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[285] while his Sheridan at Cedar Creek, The fall of Richmond, and The surrender at Appomattox, though never widely known, are full of that distinction which Melville, with all his irregularities, was never long without, in prose or verse. Thomas Buchanan Read's famous Sheridan's Ride is a better ballad than Melville's piece on the same theme, but purely as poetry it is inferior. Henry Clay Work's The year of Jubilee, supposed to be written by a slave full of delight in the coming freedom, is too amusing and racy to need to have its poetical merits estimated. Read's The Eagle and the Vulture and Weir Mitchell's Kearsarge echoed the doom of the Alabama. Farragut was so fortunate as to have two poets among his officers at Mobile Bay: William Tuckey Meredith, who wrote Farragut——

Farragut, Farragut,
Old Heart of Oak,
Daring Dave Farragut,
Thunderbolt stroke——

and Brownell, whose The Bay fight, though perhaps too long, can hardly be matched for martial energy.

In the armies themselves the most popular verses were naturally less fine than those which have chiefly been remembered as the poetic fruits of the war. It was to furnish more worthy words to the tune of John Brown's body that Julia Ward Howe wrote her noble poem The battle hymn of the republic, but the words proved too fine to suit the soldiers, who would not sing of ‘grapes of wrath’ or ‘the beauty of the lilies.’ They preferred instead such pieces as Three hundred thousand more, Marching through Georgia, and The year of Jubilee, which have been already mentioned, the equally favoured The battle Cry of freedom, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, and Just before the battle, mother, of George Frederick Root, and Walter Kittredge's Tenting on the old camp ground. Now forgotten, but famous in its day, was William B. Bradbury's Marching along, most frequently sung by soldiers of the Army of the Potomac. The song perhaps most frequently heard from soldiers of both sides in the conflict was When this Cruel War is over by C. C. Sawyer. In the Northern version ‘blue’

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