
And their names and valiant deeds are sung
In the poet’s grandest lay.

But those whose graves are decked today
By friends and erstwhile foes,
Are those whose life-tide ebbed away
‘Mid prison’s gloom and woes.
Far from their sunny homes they sleep —
The homes they loved so well,
The homes for which they sternly faced
The foe and a prison hell.

But garlands fair their graves adorn,
Blest covenants of peace;
And hand meets hand in clasp which tells
That hate and strife must cease.

Tread softly now, ’tis hallowed ground
Where “blue” and “gray” clasp hands,
And mingled tears above the dust
Where sleep these patriot bands.
And they who once were bitter foes
But now are brothers true,
Sing equal praises to the brave,
Wore they the gray or blue.

And this majestic monument,
Unwelled with love and pride,
A tribute is from the living brave
To the brave and true who died.

— LOUISE THREETE HODGES.

May 30, 1895.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 30, 1895

Images from Wikipedia

Homeward Bound

May 27, 2012

HOMEWARD BOUND.
—–
BY MRS. LIZZIE YORK CASE.
—–
Thank God! the last proud victory’s won!
The last long weary march is done,
The bivouac fires are burning low,
And conquered is the last proud foe.
And they who have the danger dared, —
And they who have the trials shared —
With wreathes of deathless glory crown’d,
Thank God! at last are “homeward bound.”

Shoulder to shoulder they have stood,
On many a field of war and blood,
Together fought on battle plain,
Together wept for comrades slain.
These soldiers brave, and tried, and true,
Will bid each other now adieus;
And with all glory victory crown’d,
Each warrior chief is “homeward bound.”

The drums shall muster them no more,
Nor cannon sent its deadly roar;
And bugle call they will not hear,
But voice of loved ones fill their ear;
The battle’s shock, the dungeons gloom,
They’ll change for joys of “home, sweet home,”
Oh! may a home with plenty crown’d,
Await each soldier “homeward bound.”

Ended at last, “this cruel war,”
Oh! mother, sister, weep no more!
Let all your fears and sorrows cease!
And hail the holy dream of peace.
Come with your smiles and kind words, come!
And bid the hero “welcome home,”
He comes with wreathes of laurel crown’d
Your soldier boy is “homeward bound.”

No more to tread the picket line,
No more in hospital to pine,
No more to long for words from “home,”
To cheer the weary prison gloom.
No more to rush to deadly strife,
No more to peril limb and life,
For peace at last, sweet peace is found,
And they who sought her, “homeward bound.”

What is the pittance that he shares?
For all the soldier braves and dares,
For who like him leaves home and friend,
His country’s honor to defend?
Oh! had the soldier’s courage failed!
Our banner in the dust had trailed,
And liberty her grave had found,
And slavery been with triumph crown’d.

When red the tide of battle lowered,
Or when defeated, overpowered,
Still firm the mighty phalanx stood,
Like rivers ran their hero blood —
They left them dead in thousands slain,
And “rallied ’round their flag” again,
They saw that flag with victory crown’d,
And now they’re marching, “homeward bound.”

They come to us all battle worn,
They bring our flag with bullets torn,
Yet with its stains of battle gore,
‘Tis dearer, holier, than before.
For liberty was born anew,
Beneath that old Red, white, and Blue,
Then hail the flag with glory crown’d,
Then hail our heroes “homeward bound.”

But there are hundred thousands slain,
Who sleep upon the Southern plain,
And there are thousand hearts that yearn,
For those who never will return.
Oh while we write each deathless name,
Upon the sacred scroll of fame,
Let us provide for those that mourn,
And comfort those whose hearts are torn,
Whose sons with brighter glory crown’d,
A dearer, better “home” have found.

BALTIMORE, MD., May 20th 1865.

The Union (Georgetown, Delaware) Jun 9, 1865

Hark! from the Battle Field

May 27, 2012

Hark, From the Battle Field.

TUNE — TROUBADOR.

Hark, from the battle-field
Cometh a wail,
Borne to our list’ning ears
By the Southern gale;
Lo! for the Union cause,
Die we to-day —
Home and friends, all we love,
Far, far away.

