previous next

[299] Richard Grant White's Poetry, lyrical, narrative, and satirical of the Civil War (1866). In his preface White says:
I have read all that I could discover of the war poetry, written by the confederated enemies of my government, and have preserved here all that, in a most catholic spirit, I deemed of any intrinsic merit or incidental interest. It was my original purpose to embody them with the substance of the volume, giving each piece its place in the order of time; but finding so little of this poetry which possesses any kind of interest, instead of scattering it sparsely through the collection, I put it in an appendix. The secessionists fought much better than they wrote; and it is worthy of remark that the best poem on that side, ‘The Conquered Banner’ was published in a New York newspaper, The Freeman's journal.

Omitting the humorous poems published by Moore, White has only the ten or twelve of a more serious and important nature, and these, in the main, not the ones that might be considered the most important by the leading Southern poets. The selections are a good illustration either of the difficulty of getting hold of Southern poems or of a provincial point of view that happily no longer exists.

Inadequate as these anthologies were, they were much better than the volume entitled War lyrics and Songs of the South, published in London in 1866, and edited by ‘a faithful few Southern women’ who had thrown ‘hastily together this book of poems,’ in the hope that

its sale to the charitable might secure a fund for the relief of the crippled and invalid men who fought as soldiers in the war in the South; the impoverished women and children, widows and orphans, as well as those who from sorrow, need, sickness, and other adversity have lost their health and their minds.

In this volume The Virginians of the Valley, by Ticknor, and Stonewall Jackson's way and The conquered Banner, both published anonymously, are the only poems of any value. An illustration of the carelessness of the editors is that Henry R. Jackson's My wife and child is attributed to General J. T. [T. J., or Stonewall] Jackson. More than half of the volume is given up to Songs of the Southland and other poems by ‘Kentucky.’

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.

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.
Richard Grant White (3)
Francis O. Ticknor (1)
Frank Moore (1)
Stonewall Jackson (1)
Henry Rootes Jackson (1)
Henry R. Jackson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1866 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: