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CSA Poems & Songs

The following are either poems or songs relating to CSA-POWs’ incarceration and/or their flag. These poems can not be copied without written permission from their various authors.

Cry, Little Artillery Man
The Storms of Life
Pt. Lookout ~ Let Freedom Ring
The Flag My Grandpa Knew
To Those Who Care
To Samuel A. Dowless
The Flag
I Was There And You Are Here
To Mary From Jesse
The Concept of Honor
Why?
Confederate Graveyard at Point Lookout
The Brave So Far From Home
The Drums of Battle
Send Me Home
This Tainted Land
You Got It All Wrong
Nothing More Than We Deserve
I Told You I Was Sorry
The Forgotten Rebel Soldier
The Rebel Soldier
A Free Man
I Am Their Flag
This is My Flag, This is My Heritage
I'm The South
The Old Confederate Flag
Deathbed Poem
The Reunion
Battle Hymn of the Southern Republic

Gray Yesterdays, Today


Cry, Little Artillery Man

This song was written about Pt. Lookout's youngest Prisoner of War, son of Jane A. Perkins, who was with Virginia's Artillery and captured at Spotsylvania Court House in 1864.

VERSE 1

Lincoln built a prison
He called it Point Lookout
To the barren sand of Maryland,
He sent soldiers of the South.

They fenced us in with water,
And unmarked deadlines,
50,000 came here,
14,000 died.

There's a thousand ways to break a man,
And the Yankees know them all,
They kept us cold and hungry,
And tried to make us crawl.

They shot us out of meanness,
And starved us out of spite,
We buried our dead in the sand,
And prayed for them at night.

CHORUS

I'm here at Point Lookout
With all these men in gray,
In frostbit feet and ragged clothes,
With the South so far away.

Abandon hope, ye who enter here,
This place that God has cursed,
In this cold hell at Chesapeake Bay
Lincoln's devils drive the hearse.

VERSE 2

On a hot July morning,
I heard a baby cry,
A crowd of soldiers stood and cheered,
A few men even cried.

We called him Little Artillery Man
Though there were no cannon there,
We named him for his mama,
Like us, imprisoned there.

Her name was Jane Perkins,
A proud Irish girl
She had taught school in Virginia
Till Rebel flags unfurled,

When war came in 61,
Her world changed overnight
She cut her hair, dressed like a man
And signed up for the fight.

CHORUS

So cry, Little Artillery Man,
Wake the men in blue,
Let the Yankees hear your voice,
Make them hear the truth,
Cry, Little Artillery Man,
They've taken your mama from you,
Here at Point Lookout,
Babies are prisoners too.

VERSE 3

She fought with Lee for three long years,
With the Danville Artillery,
Till the Yankees took her prisoner,
And sent her here with me.

When you were born, they took her away,
And shackled her in chains.
In Washington, tortured, abused,
She learned there's many kinds of pain.

When the Yankees tired of her,
Your mama was set free,
She walked back to Virginia,
To the Danville Artillery.

They say she died at Petersburg
Before the war was done.
She fought for the South, and she fought for you,
For you, her only son.

CHORUS

So cry, Little Artillery Man,
Wake the men in blue,
Let the Yankees hear your voice,
Make them hear the truth,
Cry, Little Artillery Man,
They've taken your mama from you,
And here at Point Lookout,
Babies are prisoners too

 

(End slowly)

Lincoln built a prison
He called it Point Lookout

...written by Rickey Pittman, LA  2004

A secondary school teacher and a University adjunct English instructor, Rickey E. Pittman was the Grand Prize winner of the 1998 Ernest Hemingway short Story Competition.

 


The Storms of Life

All my life- had been a bed of roses
every dream
all my wishes had come true. My younger days
were spent in fields of clover
Never once did I think it could be over.

Twas in the spring my country called to me
to help defend my home against the yankee treachery.
For two long years at Point Lookout
I longed to hold your hand. But in defeat my weary feet
would bring me home again.

Suddenly I lost my only love
in death you looked so peaceful and so free.
It broke my heart to see you go
but I take comfort in, Just thinking of those happy days
you were here with me.