Sadly we mourn for those
Who die for the right;
Often think we of them,
In the still night;
Weep, weep, for those we love,
Dying to-day,
From their homes and their friends,
Far, far away.

They to our waiting hearts,
Never may come;
On Southern battle-fields,
Is their last home;
God bless the soldiers brave!
Dying to-day,
Home and friends, all they love,
Far, far away.

Green be their memory,
In warm hearts for aye;
For their brave passing souls,
Daily we pray —
God bless the soldier brave!
Dying to-day,
In Thy home, up in heaven,
Take them we pray.

Monroe Sentinel (Monroe, Wisconsin) Jun 25, 1862

Image from The Commercial Appeal

The Colored Soldier

May 27, 2012

Image from The USCT Chronicle

“For the Union.”

The Colored Soldier.
—–
BY REV. S.E.M.
—–
Loud o’er the haughty South, pillaged and torn,
Rang out the battle cry to Afric’s born;
Up from the slaver’s lash, bloody and keen
Up from the bed of woe, life to redeem,
Sprang the dark ranks at Columbia’s call,
Daring to save Liberty — or fall.

Up from their gory paths, beaten and scarred,
Out from their cheerless homes; scorning regard,
Craving but freedom to bare their dark breasts,
To triumph or die, e’er their saber should rest,
On rushed the slave-bands from tyranny’s van,
On from the homes where man is not man.

Off to the field of strife, hopeful and brave,
Off to the rest of a patriot’s grave,
Steadily, fearlessly, stearnly they trod,
Trusting for courage to Liberty’s God,
Swearing to purchase the boon of the free,
Shouting, “on to death or victory!”

Up to fire cannon’s mouth, gladly they went,
Over the slain “in red burial blent,”
Into the fangs of death, manfully strode,
Blood of the white and black, fearfully flowed,
Mingled and gurgled in one crimson stream,
And swords of bond and free mingled their gleam.

Hearts of one purpose, and men of one mind,
Thoughts of one prospect and strokes of one kind,
Visions of light neath the same banner’s blue,
Clad in the same garb of a Nation true,
Evermore true to the “Union” and Right,
True to the black man and true to the white.

Bleeding and fighting and dying they fell
How many and true, the red records tell,
Fell in the hope that the nation was true,
True to her free ones and her shackled too,
Breathed out their lives that their children might live,
For the rights that a grateful land can give.

Sweet o’er Columbia hills, lonly and bare,
Mounted the sun of Peace, cloudless and fair,
Back from the cannon’s mouth, victory crowned,
Came on the white and black o’er many a mound,
Came on, with their armless and legless frames,
White men and black men had suffered the same.

Image from “Freedom Fighters”

Loud from the lip, of men, pealed the glad strain,
“Long live Columbia,” triumphant again,
On the broad brow of the white chieftan placed,
The laurel of fame from a thankful race,
While back to his hut the black hero goes,
Unnoticed, unhonored, to his repose.

Far to the field of blood, gladly he went,
To where the ballot-box was torn and rent,
Like the sons of Eli, about the Ark,
He fought beside it when the night was dark;
He stood between it and the traitor’s steel,
He struck and bruised the bold oppressor’s heel.

Down by its sacred place, humbly bending,
Down with a tearful heart, of rings blending,
Glad that to Freedom there lives a strong shield,
Glad that the ballot a black man may wield,
When lo! proud Columbia spurns her black son
From altars and rights which his valor had won.

Wide were the gates she had opened to him,
Broad were the fields that lay peaceful within,
Bright was the change from the scourge to the crown,
And gladsome the life-strains that echoed down,
But, when from his hands the chains she had flung
It changed; and o’er all dead barrenness hung.

Shame, shame on Columbia, great thought she be,
To fetter minds and hearts, while hands are free,
To grant to her traitor offspring a voice,
While her dark-browed heroes cannot rejoice,
Look well to thy bulwarks, for God is true,
The blackman’s his child and brother to you.

The Union (Georgetown, Delaware) Jul 21, 1865

Only a Private

May 26, 2012

Image from The Online Photographer

For the “Union.”

