​          GREENs BLUE and GRAY

          UNCLE SAM'S MULE

SOLDIERS, ADIEU!

WRITTEN ON THE DEPARTURE OF THE MADISON COUNTY VOLUNTEERS.


Brothers and soldiers – adieu, adieu; 
The Republic is sinking – we know you are true.
Remember the West, sustain her proud name.
And wreathe for her brow some laurel of fame.
Let those who trampled the laws of our land.
Now feel the grasp of her strong young hand.
The clouds loom dark as your column moves on;
The storm is obscuring the light of the sun.
Though the heavens, falling, jostle the earth,
Sustain, on the field, the land of our birth.
Brothers and soldiers – farewell, farewell;
When we greet you again, what tale shall you tell!
The thunders are booming through the realms on high.
Where Secession’s red glare “paints hell on the sky”.
But from distant Maine, to California afar.
The land has inhaled the contagion of war.
The lightning of battle gleams wild from her eye –
Lo! Hundreds of thousands come forth at her cry.
Then around her flag, with that conquering host,
Strike – for Columbia, the freeman’s boast.
Brother, remember, if your hands cannot save,
That Freedom at last hath found a grave.
Great God! Shall this gift of heavenly birth
Be swept, forever, from man and from earth?
Then, Heaven, hang black – with mourning bedeck.
When Columbia’s millions shall weep o’er the wreck.
O Land of the free – O banner so bright.
Are thy stars to fade in the hell of night?
No! In pageantry bright still shine to the sun;
The Union forever and ever – ETERNALLY ONE.
Brothers and soldiers – farewell, farewell;
When the wars are over, what tale will you tell!                                                       


J.M. Holliday
Winterset, July 15, 1861


Selected Civil War Poems

Killed at the Ford, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ball's Bluff, Herman Melville
Death of Slavery, William Cullen Bryant
At Harper's Ferry Just before the Attack, Edward W. Williams
Cavalry Crossing a Ford, Walt Whitman
Sheridan's Ride, Thomas Buchanan Read
Marching through Georgia, Henry Clay Work
A Second Review of the Grand Army, Bret Harte


LITERATURE LINKS

Civil War Literature
Civil War Poetry
How Civil War Transformed American Literature

Civil War Era Literature


  • Northwood: Life North and South, Sarah J. Hale
  • The Sketch Book: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories, Washington Irving
  • The Prairie; The Pioneers, James Fenimore Cooper
  • Walden, Henry David Thoreau
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl , Harriet Jacobs
  • The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Ruth Hall, Fanny Fern

            CIVIL WAR POETRY AND LITERATURE

                           Maryland, Oh Maryland

               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 and death, for woe and weal,
               Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
               And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
               Maryland! My Maryland!

               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!

               Come! For thy shield is bright and strong, Maryland!
               Come! For thy dalliance does thee wrong, Maryland!
               Come to thine own anointed throng,
               Stalking with Liberty along,

               And sing thy dauntless slogan song,
               Maryland! My Maryland!

               Dear Mother! Burst the tyrant's chain, Maryland!
               Virginia should not call in vain, Maryland!
               She meets her sisters on the plain-
              "Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain
               That baffles minions back amain,
               Maryland! My Maryland!

               I see the blush upon thy cheek, Maryland!
               For 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 blade, the shot, the bowl,
              Than crucifixion of the soul,
              Maryland! My Maryland!

              I hear the distant thunder-hum, Maryland!
              The Old Line'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'll come! She'll come!
              Maryland! My Maryland!


            James Ryder Randall (1839-1908)


In a muddy ditch by a deep morass,

A government mule lay breathing his last.

With harness all geared, and waiting for death - 
The grim driver's summons to pull his last breath...


* The original copy is now in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Il, in the Lincoln Collection.

Uncle Sam's Mule*


By a played out warrior of the 3rd Iowa

  • “A Civil War Narrative: Journals, Letters and Verse of William Clark Newlon”, Chris Newlon Green, ed., 2012, Chris Newlon Green PDF Collection, San Dimas, CA.

  • A Civil War Diary of Allen Morgan Geer, Twentieth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, May Ann Anderson, ed., Cosmos Press, New York, 1977.

  • A Civil War Soldier’s Last Letters, Written by William F. Margraff (during the Civil War), Paul Janiski, ed., Vantage Press, New York, 1975.

  • Company Aytch: or a side show of the Big Show, M. Thomas Inge, ed., New American Library,New York, 1999.

  • A Diary from Dixie, Mary Boykin Chesnut, Ben Ames Williams, ed., Harvard University Press,Cambridge, MA, 1980.

  • Diary of a Contraband, The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor, William B. Gould, IV, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 2002.

A List of CW Narratives

The Blue and the Gray (1867)


​By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the Judgement Day:
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray.


Frances Miles Finch (1827-1907), The Columbia Book of Civil War Poetry. 
Richard Marius, ed., New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, 411.




A Walt Whitman Poem


An Army Corps on the March

With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,
With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip,
and now an irregular volley,
The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades 
press on,
Glittering dimly, toiling under the sun – the dust-cover’d men,
In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the   ground,
With artillery interspers’d – the wheels rumble, 
the horses sweat,
As the army corps advances.

A Herman Melville Poem


​The Portent

Hanging from the beam,
Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on your green,
Shenandoah!
The cut is on the crown
(Lo, John Brown),
And the stabs shall heal no more.


Hidden in the cap
Is the anguish none can draw;
So your future veils its face,
Shenandoah!
But the streaming beard is shown
(Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.