The other trumpets forth the calmer faith and determination of the North
in the reiteration that ‘God is marching on.’
Both are sectional, and one intensely so, but they will survive because they have the divine spark wanting in other martial verse of the period.
Most of the noteworthy poems, however, were inspired by stirring or pathetic incidents of the conflict—by the fall of some leader in the thick of the fight, by the dash of troops into the jaws of death, by the musings of a lonely private in faithful discharge of duty.
It is well that such poems should live into these piping times of peace to keep fresh the remembrance of American heroism on whatever field displayed.
When preserved in the amber of fit poetic form, these achievements shine with no trace of sectional pride.
The charge of Kearny
at the battle of Fair Oaks
, or Seven Pines
, as sung in Stedman
's ringing verse, is familiar to many who have never read a military account of the battle, and cannot tell whether it occurred in the first or the last year of the war. Ticknor
's ballad on the touching devotion of Little Giffen of Tennessee
will likewise go straight to the hearts of thousands who may never learn whether Johnston
was a Northern or a Southern leader.
Such instances demonstrate the capacity of the American citizen for heroism, and the poetic record of his daring should be enshrined in memory as the heritage of a reunited people.
Those greater incidents known as battles have been made the subject of numerous poetic efforts.
Virtually every important battle and many a minor engagement were seized upon by the chroniclers in verse.
Some of these descriptions are spirited, and the greater combats have attracted many different hands.
has been appropriately celebrated by both Northern and Southern poets, and each side has recognized the intrepid valor that gave undying fame to those heights of sacrifice.
Nothing in verse so grandly simple as Lincoln
's address has been produced, but Will Thompson
's The high Tide at Gettysburg
is an inspiring description of Pickett