ONLY A PRIVATE.

BY LILIA LYSLE.
—–
Only a private!
Not much to tell,
No Major, no Colonel,
No Officer fell.
Only a private,
Lay him away,
Silently, calmly,
No grand display

Bursts forth a volley
Over the mound,
Memory and body,
Hid in the ground.
Only a private,
Name soon forgot,
In the great army,
The private’s lot.

In a snug cottage,
Over the plain,
Waiting the coming
Of private again.
Mother and sister,
Reading the news,
Only a private,
Name William Hughs.

Only a private,
My idol boy,
Only a private,
A sister’s joy.
Only a private,
Bullets had slain,
And then rebounded
Back o’er the plain.

Heedlessly wounding,
Two in it train,
Mother and sister,
Bullets have slain.
Officers lead,
Privates, we know,
Only the privates
Level the foe.

Nobly the privates
Leave home and friends,
Seeking not honor,
Our Flag to defend.
Only a private
Would we could be,
Pour out our life’s blood,
Thus humbly.

SUSSEX COUNTY, May 4th.

The Union (Georgetown, Delaware) May 12, 1865

How a “Reconstructed” Organ Talks

May 26, 2012

How a “Reconstructed” Organ Talks.

We are in possession, through the courtesy of a friend now sojourning in Mobile, Ala., of late files of the papers of that city. The Mobile Daily Tribune publishes Government advertisements; and from this fact it may be regarded as quite as thoroughly “reconciled” and “re-constructed” as any of the papers of that city. We clip a few items, almost at random, from its columns.

The Tribune is evidently not a radical organ, if the following can be taken as bearing upon this point:

RADICAL. — There are some words which have that about them that inspires the beholder with disgust akin to that which the sight of a loathsome reptile fills him, and the word above we have always considered of that number. The word itself was a very innocent word till it became [polluted] by being used to designate the vilest fiends that ever become incarnate. *   *   The words recks with blood, and we had rather have any other word fastened to us than this bad one. But the men in the United States who have achieved eternal infamy by winning the right to be called radical, seem rather proud of the title — just as the demons who once raged in France, gloried in the names of Jacobin and Sans Culotte. And nothing tends more than this characteristic, to show the ultimate designs of those loathsome reptiles. Not content with having murdered two millions of people, white and black, by fire and sword, they are now seeking to destroy or drive to destruction as many more, by the establishment of packed juries, and the erection of gallows throughout the land.

The following extract from a notice of the “Crescent Monthly,” a literary magazine published at New Orleans, indicates the literary taste of the Tribune, and its desire to “foster and encourage every effort in the right direction:”

The May number of the “Crescent Monthly” is replete with entertaining and instructive matter. The leading article is a just and well considered epitome of Gen. Lee’s campaigns, beginning with his brilliant exploits as commander of the army of Northern Virginia, just after the battle of Seven Pines, and concluding with the mournful story of his surrender. It is a worthy contribution to the history of the late gallant, but unfortunate struggle, and a fitting tribute to the military genius and heroic qualities of our great leader.

Image from Battle of Franklin

To those who have become accustomed to the trashy literature of the North — the narrow-minded, bigoted Bostonology of the Atlantic Monthly, or of the disgusting sensationals of the Harpers, or the diluted nothings of N.P. Willis, the Crescent Monthly should be thrice welcome. We turn from the nauseating doses of Puritan literature to the solid, healthful pabulum of the Crescent, with very much the same feeling that one quits the dirty, murky atmosphere of the city, for the fresh, invigorating air and green fields of the country. The distressful lustrum through which the South has lately passed, brought with it one good effect; it exemplified us, for the time, from the periodical flood of vicious publications threw off by Northern presses.

Our aim should be to protect our homes and firesides from the influence of this baneful literature. We foster and encourage every effort in the right direction, and in this view we commend the Crescent Monthly, whose high, dignified tone and instructive pages entitle it to the support of Southern men.

We cannot conclude this notice more agreeably to our readers than by reproducing from the Crescent the following exquisite little poem by our former townsman, Harry Flash. The poetic fire glares as brightly in the soul of the young poet as when in days gone by, his graceful pen contributed so often to the pleasure of the Tribune’s many readers. But here is the poem:

Image from Legends of America

THE CONFEDERATE FLAG.

