previous next
‘ [417] religious hope that seemed to be confined exclusively to these poor fellows.’

We are again indebted to Glazier's account for the following:

At the close of the day the negro prisoners made a practice of getting together in the jail, and singing their plaintive melodies till late in the evening. The character of their songs was universally mournful, and it was often affecting to listen to them,--always embodying as they did those simple childlike emotions and sentiments for which the negro is so justly celebrated. The harmony and the rich melody of their voices are rarely surpassed. ... One song, which appeared to be a special favorite with them, was written by Sergeant Johnson, whom I have before mentioned. He intended it as a parody on “When the cruel war is over.” I give this song as he furnished it to me:—


When I enlisted in the army,
     Then I thought 't was grand,
Marching through the streets of Boston
     Behind a regimental band.
When at Wagner, I was captured
     Then my courage failed;
Now I'm dirty, hungry, naked,
     Here in Charleston Jail.

     Weeping, sad and lonely,
Oh, how bad I feel!
     Down in Charleston, South Carolina,
Praying for a good, square meal.


If Jeff Davis will release me,
     Oh, how glad I'll be!
When I get to Morris Island,
     Then I shall be free.
Then I'll tell those conscript soldiers
     How they use us here;
Giving us an old corn dodger,—
     They call it prisoners' fare.


We are longing, watching, praying,
     But will not repine,
Till Jeff Davis does release us,
     And send us in our lines.
Then with words of kind affection
     How they'll greet us there!
Wondering how we could live so long
     Upon the dodger fare.

     Then we will laugh, long and loudly.
Oh, how glad we'll feel
     When we arrive on Morris Island
And eat a good, square meal!

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.
Morris Island (South Carolina, United States) (2)
Charleston (South Carolina, United States) (1)

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.
William Johnson (1)
W. S. Glazier (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: