George Cary Eggleston.

American war ballads and lyrics: a collection of the songs and ballads of the colonial wars, the revolution, the war of 1812-15, the war with Mexico, and the civil war (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryGeorge Cary EgglestonAmerican war ballads and lyrics: a collection of the songs and ballads of the colonial wars, the revolution, the war of 1812-15, the war with Mexico, and the civil war (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 10)
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For lull list see end of this volume











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G. P. Putnam's Sons

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Electrotyped and Printed by
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1^ a.



3 Civil ^kv.— Continued. ....




My Maryi^and ,


Battle Hymn of the Republic


The Picket Guard


The Countersign


Jonathan to John


There 'S Life in the Old Land yet


Never or Now


Boy Brittan


The " Cumberland " ....


On Board the " Cumberland " .


The Sword-Bearer


The Old Sergeant




The River Fight


Sheridan 's Ride


Kearney at Seven Pines


Stonewall Jackson's Way .


Marching Along


The Burial of Latane ....


Vol. 11. iii


Tardy George ....

Wanted — A Man

Overtures from Richmond .

Barbara Frietchie .

Music in Camp . . . , .


Treason 's Last Device .

In Louisiana ....

John Pei^ham ....

The BattIvE of Chari^eston Harbor

Running the Batteries .

Keenan's Charge .

Death of Stonewali. Jackson

Under the Shade of the Trees

Stonewai.Iv Jackson .

The BIvAck Regiment


Gettysburg ....
At Gettysburg ....
John Burns of Gettysburg .
Woman's War Mission .
Three Hundred Thousand More
Lee to the Rear


The Bay Fight . . , .
The Loyai, Fisher .
Sherman's March to the Sea
Sherman's March .


The Year of
The Conquered Banner .
Somebody's Darwng


Driving Home the Cows .
After All . . • . .
" He 'll See it when He Wakes
The Reveille ....


The White Rose

The Blue and the Gray


A Georgia Volunteer .

" How ARE You, Sanitary ? " .

The Men

The Guerillas ....
When This Cruel War is Over
Cavalry Song (Stedman) .
Cavalry Song (Raymond)
The Cavalry Charge (Taylor)
The Cavalry Charge (Durivage)


Reading the List

A Woman of the War .

Glory Hallelujah ! or, John Brow

Marching through Georgia .

The Battle-Cry of Freedom

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp




Running the Batteries
The Civil. War
The Countersign .


Sheridan's Ride
Barbara Frietchie
In Louisiana
John Pei^ham .
Running the Batteries
Keenan's Charge .
The Beack Regiment

John Burns of Gettysburg
Three Hundred Thousand More
Vol. II. vii



• 15

• 35

. 72

• 95

• 103

• 113
. 120
. 124
■ 132
. 138
- 15c
. 160

viii 1fllu0tration6



. . 167

The Bay Fight

. 170

The Conquered Banner

. 204

Driving Home the Cows ...

. 211

After Ai,i,

. 214


. 252

Typogravures by IT. Kurtz,


S0U1ts.l^akWvi.>i. ^.^v^A-C^.v^i^Uii ' '^^-»>r^ - WQL^


By henry PETERSON.

SING, bird, on green Missouri's plain,
Thy saddest song of sorrow ;
Drop tears, O clouds, in gentlest rain

Ye from the winds can borrow ;
Breathe out, ye winds, your softest sigh,

Weep, flowers, in dewy splendor,
For him who knew well how to die,
But never to surrender !

Up rose serene the August sun

Upon that day of glory ;
Up curled from musket and from gun

The war-cloud gray and hoary.
It gathered like a funeral pall

Now broken and now blended.
Where rang the bugle's angry call,

And rank with rank contended.

Four thousand men, as brave and true

As e'er went forth in daring,
Upon the foe that morning threw

The strength of their despairing.
They feared not death — men bless the field

That patriot soldiers die on —
Fair Freedom's cause was sword and shield,

And at their head was Lyon !

The leader's troubled soul looked forth

From eyes of troubled brightness ;
Sad soul ! the burden of the North

Had pressed out all its lightness.
He gazed upon the unequal fight,

His ranks all rent and gory,
And felt the shadows close like night

Round his career of glory.

** General, come lead us ! " loud the cry

From a brave band was ringing —
"Lead us, and we will stop, or die,

That battery's awful singing."
He spurred to where his heroes stood.

