Come, comrades, attention, let us gather around:
In the gloom of my tent when we'd taken Look-Out,
With heart fired with vict'ry, foot-sore from a scout,
I just jingled these rhymes and I'll sing them to you;
They're of one whom true soldiers acknowledge True Blue,
'Tis of one who ne'er shunned to encounter the foe,
You must know whom I mean, it's our own “Fighting Joe.”
Come, fill every cup — for a fight he's the cooker,
With three cheers and a tiger, we'll drink to Joe Hooker.
The old proverb it runs, “Every dog has his day,”
But some dogs have two chances when dog's work's to play,
And the people at home, when the truth comes to light,
Will accord second chance to the dog who can fight:
And, whatever backbiters and stay-at-homes say,
If Joe's last at the feast he's e'er first at the fray.
And while some love champagne, toothsome sweets, and good mutton,
It is only for fighting that Hooker's a glutton;
And with him, at no hardship should private repine,
For though tempting the .meats and enticing the wine,
He'll not see his men suffer and sit down to dine.
Rat-ta-tat, Tra-la-la, fill we out a full can,
We'll both drink to the Hero, and drink to the Man,
And the General too, who 'mong bold ones will stand,
Who dared put into practice what head-work had planned.
Listen, comrades, we Yankees are most reading men,
And something of history and generals ken.
Which commanders are those that a soldier will mention,
Who's studied his books with delight and attention?
Why, Gustavus, and Fred'rick, Charles, Blucher, and Saxe,
And the like, who trod ably in Hannibal's tracks,
'Mong our own, Greene, “Mad Anthony,” Schuyler, and Lamb,
And Montgomery, dead near the field of Montcalm--
That field where Wolfe died, all content as victorious--
Leaving names that are watchwords-whole nation's themes glorious.
Well! who most in this war showed a spirit like theirs?
Grant and Farragut truly have done their full shares;
But the two, who at outset, the foremost will show
Were Phil Kearny in coffin; alive, “Fighting Joe.”
Do you know why true soldiers will talk “Fighting Joe,”
Because he's a game-cock will fight well as crow,
And like Taylor no responsibility shirk
If the country would win though he lost by the work.
“As well hang for a sheep as a lamb,” so he said,
When the orders to back out from Richmond were read;
And at Look-Out, when counted all out of the fight,
'Twas Hooker who triumphed, 'twas Joe stormed the height.
“If a man's got fight in him, laughed ‘ ruddy-faced Joe,’
When a fight's to come off he'll in stirrup get toe:”
Then three cheers and a tiger for him who will plan
And then try to accomplish his thoughts like a man.
Some generals' sole thought is a well-secured base;
The great forte then of others intrenchments to trace
I've e'en heard of commanders “skedaddled” out right,
And 'mong these, once, great Fred'ric, if read I aright
Some, like Oliver Twist, are e'er calling for “more” --
By the way, that's not only the case in this war;
Even Nap used to say, Never leave back a corps,
But to “Field of Decision” bring up every man,
For exactly what's needed who calculate can?
Some generals, in practice, worth not even a “red,”
Dream of catching Naps napping, get “gobbled” instead;
Or, at newspaper clamor, send thousands to die,
Without caring a “hard-tack” for you boys or I!
“On to Richmond” speech-makers, who, deep in the mire
Of political strategy keep out of fire,
Incorruptible Brutuses, devoured by the thirst
To see, who, for fat office, can sell himself first;
Sly political schemers may worship a sham,
But the soldier will never be quit with a flam,
For the generals true soldiers look up to as “some”
Are not those who say, “Go on!” but those who say, “Come!”
And the rank and file scout a political plan,
For a soldier knows soldier, a man loves a man!
Then to him who of fighting ne'er yet got his fill;
To that general who e'er found a way for his will;
To that one when most wronged chose then most to obey;
And in stern path of duty, showed, led on, the way;
Three cheers and a tiger! 'Tis Joe Hooker, the man
Who as chief or corps leader will do all he can,
And as long as he serves our dear country we know
Just the spot where to find him, Joe Hooker, our Joe.