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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 14: movements of the Army of the Potomac.--the Monitor and Merrimack. (search)
ighting crowds of soldiers who listened to their voices, when their career of usefulness was suddenly arrested by the following order: By direction of General McClellan, the permit given to the Hutchinson family to sing in the camp, and their pass to cross the Potomac, are revoked, and they will not be allowed to sing to the troops. Why not? The answer was in the fact, that they had sung Whittier's stirring song, lately written, to the tune of Luther's Hymn, Ein feste burg ist unser Gott, in which, among eight similar verses, was the following:--What gives the wheat-field blades of steel? What points the rebel cannon? What sets the roaring rabble's heel On th‘ old star-spangled pennon? What breaks the oath Of th‘ men oa th‘ South? What whets the knife For the Union's life? Hark to the answer: slavery! The people were exceedingly impatient, and were more disposed to censure the Secretary of War than the General-in-Chief, for they had faith in the latter. They were gratified w<