Twice wounded — no wound knowing —
The fire of battle in his blood

And on his forehead glowing.

oil, cursed for aye that traitor's hand,

Aud cursed that aim so deadly,
Which smote the bravest of the land,

And dyed his bosom redly !
Serene he lay, while past him prest

The battle's furious billow.
As calmly as a babe may rest

Upon its mother's pillow.

So Lyon died ! and well may flowers

His place of burial cover,
For never had this land of ours

A more devoted lover.
Living, his country was his pride,

His life he gave her dying ;
Life, fortune, love — he naught denied

To her and to her sifrhing.

Rest, patriot, in thy hillside grave,

Beside her form who bore thee !
Long may the land thou diedst to save

Her bannered stars wave o'er thee !
Upon her history's brightest page.

And on Fame's glowing portal.
She '11 write thy grand, heroic rage

And grave thy name immortal.



THE despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland !
His torch is at thy temple door,

Maryland !
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland, my Maryland !

Hark to an exiled son's appeal,

Maryland !
My Mother State, to thee I kneel,

Maryland !
For life or death, for woe or weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal.
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,

Maryland, my Maryland !

/IB^ /llbar^lanJ)

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,

Maryland !
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,

Maryland !
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,
And all thy slumberers with the just,

Maryland, my Maryland !

Come ! 'tis the red dawn of the day,

Maryland !
Come with thy panoplied array.

Maryland !
With Ringgold's spirit for the fray.
With Watson's blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May,

Maryland, my Maryland !

Dear Mother, burst the tyrant's chain,

Maryland !
Virginia should not call in vain,

INIaryland !
She meets her sisters on the plain,
" Sic semper! " 't is the proud refrain
That minions back amain,

Maryland !
Arise in majesty again,

Maryland, my Maryland !

/IR^ /IRar^lanO

Come ! for thy shield is bright and strong,

Maryland !
Come ! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,

Maryland !
Come to thine own heroic throng
Stalking with liberty along,
And chant thy dauntless slogan-song,

Maryland, my Maryland !

I see the blush upon thy cheek,

Maryland !
But thou wast ever bravely meek,

Maryland !
But lo ! there surges forth a shriek,
From hill to hill, from creek to creek,
Potomac calls to Chesapeake,

Maryland, my Maryland !

Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,

Maryland !
Thou wilt not crook to his control,

Maryland !
Better the fire upon thee roll.
Better the shot, the blade, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the soul,

Maryland, my Maryland !

UXb^ ^ar^IaiiD

I hear the distant thunder-hum

Maryland !
The " Old lyine's" bugle, fife, and drum,

Maryland !
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb ;
Huzza ! she spurns the Northern scum —
She breathes ! She burns ! She '11 come ! She '11 come !

Maryland, my Maryland !






MINE eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of

wrath are stored ;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift
sword :

His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling

camps ;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and

damps ;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring
lamps ;

His day is marching on.

:©attles1bBmn ot tbe IRepublic

1 have read a fiery gospel writ in buruish'd rows of steel ;
" As ye deal with m}' contemuers, so with you my grace

shall deal";
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his


Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call
retreat ;

He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-
seat ;

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him ! be jubilant, my
feet !

Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me :
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men

While God is marching on.

November, iS6i.

>w 1 1

By etheIv IvYnn be;krs.

" A IvE quiet along the Potomac," they say,

r\ " Except now and then a stray picket
Is shot, as he walks on his beat, to and fro.

By a rifleman hid in the thicket.
'T is nothing — a private or two, now and then.

Will not count in the news of the battle ;
Not an officer lost — only one of the men.

Moaning out, all alone, the death-rattle."

All quiet along the Potomac to-night,

Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming ;
Their tents, in the rays of the clear autumn moon.

Or the light of the watch-fires, are gleaming.
A tremulous sigh, as the gentle night wind

Through the forest leaves softly is creeping ;
While stars up above, with their glittering eyes.

Keep guard — for the army is sleeping.

There 's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread,
As he tramps from the rock to the fountain,

^be ipicfiet (5uart) 13

And thinks of the two in the low trundle bed

Far away in the cot on the mountain.
His musket falls slack — his face, dark and grim,

Grows gentle with memories tender,
As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep —

For their mother— may Heaven defend her !

The moon seems to shine just as brightly as then,

That night, when the love yet unspoken —
Leaped up to his lips — when low-murmured vows

Were pledged to be ever unbroken.
Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes.

He dashes off tears that are welling,
And gathers his gun closer up to its place

As if to keep down the heart-sw^elling.

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree —

The footstep is lagging and weary ;
Yet onward he goes, through the broad belt of light.