CHORUS
The storms of life are gathered over me
My dreams of love and happiness have drifted out to sea.
And now I'm stranded on this lonely beach of misery
The storms of life are surely over me.

That granite stone is all that's left
in memory of you. My heart can't hold the pain that’s with me
since you've gone away. Like we agreed
wait for me and I won't tarry long. We'll walk the hills of daffodils
together arm in arm.

.......written and arranged by descendant Wade Harris

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Pt. Lookout ~ Let Freedom Ring

Their flag won’t fly
No birds will sing
Truth be censored
We don’t hear a thing
We say "Let Freedom Ring"

To Those that died
Their families an’ friends
Still have the rights
That our God gave them
We know Pt. Lookout is a true sacred thing
We say "Let Freedom Ring"

Why are you scared that the truth be known?
Our children must have the right to know...the truth
Let the truth be known
Let our flag be flown
I hear the cries
Of Our boys in pain
They lived and died
In the cold and the rain
They died with honor
For this I sing
I say "Let Freedom Ring"

...written & arranged by Robert Lloyd

===================================

The Flag My Grandpa Knew

I remember how, each morning, he’d rise before us all
And I’d hear his muffled footsteps, as he padded down the hall
The many years he’d labored, had left his body bent and gray
But Grandpa had a reason, for getting up each day
A well-worn box sat on a shelf, beside his rocking chair
I don’t know where it came from, seems it always had been there
Inside, the box, a tattered cloth, of crimson, blue, and white
And he’d gaze at it each morning, with tears that dimmed his sight
On special days, he raised it still, on the pole outside our door
And he’d tell us kids, in reverent tones, what that tattered cloth stood for
The red reminds me of the Wheat field, where Pickett’s men were slain
When seven thousand good men fell, amidst the bloodied grain
The blue, I guess, brings back to mind, the loneliness and cold
Of a Shenandoah winter, a thousand miles from home
And the pure white stars, well they’re Generals, for Jackson, Stuart, and Bee
And that big one in the middle there, is for Robert Edward Lee!
Each bullet hole is a battle won, each tear is a comrade lost
Each stain is for a wounded friend, who paid the final cost
Ol’ Grandpa must have loved that flag, he stayed near it every day
And so Grandpa took it with him, when he finally passed away
And if there’s a flagpole up in heaven, there’s no tear in Grandpa’ eye
‘Cause I know he’s back in uniform, and
his beloved flag flies high!

.... Ronnie Hatfield

 


To Those Who Care

I was a citizen soldier who left my little farm
To defend my home from Northern hate,
My only choice was made without a flinch
For duty called in defense of my state.
I enlisted in a regiment of artillery
With family and friends I had long known,
And I, like them, swelled with pride
As we first saw our new flag flown.
It was a battle flag which stood for much
We saw it as our nation’s spirit and pride,
But our flag was more than cloth and dye
It stood for the freedom for which we cried.
We who fought and suffered for liberty and truth
Met many different fates during the tragic war,
Some of us died while others were maimed
And some languished as prisoners in hell’s very core.
All of us who served the Cause are gone now
But some living souls remember us still,
To these kind patriots we only ask an honor due,
Fly our flag over our graves until the end...yes, until.

... Michael D. Harrison, descendant member
Descendant of Pvt. Mitchell T. Harrison, 10th VA Hvy Art'y Batt'n, Co. D.

=======================================

To Samuel A. Dowless
36th NC Inf. Co. I

You came to Point Lookout from the tarheel state
Me, from across the line the town of the last capitol of the Confederacy
You came here 133 years ago from your home via Ft. Fisher
Me, 133 years later via Richmond.
I don’t know the horrors of Ft. Fisher
But, I do know what it’s like to be shot with a musket
I don’t know what it’s like to be a 38 year old prisoner at Pt. Lookout
But I know what it’s like to be a 39 year old visitor
Here at Point Lookout, last night, I couldn’t sleep at all
You were always on my mind.
For after all you spent over 5 months
Of misery day and night here.
Today, I stood where you stood
Walked where you walked.
We honor you and your comrade today,
And the grave where thousands of them lay.
Last year, I visited your home
The old cabin still stands
And your grave is well marked and kept up
Your dear wife still by your side.
I don’t know when we can talk
But I do know we will
For I do
Know your God!

