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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 36. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), How Dixie came to be written. (search)
came to be written. Dixie, the most popular song of the South during the Civil War, was written by a Northern man, Daniel Decatur Emmett, who was born at Mount Vernon, Ohio, in 1815. Young Emmett began life as a printer, but soon afterward gave up type-setting to join a band of musicians connected with a circus company. He e joined the Dan Bryant Minstrel Company. It was during this engagement that he wrote Dixie. Years afterwards, when he was an old man living in retirement at Mount Vernon, he told his story to a newspaper reporter. The story follows: Are you Dan Emmett, who wrote Dixie? asked the reporter. Well, I have heard of the felapplause, and at once passed to the street, and then to the camp. It flew over the South on wings, and is now a universal favorite. Emmett died in 1904, at Mount Vernon. The song has been changed and paraphrased many times. The most elaborate attempt of this kind was made by General Albert Pike, of Confederate fame, who tr