ACCEPTATION by Margaret Junkin Preston (1820-1897)

We do accept thee, heavenly Peace!
Albeit thou comest in a guise
Unlooked for–undesired, our eyes
Welcome through tears the sweet release
From war, and woe, and want,–surcease,
For which we bless thee, blessed Peace!

We lift our foreheads from the dust;
And as we meet thy brow’s clear calm,
There falls a freshening sense of balm
Upon our spirits. Fear–distrust–
The hopeless present on us thrust–
We’ll meet them as we can, and must.

War has not wholly wrecked us; still
Strong hands, brave hearts, high souls are ours–
Proud consciousness of quenchless powers–
A Past whose memory makes us thrill–
Futures uncharactered, to fill
With heroisms–if we will.

Then courage, brothers!–Though each breast
Feel oft the rankling thorn, despair,
That failure plants so sharply there–
No pain, no pang shall be confest:
We’ll work and watch the brightening west,
And leave to God and Heaven, the rest.

A GEORGIA VOLUNTEER by Mary Ashley Townsend (1832-1901)

Far up the lonely mountain-side
My wandering footsteps led;
The moss lay thick beneath my feet,
The pine sighed overhead.
The trace of a dismantled fort
Lay in the forest nave,
And in the shadow near my path
I saw a soldier’s grave.

The bramble wrestled with the weed
Upon the lowly mound;–
The simple head-board, rudely writ,
Had rotted to the ground;
I raised it with a reverent hand,
From dust its words to clear,
But time had blotted all but these–
“A Georgia Volunteer!”

I saw the toad and scaly snake
From tangled covert start,
And hide themselves among the weeds
Above the dead man’s heart;
But undisturbed, in sleep profound,
Unheeding, there he lay;
His coffin but the mountain soil,
His shroud Confederate gray.

I heard the Shenandoah roll
Along the vale below,
I saw the Alleghanies rise
Toward the realms of snow.
The “Valley Campaign” rose to mind–
Its leader’s name–and then
I knew the sleeper had been one
Of Stonewall Jackson’s men.

Yet whence he came, what lip shall say–
Whose tongue will ever tell
What desolated hearths and hearts
Have been because he fell?
What sad-eyed maiden braids her hair,
Her hair which he held dear?
One lock of which perchance lies with
The Georgia Volunteer!

What mother, with long watching eyes,
And white lips, cold and dumb,
Waits with appalling patience for
Her darling boy to come?
Her boy! whose mountain grave swells up
But one of many a scar,
Cut on the face of our fair land,
By gory-handed war.

What fights he fought, what wounds he wore,
Are all unknown to fame;
Remember, on his holy grave
There is not e’en a name!
That he fought well and bravely too,
And held his country dear,
We know, else he had never been
A Georgia volunteer.

He sleeps–what need to question now
If he were wrong or right?
He knows, ere this, whose cause was just
In God the Father’s sight.
He wields no warlike weapons now,
Returns no foeman’s thrust–
Who but a coward would revile
An honest soldier’s dust?

Roll, Shenandoah, proudly roll,
Adown thy rocky glen,
Above thee lies the grave of one
Of Stonewall Jackson’s men.
Beneath the cedar and the pine,
In solitude austere.
Unknown, unnamed, forgotten, lies
A Georgia Volunteer!

A REPLY TO THE CONQUERED BANNER by Sir Henry Houghton, Bart. (1809-1885)

Gallant nation, foiled by numbers!
Say not that your hopes are fled;
Keep that glorious flag which slumbers,
One day to avenge your dead.
Keep it, widowed, sonless mothers!
Keep it, sisters, mourning brothers!
Furl it now, but keep it still–
Think not that its work is done.
Keep it till your children take it,
Once again to hall and make it,
All their sires have bled and fought for;
All their noble hearts have sought for–
Bled and fought for all alone!
All alone! ay, shame the story!
Millions here deplore the stain;
Shame, alas! for England’s glory,
Freedom called, and called in vain!
Furl that banner, sadly, slowly,
Treat it gently, for ’tis holy;
Till that day–yes, furl it sadly;
Then once more unfurl it gladly–
Conquered banner! keep it still!


