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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 14: movements of the Army of the Potomac.--the Monitor and Merrimack. (search)
e preparation had been made for winter quarters, and much suffering and discontent was the consequence. Various efforts were made by many officers to break the monotony of the camp and keep the soldiers cheerful. With this view, the musical Hutchinson family were permitted, by Secretary Cameron, to visit the camps and sing their simple and stirring songs. They were diffusing sunshine through the army by delighting crowds of soldiers who listened to their voices, when their career of usefulness was suddenly arrested by the following order: By direction of General McClellan, the permit given to the Hutchinson family to sing in the camp, and their pass to cross the Potomac, are revoked, and they will not be allowed to sing to the troops. Why not? The answer was in the fact, that they had sung Whittier's stirring song, lately written, to the tune of Luther's Hymn, Ein feste burg ist unser Gott, in which, among eight similar verses, was the following:--What gives the wheat-fi