Towards the shades of the forest so dreary.
Hark ! was it the night wind that rustled the leaves ?

Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing ?
It looks like a rifle— ah ! ** Mary, good-bye ! "

And the life-blood is ebbing and plashing.

All quiet along the Potomac to-night.

No sound save the rush of the river ;
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead—

The picket's off duty forever.


[In his admirably edited collection of poems of the
civil war, entitled " Bugle Echoes," Mr. Francis F.
Browne introduces this poem with the following note :

" There has been no little dispute as to the authorship
of this poem. The Philadelphia Press, in 1861, said it
was ' written by a private in Company G, Stuart's en-
gineer regiment, at Camp Lesley, near Washington.'
But is may now be stated positively that it was written
by a Confederate soldier, still living. The poem is
usually printed in a very imperfect form, with the
fourth, fifth, and sixth stanzas omitted. The third line
of the fifth stanza affords internal evidence of Southern
origin." — Editor.]



ALAS ! the weary hours pass slow,
The night is very dark and still ;
And in the marshes far below
I hear the bearded whippoorwill ;


i6 XLbc Countersign

I scarce can see a yard ahead,

My ears are strained to catch each sound ;
I hear the leaves about me shed,

And the spring's bubbling through the ground.

Along the beaten path I pace,

Where white rays mark my sentry's track
In formless shrubs I seem to trace

The foeman's form with bending back,
I think I see him crouching low ;

I stop and list — I stoop and peer,
Until the neighboring hillocks grow

To groups of soldiers far and near.

With ready piece I wait and watch,

Until my eyes, familiar grown,
Detect each harmless earthen notch,

And turn guerrillas into stone ;
And then, amid the lonely gloom.

Beneath the tall old chestnut trees,
My silent marches I resume.

And think of other times than these.

Sweet visions through the silent night !

The deep bay windows fringed with vine.
The room within, in softened light,

The tender, milk-white hand in mine ;

^be Countersign 17

The timid pressure, and the pause
That often overcame our speech —

The time when by mysterious laws
We each felt all in all to each.

And then that bitter, bitter day,

When came the final hour to part ;
When, clad in soldier's honest gray,

I pressed her weeping to my heart ;
Too proud of me to bid me stay,

Too fond of me to let me go,
I had to tear myself away.

And left her, stolid in my woe.

So rose the dream, so passed the night —

When, distant in the darksome glen.
Approaching up the sombre height

I heard the solid march of men ;
Till over stubble, over sward,

And fields where lay the golden sheaf,
I saw the lantern of the guard

Advancing wdth the night relief.

" Halt ! Who goes there ? " my challenge cry.
It rings along the watchful line ;

" Relief ! " I hear a voice reply ;

" Advance, and give the countersign ! "
Vol. II.

XLhc Countersign

With bayonet at the charge I wait —
The corporal gives the mystic spell

With arms aport I charge my mate,
Then onward pass, and all is well.

But in the tent that night awake,

I ask, if in the fray I fall,
Can I the mystic answer make

When the angelic sentries call ?
And pray that Heaven may so ordain.

Whene'er I go, what fate be mine,
Whether in pleasure or in pain,

I still may have the countersign




[This poem is a part of the second series of ''The
Bigelow Papers," a work wholly unmatched in the
literature of humor, that has an earnest purpose and
well matured thought for its sources of inspiration.
The poem was called forth by what is known as "the
Trent affair." Captain Wilkes, commanding the United
States man-of-war, San Jacinto, boarded the British mail
steamer Trent on the 8th of November, 1861, and took
from her the Confederate commissioners Mason and
Slidell. Great Britain resented the act, and for a time
there was serious apprehension of war between that
country and the United States ; but as the seizure of
the commissioners on board a neutral vessel was deemed
to be an act in violation of international law, the Gov-
ernment at Washington, after inquiry into the facts,


5onatban to 5obn

surrendered the prisoners. The version of the poem
here given is a correct one, taken from the collected
edition of Mr. lyowell's poems. An abridged and other-
wise imperfect version is given in many collections. —


IT don't seem hardly right, John,
When both my hands was full,
To stump me to a fight, John, —

Your cousin, tu, John Bull !
Ole Uncle S., sez he, " I guess

We know it now," sez he,
" The Lion's paw is all the law,
Accordin' to J. B.,
Thet 's fit for you an' me ! "

You wonder why we 're hot, John ?

Your mark wuz on the guns.
The neutral guns, thet shot, John,

Our brothers an' our sons :
Ole Uncle S., sez he, " I guess

There 's human blood," sez he,
" By fits an' starts, in Yankee hearts.