The marching armies of the past
Along our Southern plains,
Are sleeping now in quiet rest
Beneath the Southern rains.

The bugle call is now in vain
To rouse them from their bed;
To arms they’ll never march again–
They are sleeping with the dead.

No more will Shiloh’s plains be stained
With blood our heroes shed,
Nor Chancellorsville resound again
To our noble warriors’ tread.

For them no more shall reveille
Sound at the break of dawn,
But may their sleep peaceful be
Till God’s great judgment morn.

We bow our heads in solemn prayer
For those who wore the gray,
And clasp again their unseen hands
On our Memorial Day.

CUTTING OFF THE BUTTONS by Sallie A. Brock (writing as Virginia Madison)

Respectfully dedicated to the Knights of the Shears

“Come out that grey!” a Yankee cried;
“Excuse me,” Johnny Reb replied,
“For I have naught to wear beside”–
And his jacket quickly buttons.

“That livery is disallowed,”
The Yankee lustily avowed,
But Johnny most profoundly bowed,
And fingered at his buttons.

Nonplussed, the Yankees shook his head,
And furious frowned, (discomfited),
“If you won’t doff that grey,” he said,
“Why, then,–I’ll take your buttons!”

The rarest fun that e’er was seen
On “Terra Firma,” was, I ween,
When came the order startling–keen–
To cut off Rebel buttons.

Where’er a grey-back showed his face,
On the street or in the market-place,
A Yankee armed at once gave chase,
To cut off his brass buttons!

Poor Johnny Reb! what could he do
But tremble, and repentant view
The flashing shears and knife so new,
For cutting off his buttons?

And like a lamb to slaughter led,
At once he bowed his vanquished head,
“Do as you will,” he meekly said,
And–”farewell, my poor buttons!”

Alas! poor Johnny was forlorn
As Samson when his locks were shorn;
“I’ll pin my jacket with a thorn,
Since I’m allowed no buttons!

“I’ve nary a red to buy a pin,
Confederate scrip is not worth–tin,
It is indeed a shameful sin
To rob me of my buttons!

“‘Tis well ’tis summer time,” groaned he,
“Else I might freeze and die, you see,
Bereft, I am, so suddenly,
Of all my jacket buttons!”

“The game is up” triumphant cried
His hostile foe. “Oh no, not yet!” a voice replied,
“You surely never have denied
A lady, some brass buttons?”

“Why never, no!” the gallant said,
And paling white and blushing red,
The hero of this valorous deed
Delivered up the buttons.

With a merry twinkle in her eye,
The lady smiled and made reply–
“I thank you, sir! most heartily
For these poor Rebel buttons!”

From her pocket out a twine she drew,
And strung them quickly in his view,
And round her neck the necklace threw–
And a tear dropped on the buttons.

“I love these relics, for they tell
How long our poor boys fought, and well–
The story makes my proud heart swell,
The story in these buttons!”

And galvanized they now appear,
Adorning many a shell-like ear,
Of certain girls who dare to wear
These precious, proscribed buttons.

A brooch their spotless collar pins,
Burnished, until like gold it shines,
You’ll see them all along “the lines,”
The Rebel girls in buttons.

“Oppressed by might, and want and care,
Meekly subdued” the “men,” we hear,
But bravely, and without a fear,
The women wear the buttons.

DECORATION DAY by Ellen E. Hebron

They are firing the cannon now -
Will it bring me back my dead?
Will it raise my soldier-brother’s form,
And restore his spirit fled?

In far Virginia’s soil
He sleeps the “last long sleep,”
While I, his sister so bereft,
His memory e’er shall keep.

Fair was his youthful brow,
Tender his loving eye,
Loyal his hear to his native South,
When he bade his home good-bye!

High were his hopes of life,
Nobel his soul sincere -
O! mocking dream of the “long ago,”
So sudden his early bier!

They are strewing the flowers now -
O! my darling brave and true!
Can they crown with joy your pallid brow
As we fondly used to do.

When your voice like a bugle-call
To patriot duty came;
And your laugh like a rippling summer stream
Intensified the flame.

Of love three sisters bore
For an only brother’s form -
Alas! alas! that he should die
So early ‘mid the storm.

