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Sidney Lanier in 1879 Sidney Lanier's war poems The death of Stonewall Jackson and The Tournament appear in this volume. Lanier was born in Macon, Georgia, February 3, 1842. In early childhood he developed a passion for music, learning to play on many instruments without instruction. At eighteen he graduated from Oglethorpe University with the highest honors in his class. Soon after the war broke out he marched to the front with the Second Georgia Battalion of the Macon Volunteers, served through the Seven Days Battles before Richmond, then spent two exciting years along the James in the Confederate Signal Service, and in August, 1864, was transferred to a blockade runner plying between Wilmington, North Carolina, and the Bermudas, which was captured in November of the same year. Thereafter Lanier was imprisoned for four months in City Point Prison, Maryland. On securing his freedom he was emaciated to a skeleton, with the seeds of tuberculosis already developing. After the war he studied law with his father and practised for a time, but when it became apparent that he might not survive for many years, he courageously determined to devote his powers to music and literature. He settled in Baltimore in 1873 as first flute in the Peabody Symphony Concerts, eagerly studied the two arts of his love, attracted attention by his poems, and received national recognition in 1876 through the invitation to write the Centennial ‘Cantata.’ A noble feature of his writings is the absence of all sectionalism and the broadly national spirit that breathes through his verse. In 1879 he was appointed to a lectureship in literature in the recently founded Johns Hopkins University. He was winning recognition when the end came in 1881 in the mountains of North Carolina.


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