... Mark LeViner, g'great grandson, descendant member
Composed on the prison grounds of Point Lookout 6/13/98 and read by Mark at our Sunday Church Service.


The Flag

She heaved ah sigh, as she lifted the lid,
on the battered old trunk, and the memories it hid.
Ah packet of letters, ah hat, and some gloves,
Treasured reminders of the man that she loved.

Her mind goes back to ah happier day,
she could still hear the music, and smell the bouquet.
As she danced in the arms of that handsome young man,
who first won her heart, then asked for her hand.

But this was the autumn of sixty one,
the south was invaded, the war had begun.
The man that she loved, had sworn to fight,
for home and hearth, honor and right.

She knew that his regiment, soon would depart,
and this was enough to break her poor heart.
But she soon forgot, her own distress,
as she reached in the trunk, for her wedding dress.

From the dress she cut ah crimson square,
edged it in white, with loving care.
The bow and the sash that once circled her waist,
became ah blue cross with white stars stitched in place.

One day that flag was just about done,
she sat in the rays of the evening sun.
She felt his warm touch, and looked in his eyes,
and said you have spoiled my parting surprise.

He whispered her name as she reached for his hand,
placing pale lips to his gold wedding band.
They vowed their love, and she whispered ah prayer,
God be with you darling, and keep you safe there.

On ah cold black stallion he rode away,
his fathers gift, on their wedding day.
From the county of Franklin in North Caroline,
to the cavalry of Stuart where he'd serve his time.

For four years he rode through hell,
from the Whiteoak swamps, to Malvern Hill.
On the tenth of December in sixty four,
he was captured, imprisoned, to ride no more.
Locked up in Point Lookout, to ride no more.

...S. Wade Harris, descendant member/LM member

While playing his guitar, Wade performed this song with great emotion at our June 2000 Descendants meeting. When finished, a teary eyed audience arose from their seats in a standing ovation. If there was some way to make time stand still, we’d be there yet, listening to Wade, witnessing his ‘great’ talent. Wade and his two sons, Charles and Stacy (also among our Lee Miserables reenactors) are descended from Pvt. Wade Harris, 1st NC Cav. Co. E, who rode with J.E.B. Stuart.


I Was There And You Are Here

Four generations ago, a hundred years or so
Samuel A. Dowless was born
In Civil War his country was torn.
At Fort Fisher, North Carolina he was to be.
The first routing of U. S. Marines he was to see
A most heavy bombardment he was to survive
In hand to hand combat heroes would strive.
The need of States Rights still very clear
For I was there and he is here.
One hundred thirty years ago to this day
He wrote a letter before he was sent on his way.
To his wife and children it went.
For their good it was meant.
"God is with me" he would write.
Five months at Point Lookout, MD was his plight
Thirteen children he and his wife finally had.
They stuck together through good and bad.
So is one generation, two more would appear
I unborn was there, and he dead is yet here.
One hundred thirty years later, me, my brother
And comrades came to the old fort
Like you, your brother and comrades, to the yanks
Our muskets gave a sharp report
Although none did, we did remember ya’ll men
The old South and the way things were back then
Ahead in time my mind wanders.
Inside the Pearly Gates it ponders
As he looks over my shoulder he says, "I was
There" and as his eyes meet mine he exclaims,
"And now you are finally here."
........ January 17, 1995

... Mark LeViner descendant member


To Mary From Jesse

I see your face, so filled with love,
Such beauty in your smile.
For night is when I come to call,
To visit for a while.
Bring back that time from long ago
When we did wear the gray,
To tell you how it was, dear heart,
With love these words I say.

We Porters farmed in Corapeake,
Our land so rich and fine.
Then came the cloak of darkness
As bitter tasting wine.
For John and I, we had to go,
To fight for those we love.
Now left behind our worldly dreams
In care, of God above.