I shall met you yet again!
Bright in my soul your worth
Shall blossom and blossom on through
‘Till i bid adieu to earth.

Sweet be thy soldier-rest;
Happy thy christian bed;
Loyal and true thy manly breast -
My brother is not dead!


Shades of our heroes dead,
Sleeping in glory,
Here, where your blood was shed,
Carve we your story!
Marble must sink in dust,
Fame lives forever.
Though your true blades be rust,
Forget we? Never!
Yon sculptured sentinel
Watches your sleeping.
Tells how you fought and fell,
Loyally keeping
Life’s trust. You met death’s hour
Stern and undaunted.
Ours ’tis to nurse the flower
Your valor planted.
Here, ‘neath the giant hills,
Rest warriors, rest ye!
Lulled by the murm’ring rills,
None shall molest ye!
Fanned by our south wind’s breath,
Sleep, soldiers weary!
Yours was no fameless death,
Darksome and dreary.
Sleep well! The strife is past;
No war-drum’s rattle
Breaks forth, nor bugle’s blast.
Hushed is the battle.
Wrapt in your native earth,
Sweet be your slumber!
When shall we match your worth?
When your deeds number?
Strewn be this sacred sod,
Soldier’s fit pillow.
Whence your souls sprang to God,
With sorrow’s willow!
Many a youth shall bring
Many a maiden,
Tribute of balmy spring
Here, flower-laden.
Sleep on; but not for aye!
Should war’s red chalice
Dash out its gory spray
Over our valleys,
Come! In the battle’s crest
Flash your proud lances,
Lead where our bravest, best
Column advances!


Beautiful feet, with maidenly tread,
Offerings bring to the gallant dead.
Footsteps light press the sacred sod
Of heroes untimely ascended to God.
Bring spring flowers! in fragrant perfume
And offer sweet prayers for a merciful doom.

Beautiful hands! ye deck the graves,
Above the dust of the Southern braves.
Here was extinguished their manly fire,
Who scorned to flinch from the foeman’s ire.
Bring spring flowers! the laurel and rose,
And deck ye the graves where your friends repose.

Beautiful eyes! the tears ye shed
Are brighter than diamonds to those who bled;
Spurned is the cause they fell to save,
But “little they’ll reck,” if ye honor the brave.
Bring spring flowers! with tears and praise,
And chant o’er their tombs your grateful lays.

Beautiful lips! ye trembled now,
Memory wakens the sleeping one’s vow;
Mute are the lips and faded the forms,
That never knelt, save to God and your charms.
Bring spring flowers! all dewy with morn,
And think how they loved ye, whose graves ye adorn.

Beautiful hearts! of matron and maid,
Faithful were ye, when Apostles betrayed!
Here are your loved and cherished ones laid,
Peace to their ashes, the flowers ye strew
Are monuments worthy the faithful and true.
Bring spring flowers! perfume their sod,
With annual incense to glory and God.

by Daniel Bedinger Lucas

Fair were our nation’s visions, and as grand
As ever floated out of fancy-land;
Children we were in simple faith,
But god-like children, whom nor death,
Nor threat of danger drove from honor’s path –
In the land where we were dreaming!

Proud were our men as pride of birth could render,
As violets our women pure and tender;
And when they spoke, their voices thrill
At evening hushed the whip-poor-will,
At morn the mocking bird was mute and still,
In the land where we were dreaming!

And we had graves that covered more of glory,
Than ever taxed the lips of ancient story;
And in our dreams we wove the thread
Of principles for which had bled,
And suffered long our own immortal dead,
In the land where we were dreaming!

Tho’ in our land we had both bond and free,
Both were content, and so God let them be;
Till Northern glances, slanting down,
With envy viewed our harvest sun –
But little recked we, for we still slept on,
In the land where we were dreaming!

Our sleep grew troubled; and our dreams grew wild;
Red meteors flashed across our heaven’s field;
Crimson the Moon; between the Twins
Barbed arrows flew in circling lanes
Of light, red Comets tossed their fiery manes
O’er the land where we were dreaming!