Four stormy years we saw it gleam,
A people’s hope — and then refurled,
Even while its glory was the them
Of half the world.

The beacon that, with streaming ray,
Dazzled a struggling nation’s sight —
Seeming a pillar of cloud by day,
Of fire by night.

They jeer, who trembled as it hung,
Comet-like, blazoning in the sky —
And heroes such as Homer sung,
Followed it — to die.

It fell — but stainles as it rose,
Martyred, like Stephen, in the strife;
Passing like him, girdled with foes,
From death to life.

Fame’s trophy, sanctified by tears!
Planted forever, at her portal;
Folded, true — what then? Four short years
Made it immortal.

Image of Strother from behind AotW

Au contrarie, “Porto Crayon,” the sprightly artist-contributor to Harper’s Magazine, being a Virginian, comes in for a “first-rate notice” at the hands of the “reconstructed” editor, thus:

Picking up a late number of Harper’s Monthly, sent us by a friend, we noticed that the first article was entitled “Personal Recollections of the War, by a Virginian,” and because it laid claim to such authorship, we were induced to read it. What was our indignation when we found that the creature assuming this glorious citizenship, was no other than the renegade Strother, alias Porto Crayon — the swaggering Adjutant-General of the ruffian Hunter, the burner of Virginia houses and public buildings, the murderer of Virginia’s sons; the hired scribbler and dauber of the venomous Harper’s.

Image of Stonewall Jackson from NNDB

This wretch has the impudence to write himself Virginian, without the prefix “renegade,” when by every means in his power, except great exposure of his person, he was opposing Virginia’s representative men, her Lees, Jacksons and Johnstons — was at the moment of her agony upon the cross, thrusting the finger of scorn and insult into the bleeding sides if his noble old mother. Let such creatures scribble and daub for Harper to his heart’s content; the occupation is worthy of him — but we beg of them to drop all claim to be called Southern or Virginian. Virginian! who that was not on the side of Stonewall Jackson has the shadow of a claim to be called such? World-wide as is the fame of this name it cannot be stretched to take in the same things telescopic and microscopic — Stonewall Jackson and Porto Crayon. — There must be different words to distinguish the principles of these two.   *   *   *

After blatant professions of a determination to oppose by any means in his power, the success of the movement of Virginia in 1861, he tells how he spent much of his time on intimate terms with the officers of Gen. Johnston’s army at Harper’s Ferry, taking drawings of the works, &c., and proves by his own words, that he deserved to be hung as a spy.

But why waste any more words on such a subject? He has consigned himself to eternal infamy by being first the Adjutant-General of Hunter in his Valley march, and then the hired scribeler for Harper’s Magazine.

Image from Virginia Historical Society’s Blog

One more extract much suffice for to-day. It is a portion of a poem which is “going the rounds” of the Southern press, with editorial comments of admiration:

Gallant nation, foiled by numbers,
Say not that your hopes are fled;
Keep that Glorious flag which slumbers,
One day to avenge your dead.
Keep it, widowed, silent mothers,
Keep it, sisters mourning brothers,
Fur it with an iron will;
Furl it now but — keep it still;
Think not that its work is done.
Keep it till your children take it,
Once again to hall and make it
All their sires have bled and fought for,
All their noble hearts have sought for,
Furl that banner, sadly, slowly,
Treat it gently, for ’tis holy.
Till the day — yes, furl it sadly,
Then once more unfurl it gladly —
Conquered Banner — keep it still!

Why shouldn’t loyal sentiments like these again find expressions in the halls of Congress, and all in the departments of the Government? Why?

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jun 26, 1866

An Awful “Cuss” – The Last of Jeff. Davis

May 26, 2012

Image from Son of the South

A SOLDIER’S SONG.

The following song is a popular one among the soldiers in the field, and was sung during the present campaign on march and around among the camp fires. The “boys in blue” have no words of pity for Jeff. Davis: —

AN AWFUL “CUSS” — THE LAST OF JEFF. DAVIS.

