previous next
[20] glaring forth from the yellow cover and poising their bayonets ready for the charge, were issued by numerous publishers in the North. More popular still were the broadsides containing the words of a single song, sometimes beneath some brilliant parti-colored patriotic design. One Philadelphia house advertised six hundred different productions of this nature. Glee clubs and village socials throughout the country sang these animated effusions lustily at every gathering.

The South was the scene of a similar activity. A Richmond house, early in the war, announced twenty-nine songs for immediate delivery. Later, a Mobile publisher offered a prize of fifty dollars for a Confederate poem. Among those submitted was one by an anonymous author, who requested that the prize, if awarded him, should be devoted to the relief of Confederate soldiers. Whether this request was the determining factor in the award for literary excellence is not recorded.

Such publishing activity, however, had little influence on the life of the soldiers. The songs about the camp-fire were started by some comrade with a strong voice and a good memory who had returned from furlough, and were taken up by less musical members of the squad and repeated on the march or in bivouac, until words and music became an unforgetable personal possession. Such marching-songs and strident jeers are now happily passing into oblivion.

Two exceptions must be made to this sweeping statement. The earliest poem of the conflict deserves to be treasured as one of its proudest memories. James Ryder Randall's fervid call of Maryland, my Maryland will live, by reason of its martial ring and splendid vigor, long after the last vestige of the hostility that evoked it has passed away. The other notable song is Julia Ward Howe's Battle hymn of the Republic, whose swinging, deep-toned measures form a significant contrast to Randall's high-pitched lyric. The two poems are, indeed, typical of the two sections. One surges forward with the fire and dash of Southern temperament through an impassioned

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Ryder Randall (2)
Julia Ward Howe (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: