Eighteen hundred and sixty-one,
That is the year the war was begun.
Times were hot and so were the men:
Our old Abe, was President then.
The South was waxing warm for a fight,
Thought they could lick in the wrong or the right;
Stormed Fort Sumter, and then Uncle Sam
Uttered a word that sounded like dam,
And set to work to place things aright.
And the North arose in the space of a night,
And -- but know the story, they righted the wrong;
And the feud has long died, but many a song
Tells of the deeds that the battlefields saw,
Right in the face of Death's grim jaw.
And the United Nation in mourning still,
Have mourned for the strickened and ever will:
New flags in the grave-yards every year,
And all our broad country is dropping a tear.
A postage stamp engraved in green,
Jefferson Davis' face is seen:
Confederate stamps in letters fine,
A pale-faced ghost of the old war-time.
What hast thou seen? What canst thou tell?
Perchance thou hast been in the mouth of hell,
Where the battle of Gettysburg fiercest raged;
In trenches where thirst could not be assuaged;
On Lookout Mountain, above the clouds;
In Richmond's hospitals wounded crowds;
In the damp morass of the wilderness,
Were the dying men curse instead of bless;
At Vicksburg, where the shot and shell
From the gunboats all around you fell:
Hast thou brought the news of death by a ball,
Making aged mothers swoon and fall?
Or told of the cruel Guerrillas of Lee,
Their son a deserter and hung to a tree?
To a beautiful girl of the south has thou brought
The news that dissevered the true lovers' knot?
Hast thou told how the mothers and babes had to flee,
As Sherman, through Georgia, marched down to the Sea?
No wonder thy face has grown faded and gray,
With the memory of deeds of that cruel day.
I'll keep thee and treasure thee for all the woe
Thou hast known in the days that were long, long ago.
-- Chas. E. Jenney
Written for the Canadian Philatelist and printed in Volume II, No. II, July 1893.