Though 't may surprise J. B.

More 'n it would you an' me."


3^onatban to 5obn

Ef / turned mad dogs loose, John,

On your front parlor stairs,
Would it just meet your views, John,

To wait an' sue their heirs ?
Ole Uncle S., sez he, " I guess,

I on'y guess," sez he^
" Thet ef Vattel on his toes fell,

'T would kind o' rile J. B.,

Bz wal ez you an' me ! "

Who made the law thet hurts, John,

Heads I win — ditto tails ?
"J. B." was on his shirts, John,

Onless my memory fails.
Ole Uncle S., sez he, " I guess

(I 'm good at thet)," sez he,
" Thet sauce for goose ain't7>^/ the juice

For ganders with J. B.,

No more 'n with you or me ! "

When your rights was our wTongs, John,

You did n't stop for fuss, —
Brittany's trident prongs, John,

Was good 'nough law for us.
Ole Uncle S., sez he, *' I guess,

Though physic 's good," sez he,
" It does n't foller thet he can swaller

Prescriptions signed 'J. B.^

Put up by you an' me."

5onatban to 5obn 23

We own the ocean, tu, John,

You mus' n' take it hard,
Bf we can't think with you, John,

It 's just your own back yard,
Ole Uncle S., sez he, "I guess

Ef thet ^ s his claim," sez he,
"The fencin' stuff '11 cost enough

To bust up friend J. B.

Ez wal ez you an' me ! "

Why talk so dreffle big, John,

Of honor w^hen it meant
You did n't care a fig, John,

But jest for teji per cent ?

Ole Uncle S., sez he, " I guess

He 's like the rest," sez he ;
" When all is done, it 's number one

Thet 's nearest to J. B.,

Ez wal ez t' you an' me ! "

We give the critters back, John,

Cos Abram thought 'twas right ;
It warn't your bully in' clack, John,

Provokin' us to fight.
Ole Uncle S., sez he, "I guess

We 've a hard row," sez he,
" To hoe just now ; but thet, somehow^

May happen to J. B.,

Ez wal ez vou an' me ! "

24 5onatban to 3^obn

We ain't so weak an' poor, John,

With twenty million people,
An' close to every door, John,

A school house an' a steeple.
Ole Uncle S., sez he, "I guess

It is a fact," sez he,
" The surest plan to make a Man

Is, think him so, J. B.,

Ez much ez you or me ! "

Our folks believe in Law, John ;

An' it 's fer her sake, now.
They 've left the axe an' saw, John,

The anvil an' the plow.
Ole Uncle S., sez he, "I guess,

Ef 't warn't fer law," sez he,
*' There 'd be one shindy from here to Indy

An' i'//^/ don't suit J. B.

(When 't ain't 'twixt you an' me !) "

We know we 've got a cause, John,

Thet 's honest, just, an' true ;
We thought 't would win applause, John,

Ef nowhere else, from you,
Ole Uncle S., sez he, "I guess

His love of right," sez he,
" Hangs by a rotten fibre o' cotton ;

There 's natur' in J. B.,

Ez wal ez you an' me ! "

5onatban to Sohn 25

The South says, " Poor folks down ! " John,

An' '■'■All men up ! " say we, —
White, yaller, black, an' brown, John ;

Now which is your idee ?
Ole Uncle S., sez he, " I guess

John preaches wal," sez he ;
" But, sermon thru, an' come to du,

Why there 's the old J. B.

A-crowdin' you an' me! "

Shall it be love or hate, John ?

It 's you thet 's to decide ;
Ain't jFC/^r bonds held by Fate, John,

Like all the world's beside ?
Ole Uncle S., sez he, "I guess

Wise men fergive," sez he,
*' But not ferget ; an' some time yet

Thet truth may strike J. B.,

Ez wal ez you an' me ! "

God means to make this laud, John,

Clear thru, from sea to sea,
Believe an' understand, John,

The zuuth o' bein' free.
Ole Uncle S., sez he, " I guess

God's price is high," sez he ;
" But nothin' else than wut he sells

Wears long, an' thet J. B.

May larn, like you an' me ! "




[First printed in the Richmond Examiner. Written
while the author was in prison.]

BY the blue Patapsco's billowy dash
The tyrant's war-shout conies,
Along with cymbal's fitful clash,

And the growl of his sullen drums.
We hear it, we heed it with vengeful thrills,

And we shall not forgive or forget ;
There 's faith in the streams, there 's hope in the hills.
There 's life in the old land yet !