Oh may that cuss, Jeff. Davis, float,
Halle — Hallelujah!
On stormy sea in open boat,
In Iceland’s cold without a coat;
Glory, Hallelujah!

No rudder, compass, sail, or oar,
Halle — Hallejujah!
A million miles away from shore,
Where myriad briny monsters roar;
Glory, Hallelujah!

May sharks devour him, stem and stern,
Halle — Hallelujah!
A whale then gulp him down in turn
And the devil get the whole concern,
Glory, Hallelujah!

Oh, plunge the cuss’d secession swell,
Halle — Hallelujah!
In darkest pit of deepest hell,
To gnash his teeth and roar and yell;
Glory, Hallelujah!

In burning brimstone may he be,
Halle — Hallelujah!
Whilst little devils dance in glee;
And lock the door and lose the key
Glory, Hallelujah!

Good Devil, see you chain him well,
Halle — Hallelujah!
In torture worse than tongue can tell,
In hottest fire of blazing hell;
Glory, Hallelujah!

And ‘mind his roars and frantic cries,
Halle — Hallelujah!
Oh, make eternal ashes rise,
And blow forever in his eyes;
Glory, Hallelujah!

Oh, cuss each blasted Rebel knave,
Halle — Hallelujah!
On no account Jeff. Davis save,
That hell-deserving scoundrel slave;
Amen, Hallelujah!

The Union (Georgetown, Delaware) May 26, 1865

Jeff Davis’ Prayer

May 25, 2012

JEFF DAVIS’ PRAYER.

BY CLARENCE BUTLER.

Bowed down with grievous cares of State,
(For tidings weren’t going very straight,)
There sat that awful potentate
King Jeff, the great Secesher;
He looked exceedingly forlorn,
Harrassed and vexed, annoyed and worn;–
‘Twas plain his office didn’t return
Much profit or much pleasure.

Says Jeff (he thus soliloquized:)
“This isn’t quite as I surmised;
It really cannot be disguised,
The thing is getting risky:
Winchester, Donelson, Roanoke,
Pea Ridge, Port Royal, Burnside’s stroke.
At Newborn—by the Lord, I choke!”
Jeff took a drink of whisky.

“McClellan, too, and Yankee Foote;
Grant, Hunter, Halleck, Farrigut,
With that accurst Fremont to boot;”
(Right here he burst out swearing;
And then, half mad and three parts drunk,
Down on his shaking knees he sunk,
And prayed like any frightened monk,
To ease his black despairing.)

He prayed: “0 mighty Lucifer!
Than Whom, of all that are or were
There is no spirit worthier
To be our Lord and Master;
0h, thou Original Secesh!
Please pity our poor quaking flesh.
And break this tightening Union mesh,
And stop this dire disaster!

“We trust we have not been remiss
In duty or in sacrifice;
We feel we have wrought thine abyss
Some services, good devil!
The hottest hell-fire marked our track
O’er the green land we have made black,
We think our hands have not been slack
In doing work of evil.

“Have we not drugged and drowsed the press,
And held the Bible in duress?
And, Satan, did we not suppress
The thinkers and the teachers;
Close up the schools, starve our the brains,
Lynch those attaint with loyal stains,
Festoon the Sacred Cross with chains,
And gag the Lord Christ’s preachers?

“O Prince of rebels! have we not
Almost eclipsed Iscariot,
And quite shamed Peter’s little blot,
With treachery and lying?
Have we not hacked, and hawed and burned,
And pillaged what the poor have earned;
Brought havoc on the rich, and spurned
The famished and the dying?

“So, being thine in word and deed,
We trust we shall not vainly plead
In this our time of frightful need,
And perilous reverses; —
Therefore, sink every Federal boat,
Let Stanton be with palsy smote,
Make George McClellan cut his throat,
And blast Old Abe with curses!

“Then, Satan, whilst we give thee thanks,
Kill Shields, choke Halleck, poison Banks,
And spread through all the Yankee ranks
Terrific devastation!
Let loose the plagues and pestilence,
Stir up the Northern malcontents,
And drive the invading mudsills hence,
In utter consternation!