Down from her eagle height smiled Liberty,
And waved her hand in sign of victory;
The world approved, and everywhere,
Except where growled the Russian bear,
The brave, the good and just gave us their prayer,
For the land where we were dreaming!

High o’er our heads a starry flag was seen,
Whose field was blanched, and spotless in its sheen;
Chivalry’s cross its union bears,
And by his scars each vet’ran swears
To bear it on in triumph through the wars,
In the land where we were dreaming!

We fondly thought a Government was ours –
We challenged place among the world’s great powers;
We talk’d in sleep of rank, commission,
Until so life-like grew the vision,
That he who dared to doubt but met derision,
In the land where we were dreaming!

A figure came among us as we slept –
At first he knelt, then slowly rose and wept;
Then gathering up a thousand spears,
He swept across the field of Mars,
Then bowed farewell and walked behind the stars,
From the land where we were dreaming!

We looked again, another figure still
Gave hope, and nerved each individual will;
Erect he stood, as clothed with power;
Self-poised, he seemd to rule the hour,
With firm, majestic sway, — of strength a tower,
In the land where we were dreaming!

As while great Jove, in bronze, a warder god,
Gazed eastward from the Forum where he stood,
Rome felt herself secure and free, –
So Richmond, we, on guard for thee,
Beheld a bronzed hero, god-like Lee,
In the land where we were dreaming!

As wakes the soldier when the alarum calls, –
As wakes the mother when her infant falls, –
As starts the traveler when around
His sleepy couch the fire-bells sound, –
So woke our nation with a single bound –
In the land where we were dreaming!

Woe! Woe! is us, the startled mothers cried,
While we have slept, our noble sons have died!
Woe! Woe! is us, how strange and sad,
That all our glorious visions fled,
Have left us nothing real but our dead,
In the land where we were dreaming!

And are they really dead, our martyred slain?
No, Dreamers! Morn shall bid them rise again,
From every plain, — from every height, –
On which they seemed to die for right,
Their gallant spirits shall renew the fight,
In the land where we were dreaming!

Unconquered still in soul, tho’ now o’er-run,
In peace, in war, the battle’s just begun!
Once this Thyestean banquet o’er,
Grown strong the few who bide their hour,
Shall rise and hurl its drunken guests from power,
In the land where we were dreaming!

“JIM OF BILOXI” by Alice Graham

Beneath Virginia’s sunlit skies,
Where oaks their shadows throw
And ragged mountains darkly rise
To guard the vales below,

There is a sweet, sequestered spot,
Where peace and silence reign;
A fair God’s acre is the lot,
Where sleep the Southern slain.

There is no sound, save low wind’s sigh
Among the branches tall,
Or song of wild bird, poising high,
In plaintive lay or call.

A solemn soldier carved in bronze
Mounts guard above the graves;
Beneath, a tablet where one cons
The names of martyred braves.

Full many a name is graven there
Well-known through the land,
And some seem strange and some seem rare
That make this hero band.

But plain among them all is one
That mutely makes appeal;
No plea for fame, but duty done,
The simple words reveal.

They knew him not, who found him there
Upon the battlefield,
When that sad day had ended, where
He fought, but would not yield.

The only knew he wore the gray,
And loved and honored him;
And naught could any comrade say
But this: “We called him ‘Jim.’”

And from his talk about the camp
They knew his home to be
Beyond the seashore marshes damp,
Far South in Biloxi.

And so engraven on the scroll
For all posterity,
With others on this honor roll
Is “Jim of Biloxi.”

“JIM —, OF BILOXI” by James Lindsay Gordon (1860-1904)

“Jim —, of Biloxi.” That is all.
It is graven into the granite wall
Where the monument rises fair
Into the soft Virginian air
Among a hundred comrades’ names, –
Their country’s heritage, — and Fame’s.

Jim —, of Biloxi. Nothing more.
Naught of his name or his fame is sure,
Save that down where the river ran
And the regiments struggled man to man,
An humble son of the fighting South
Gave his life at the musket’s mouth.

Perchance where the Sunflower River flows
By forests of jessamine and rose,
Or where the Gulf Stream washes far
Its tides of blue to the vesper star,
Some one waited with prayers and tears
For Jim —, of Biloxi, these many years.

Life and Name and Cause all lost;
Least and last of the mightiest host
That ever wrote in the blood of men
A dream that will never be dreamed again,
Gone like the strain that the bugle blew,
Jim —, of Biloxi, heaven shelter you!

LINES ON A CONFEDERATE NOTE by Major Sidney Alroy Jonas (?-1915)

Representing nothing on God’s earth now,
And naught in the waters below it,
As the pledge of a nation that’s dead and gone,
Keep it, dear friend, and show it.

Show it to those who will lend an ear
To the tale that this trifle can tell
Of Liberty born of the patriot’s dream,
Of a storm-cradled nation that fell.

Too poor to possess the precious ores,
And too much of a stranger to borrow,
We issued to-day our promise to pay,
And hoped to redeem on the morrow.

The days rolled by and weeks became years,
But our coffers were empty still;
Coin was so rare that the treasury’d quake
If a dollar should drop in the till.

But the faith that was in us was strong, indeed,
And our poverty well we discerned,
And this little check represented the pay
That our suffering veterans earned.

We knew it had hardly a value in gold,
Yet as gold each soldier received it;
It gazed in our eyes with a promise to pay,
And each Southern patriot believed it.

But our boys thought little of price or of pay,
Or of bills that were overdue;
We knew if it brought us our bread to-day,
‘Twas the best our poor country could do.

Keep it, it tells all our history o’er,
From the birth of our dream to its last;
Modest, and born of the Angel Hope,
Like our hope of success, it passed.

MEMORIES OF THE BLUE AND GRAY by Henry Lynden Flash (1835-1914)

We are gathered here a feeble few
Of those who wore the gray–
The larger and the better part
Have mingled with the clay:
Yet not so lost but now and then
Through dimming mist we see
The deadly calm of Stonewall’s face,
The lion-front of Lee.

The men who followed where they led
Are scattered far and wide–
In every valley of the South,
On every mountain side,
The earth is hallowed by the blood
Of those who, in the van,
Gave up their lives for what they deemed
The sacred rights of man.

And you who faced the boys in blue
(When like a storm they rose),
And played with Life and laughed at Death
Among such stalwart foes,
Need never cast your eyes to earth
Or bow your heads with shame–
Though fortune frown, your names are down
Upon the Roll Of Fame.

The flag you followed in the fight
Will never float again–
Thank God it sunk to endless rest
Without a blot or stain!
And in its place “Old Glory” rose
With all its stars restored;
And smiling Peace, with rapture, raised
A pean to the Lord.

We love both flags…let smiles and tears
Together hold their sway;
One won our hearts in days agone–
One owns our love today.
We claim them both with all their wealth
Of honor and of fame–
One lives, triumphant, in the sun;
And one a hallowed name.

A few short years and “Yank” and “Reb,”
Beneath their native sod,
Will wait until the Judgement Day
The calling voice of God–
The Great Commander’s smile will beam
On that Enrollment Day,
Alike on him who wore the blue
And him who wore the gray.

THE BAND IN THE PINES by John Esten Cooke (1829-1867)

Oh, band in the pine-wood, cease!
Cease with your splendid call;
The living are brave and noble,
But the dead were bravest of all!

They throng to the martial summons,
To the loud triumphant strain;
And the dear, bright eyes of long dead friends
Come to the heart again.

They come with the ringing bugle,
And the deep drum’s mellow roar,
Till the soul is faint with longing
For the hands we clasp no more.

Oh, band in the pine-wood, cease,
Or the heart will melt in tears,
For the gallant eyes and the smiling lips
And the voices of old years.

THE BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD by Theodore O’Hara (1820-1867)

The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last tattoo;
No more on Life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame’s eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead.

No rumor of the foe’s advance
Now swells upon the wind;
No troubled thought at midnight haunts
Of loved ones left behind;
No vision of the morrow’s strife
The warrior’s dream alarms;
No braying horn nor screaming fife
At dawn shall call to arms.

Their shivered swords are red with rust;
Their plumed heads are bowed
Their haughty banner, trailed with dust,
Is now their martial shroud.
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
The red stains from each brow,
And the proud forms, by battle gashed,
Are free from anguish now.