Minions ! we sleep but we are not dead ;

We are crushed, we are scourged, we are scarred ;
We crouch — 't is to welcome the triumph tread

Of the peerless Beauregard.
Then woe to your vile, polluting horde,

When the Southern braves are met ;
There 's faith in the victor's stainless sword,

There 's life in the old land yet !

TLbcvc'3 %itc in tbe ©ID XanO let 27

Bigots ! ye quell not the valiant mind

With the clank of an iron chain ;
The spirit of freedom sings in the wind,

O'er Merriman, Thomas, and Kane ;
And we, though we smile not, are not thralls, —

Are piling a gory debt ;

While down by McHenry's dungeon w^alls

There ^s life in the old land yet !

Our women have hung their harps away.

And they scowl on your brutal bands.
While the nimble poniard dares the day,

In their dear, defiant hands.
They will strip their tresses to string our bows.

Ere the Northern sun is set ;
There 's faith in their unrelenting woes,

There 's life in the old land yet !

There 's life, though it throbbeth in silent veins, —

'T is vocal without noise ;
It gushed o'er Manassas' solemn plains,

From the blood of the Maryi^and Boys !
That blood shall cry aloud, and rise

With an everlasting threat ;
By the death of the brave, by the God in the skies.

There 's life in the old land yet I




LISTEN, young heroes ! your country is calling !
Time strikes the hour for the brave and the true !
Now, while the foremost are fighting and falling,
Fill up the ranks that have opened for you !

You whom the fathers made free and defended,
Stain not the scroll that emblazons their fame !

You whose fair heritage spotless descended.

Leave not your children a birthright of shame !

Stay not for questions while Freedom stands gasping !

Wait not till Honor lies wrapped in his pall !
Brief the lips' meeting be, swift the hands clasping :

" Off for the wars ! " is enough for them all.

Break from the arms that would fondly caress you !

Hark ! 't is the bugle-blast, sabres are drawn !
Mothers shall pray for you, fathers shall bless you,

Maidens shall weep for you when you are gone !

IWever or Mow 29

Never or now ! cries the blood of a nation,

Poured on the turf where the red rose should bloom ;

Now is the day and the hour of salvation, —
Never or now ! peals the trumpet of doom !

Never or now ! roars the hoarse-throated cannon
Through the black canopy blotting the skies ;

Never or now ! flaps the shell-blasted pennon
O'er the deep ooze where the Cumberland lies !

From the foui dens where our brothers are dying,
Aliens and foes in the land of their birth, —

From the rank swamps where our martyrs are lying.
Pleading in vain for a handful of earth, —

From the hot plains where they perish outnumbered,
Furrowed and ridged by the battle-field's plough.

Comes the loud summons ; too long you have slumbered,
Hear the last Angel-trump — Never or Now !


(Battle of Fort Henry, Tenn., Feb. 6, 1862.)


BOY BRITTAN— only a lad— a fair-haired boy —sixteen,
In his uniform,
Into the storm — into the roaring jaws of grim Fort

Henry —
Boldly bears the Federal flotilla —
Into the battle storm !


Boy Brittan is master's mate aboard of the Essex —
There he stands, buoyant and eager-eyed,

By the brave captain's side ;
Ready to do and dare. Aye, aye, sir ! always ready —

In his country's uniform.
Boom ! Boom ! and now the flag-boat sweeps, and now
the EsseXy

Into the battle storm !


:fiSo^ JSrittan 31

Boom ! Boom ! till river and fort and field are over-
By battle's breath ; then from the fort a gleam
And a crashing gun, and the Essex is wrapt and shrouded
In a scalding cloud of steam ?

But victory ! victory !
Uuto God all praise be ever rendered,
Unto God all praise and glory be !
See, Boy Brittan ! see, boy, see !

They strike ! Hurrah ! the fort has just surrendered !
Shout ! Shout ! my bo}', my warrior boy !
And wave your cap and clap your hands for joy !
Cheer answer cheer and bear the cheer about —
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! for the fiery fort is ours ;
And " Victory ! " "Victory!" "Victory!"

Is the shout.
Shout — for the fiery fort, and the field, and the day are

ours —
The day is ours — thanks to the brave endeavor

Of heroes, boy, like thee !
The day is ours — the day is ours !

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Online LibraryGeorge Cary EgglestonAmerican war ballads and lyrics: a collection of the songs and ballads of the colonial wars, the revolution, the war of 1812-15, the war with Mexico, and the civil war (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 10)