4. to the army of the Cumberland.Devoted band! baptized anew in blood,
Standing again as ye before have stood
To bay the waves of Treason's maddened flood,
A wall, as that of adamantine stone,
Or hills of granite in your own loved North,
Were never aught alike in strength and worth!--
The nation whose torn heart hath sent you forth,
The nation for whose life ye pledged your own,
Looks proudly on you, and although the while,
With o'erfull heart and tearful eye, can smile,
And say, while counting o'er each blood-stained file:
O Army of the Cumberland!--well done!
The nation knew you! when ye stood the shield
Before your comrade braves, whose doom was sealed
'Mid all the horrors of red Shiloh's field;
Hopeless till you their saviours came, and burst
As an avenging fate upon the foe,
It marked you well, and treason felt the blow;
And watching breathlessly it saw you go
To dare and do what only heroes durst
In that death-storm on Murfreesboro's plains,
When Treason's blood ran cold through all her veins,
And in the nation's heart, while swelled the strains
Of Victory, you gained your place — the first.
Again, brave souls, most glorious when most tried,
'Twas yours that surging sea of fire to ride,
That round you licked and beat on every side,
All mad and foaming with the hate of hell;
We heard the roarings of that billowy host,
And saw it smite, and you upon it tossed--
Oh! it was agony! and all seemed lost!
Never! The story, how shall tongue e'er tell
How gloriously ye saved in that dread fray,
The cause of Freedom, standing there at bay!
Look up! the sky grows brighter day by day:
O Army of the Cumberland, 'tis well!