The neighing troop, the flashing blade,
The bugle’s stirring blast,
The charge, the dreadful cannonade,
The din and shout are past;
Nor war’s wild note, nor glory’s peal,
Shall thrill with fierce delight
Those breasts that nevermore may feel
The rapture of the fight….

Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead!
Dear as the blood ye gave,
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave;
Nor shall your story be forgot,
While Fame her record keeps,
Or Honor points the hallowed spot
Where Valor proudly sleeps.

THE CONFEDERATE FLAG by Henry Lynden Flash (1835-1914)

Four stormy years we saw it gleam,
A people’s hope…and then refurled,
Even while its glory was the theme
Of half the world.

A beacon that with streaming ray
Dazzled a struggling nation’s sight–
Seeming a pillar of cloud by day,
Of fire by night.

They jeer who trembled as it hung,
Comet-like blazoning the sky–
And heroes, such as Homer sung,
Followed it to die.

It fell…but stainless as it rose,
Martyred, like Stephen, in the strife–
Passing, like him, girdled with foes,
From Death to Life.

Flame’s trophy! Sanctified with tears–
Planted forever at her portal;
Folded, true: What then? Four short years
Made it immortal!

THE CONQUERED BANNER by Abram Joseph Ryan (1838-1886)

Furl that Banner, for ’tis weary;
Round its staff ’tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it, it is best;
For there’s not a man to wave it,
And there’s not a sword to save it,
And there’s no one left to lave it
In the blood that heroes gave it;
And its foes now scorn and brave it;
Furl it, hide it–let it rest!

Take that banner down! ’tis tattered;
Broken is its shaft and shattered;
And the valiant hosts are scattered
Over whom it floated high.
Oh! ’tis hard for us to fold it;
Hard to think there’s none to hold it;
Hard that those who once unrolled it
Now must furl it with a sigh.

Furl that banner! furl it sadly!
Once ten thousands hailed it gladly.
And ten thousands wildly, madly,
Swore it should forever wave;
Swore that foeman’s sword should never
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever,
Till that flag should float forever
O’er their freedom or their grave!

Furl it! for the hands that grasped it,
And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low;
And that Banner–it is trailing!
While around it sounds the wailing
Of its people in their woe.

For, though conquered, they adore it!
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it!
Weep for those who fell before it!
Pardon those who trailed and tore it!
But, oh! wildly they deplored it!
Now who furl and fold it so.

Furl that Banner! True, ’tis gory,
Yet ’tis wreathed around with glory,
And ’twill live in song and story,
Though its folds are in the dust;
For its fame on brightest pages,
Penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages–
Furl its folds though now we must.

Furl that banner, softly, slowly!
Treat it gently–it is holy–
For it droops above the dead.
Touch it not–unfold it never,
Let it droop there, furled forever,
For its people’s hopes are dead!

A REPLY TO THE CONQUERED BANNER by Sir Henry Houghton, Bart. (1809-1885)

Gallant nation, foiled by numbers!
Say not that your hopes are fled;
Keep that glorious flag which slumbers,
One day to avenge your dead.
Keep it, widowed, sonless mothers!
Keep it, sisters, mourning brothers!
Furl it now, but keep it still–
Think not that its work is done.
Keep it till your children take it,
Once again to hall and make it,
All their sires have bled and fought for;
All their noble hearts have sought for–
Bled and fought for all alone!
All alone! ay, shame the story!
Millions here deplore the stain;
Shame, alas! for England’s glory,
Freedom called, and called in vain!
Furl that banner, sadly, slowly,
Treat it gently, for ’tis holy;
Till that day–yes, furl it sadly;
Then once more unfurl it gladly–
Conquered banner! keep it still!

THE DAUGHTER OF THE CONFEDERACY by Dr. Henry Mazyck Clarkson (1835-1915)

Sweet women of the South, come gather ’round
This silent figure. It but typifies
The grief the people feel for her who lies
In restful sleep beneath this hallowed mound.
Distinguished daughter of a race renowned,
In the full flush of faultless womanhood,
Before the world’s admiring eyes she stood
A very queen, with every virtue crowned.