“By all the incense we have brought;
By all the rain we have wrought;
By every woe, and every clot
Of murder, grim and gory; —
By every shriek and every wail
That makes the stunned heart blanch and pale,
O, let thy servants now prevail —
And thine shall be the glory!”

Monroe Sentinel (Monroe, Wisconsin) May 28, 1862

Previous post with Jefferson Davis: A Difference

Spotsylvania Court House

May 12, 2012

Lee spots Grant moving toward the Spotsylvania Court House.

Lee’s men repel Grant’s attacks.

May 12th, the Union Army makes Grand Assault and fails, losing thousands of men.

Grant Dispatch: “I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer.”

*****

HIGH LIGHTS OF HISTORY –  Spotsylvania Court House
By J. CARROLL MANSFIELD

Davenport Democrat and Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Aug 29, 1928

History.com has a great website commemorating the Civil War 150 Years anniversary. See The Five Deadliest Battles.

A Difference

May 11, 2012

A Difference.

John Brown made an unlawful attempt to destroy slavery, which resulted in the killing of a dozen men. He was arrested, tried and hung.

Jefferson Davis made an unlawful attempt to perpetuate slavery, which resulted in the death of a million men. He is in durance vile, but from present indications stands a hundred chances of being the next President to one of being hung. From all of which we gather that it is treason worthy of death to take up arms against slavery, and no treason to take up arms for its perpetuation. —

If Jefferson Davis is not hung, the execution of John Brown was cold and unjustifiable murder.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 22, 1866

*****

More about the above image from Roy Rosenweig Center for History and New Media:

This lithograph, rather than depicting the scene of Jefferson Davis’ arrest, added other symbols to create a more allegorical representation of the Confederate President’s capture by Union soldiers. Davis, wearing a woman’s dress and bonnet, sits in a birdcage suspended from a hangman’s scaffold. Next to the cage, John Brown, clad in a white robe, rises from out of the ground and points accusingly at Davis. Beneath the cage, diminutive figures of African Americans — in costumes familiar from minstrel stage representations of supposed black character “types” — perform a jubilant and mocking dance. Brown became the most famous martyr to the anti-slavery cause in 1859, when he led a small band of armed men in a raid against the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, intending to seize the weapons there and free all slaves in the vicinity. Brown and his associates were captured and hanged for treason.

Source: G. Querner, John Brown Exhibiting His Hangman, lithograph, Cincinnati, 1863.

JEFF. DAVIS.

What the Mother of a Soldier Starved at Anderson Thinks.

From the Cincinnati Commercial, June 1.

EDS. COM. — In your paper of yesterday you say “There is no great eagerness for the hanging of Jeff. Davis. The best public opinion is that he ought to have been permitted to run away, or killed on the spot when captured, and that he should now be set ashore upon the continent of Africa,” etc.

I am the mother of one of the bravest of volunteer soldiers, who served his country during the late war, and died, with the thousands of her sons, at Andersonville, under the treatment of Jeff. Davis.

What I want the Government whom these men served, and for whom they were so cruelly murdered, to assure us, their surviving friends, is that we are not to be insulted by the liability of meeting that murderer face to face in the streets or highways of his native land. I cannot imagine that the Government contemplates inflicting such a torture on its own friends, as this possibility.

Perhaps we had a right to demand his death — perhaps there is not one of us who would not almost have given their own life to have been allowed to take his — perhaps in the history of the world there has never been an instance of a man who has so barbarously treated his prisoners, being, in return, pampered with luxuries and indulgencies, and invited, as it were, to live, by the very polite government for whom our poor boys have been sacrificed.

Is he to have his health carefully considered, who refused to shelter from the cold, the heat and the storm, the sick and dying of our army? — Dying a thousand deaths in this monstrous captivity, without a friend to help them, and we, their nearest and dearest, expected to sit by with complacency and read the reports of this man’s trumpery nerves, published to excite commiseration for his fate?

Should the Government again require volunteer help, what amount does it expect from the families of the thousands who are lying at Andersonville?

Will the press befriend those whom all other powers have deserted?

A BEREAVED MOTHER.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jun 12, 1866