‘Mid stirring scenes of stubborn battle born,
Child of the chieftain of a hapless cause,
For scoffing foes she had no word of scorn –
A woman true she won the world’s applause:
With angels keeping watch o’er Hollywood,
Here let her wait among the great and good.

THE SOUTH by Abram Joseph Ryan (1839-1894)

Yes, give me the land
Where the ruins are spread,
And the living tread light
On the heart of the dead;
Yes, give me the land
That is blest by the dust,
And bright with the deeds
Of the down-trodden just.

Yes, give me the land
Where the battles’ red blast
Has flashed on the future
The form of the past;
Yes, give me the land
That hath legends and lays
That tell of the memories
Of long-vanished days.

Yes, give me the land
That hath story and song
To tell of the strife
Of the right with the wrong;
Yes, give me the land
With a grave in each spot
And names in the graves
That shall not be forgot.

Yes, give me the land
Of the wreck and the tomb;
There’s grandeur in graves –
There’s glory in gloom.
For out of the gloom
Future brightness is born;
As, after the night
Looms the sunrise of morn.

And the graves of the dead,
With the grass overgrown,
May yet form the footstool
Of Liberty’s throne;
And each simple wreck
In the way-path of might
Shall yet be a rock
In the temple of Right.


Oh, Righteous Cause, for which we fought,
And for which thousands died,
We glory in it as we ought
And point to it with pride.

The Cause for which our fathers bled,
In Revolution days,
The right of self-defense instead
Of treasonable ways.

No “Cause” is “Lost” that has the right,
Success is often wrong,
Tho’ seemingly it wins the fight,
The honors still belong

To those in failure or defeat,
Who tried and did their best,
As long as noble hearts shall beat
Within a human breast.

Was Russia right and Poland wrong
Contending for its place,
Among the nations, brave and long,
‘Till crush’d by power base?

The rev’rence all true Southrons feel,
No foes can over-awe,
For Cause that ever will appeal,
With all the force of law.

And yet today we are as true
To country’s flag as they,
Who bore it then and wore the Blue
‘Gainst those who wore the Gray.

VIRGINIA’S DEAD by Cornelia J.M. Jordan

Proud mother of a race that reared
The brave and good of ours,
Lo! on thy bleeding bosom lie
Thy pale and perished flowers.
Where’er upon her own bright soil
Hosts meet their blood to shed–
Where brightly gleams the victor’s sword,
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

And when upon the crimsoned field
The cannon loudest roars,
And hero-blood for liberty
A streaming torrent pours;
Where fiercest grows the battle’s rage
And Southern banners spread;
Where minions crouch and vassals kneel,
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

Where bright Potomac’s classic wave
Rolls softly to the sea,
And Shenandoah’s sweet valley smiles
In her captivity;
Where Mississippi sullen rolls
His foaming torrent bed,
And Tennessee’s smooth ripples break,
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

And where mid dreary mountain heights
The Frost-king sternly sate,
As Garnett cheered his legion on
And nobly met his fate;
Where Johnston, Lee and Beauregard,
Their gallant armies led,
Through winter snows and tropic suns,
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

And where through Georgia’s flowery meads
The proud Savannah flows,
As soft o’er Carolina’s brow
Atlantic’s pure breeze blows;
Where Florida’s sweet tropic flowers
Their dewy fragrance shed,
And night-winds sigh through orange-groves,
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

Where Louisiana’s eagle eye
Frowns darkly on her chains,
And proud New Orleans’ noble streets
The Despot’s heel profanes–
Where Virtue shrinks in dread dismay
And Beauty bows her head,
While Valor spurns th’ oppressor’s yoke.
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

‘Neath Alabama’s sunny skies.
On Texas’ burning shore,
Where blooming prairies brightly sweep
Missouri’s bosom o’er,
Where bold Kentucky’s lion heart
Leaps to her Morgan’s tread,
And tyrants quail at Freedom’s cry,
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

And where the Ocean’s trackless waves
O’er pallid corpses sweep,
As mid the cannon’s deafening peal,
Deep calleth unto deep;
Wherever Honor’s sword is drawn
And justice rears her head–
Where heroes fall and martyrs bleed,
There sleep Virginia’s dead.

August 13, 1862