So filled with pride, we marched on out,
To face the yankee foe.
No thought then of what might be,
Or how the blood would flow.
My heart was torn in sixty-two.
Manasses was the place.
Dear brother John departed there,
Such sorrow stained my face.

For war is hard, and cuts the soul,
Young family ripped apart.
So hard then to carry
With leaden weighted heart.
But fight I must, and fight I did,
For John, my brother dear.
No matter what the danger,
I knew that he was near

Yes, John was with me all the way,
Right up to Wilderness,
Where I became a prisoner,
In lonely cell to rest.
No more the blood and heartfelt pain
Of men who fought and died.
Just lonely night and memory.
So many tears I cried.

So sleep in peace, my precious one,
For we know what you do
To keep alive our history,
Your love comes shinning through.
But now the dawn approaches fast.
It’s time for me to go,
To wait another summer’s eve
And twilight’s early glow.

This poem was composed by Roy Rawlinson of Liverpool,England, a devotee of the CSA. He wrote it for his friend, descendant member Mary Looney of Dallas, TX whose great grandfather, Jesse Porter, and his brother John fought in the WBTS. Both were with the 33rd NC Inf. Co. E . John was killed at Second Manassas and Jesse Porter was captured at the Battle of the Wilderness and sent to Pt. Lookout. On a ‘very’ hot day in August 1998, Mary drove all the way from TX to a bean field in Corapeake, NC for a stone dedication ceremony for these two brothers. It was one of the most moving ceremonies that I have had the pleasure of participating. A few short years later, Mary died from cancer. The South lost a strong Southern lady who fought diligently for her ancestors' memory.


The Concept of Honor

"Sign these pardons," the yankee First Sergeant. Growled roughly;
"Sign ‘em and yeez can all go home," he added gruffly.
Not a movement was made in the grey clad ranks;
The silence was tense between the Rebs and the yanks.
The Southern soldiers stood straight in a line unmoving;
And now the yankee sergeant’s tone was more soothing.
"Just sign the pardons and to your homes you can go,
You have fields to plow and crops to sow.
The war is over, we’re no longer your foe,
Now sign the pardons and off you go."
The grey line stood irritatingly straight;
Not one would move and the day was getting late.
Their actions were beginning to frustrate;
For he had other duties to delegate.
"Sign these pardons you low down tramps!
Or your next stop will be POW camps!"
Other yankee soldiers grabbed their weapons;
They would be ready for whatever happens.
Finally, one lone voice from the grey line was heard;
A Southern sergeant spoke word after word.
"We will not sign your pardon!" his voice a roar;
"We have done nothing to be pardoned for!
Four years ago we went off to war,
To fight for our rights and nothing more.
To defend our home, our families and our land
From a government that would not understand
That our destiny was ours to choose,
And for that our lives we were willing to lose.
You stand here now and claim victory on our soil
And that, Sir, makes our blood boil
For you see, Sir, you have not won at all
For I and these men would still heed the call
If Marse Robert would fight on yet
To you, Sir, I would give the bayonet!
So pardon is a word that only cuts to the core
For we have done nothing to be pardoned for!"
The Southern sergeant’s words sent an ominous chill;
The yankee sergeant realized they had not broken that will.
The grey line stood straight and resolute;
The yankee sergeant shifted nervously from boot to boot.
All of a sudden he didn’t feel so bold;
The Southerner’s words made the air seem cold.
He thought of home and felt tired and old;
He looked up and asked, "Would you accept a parole?"
The grey line left-faced with battlefield precision;
In unison, as always, they had made their decision.
The yankee sergeant looked on in astonishment;
He thought to himself in total bewilderment,
"What makes these people risk everything for a point so minor?"
He would never understand the Concept of Honor.

......Robin East

This poem came about by an inspiration that stuck me while researching my g’great grandfather, Pvt. Henry Anderson Brumfield’s, war record, with the 46th VA Inf. He was asked by someone if he was pardoned at Appomattox. He replied that he had done nothing for any damn yankee to pardon him for, and that he would have stayed there till hell froze over if they had not paroled him. This got me to thinking and I got the dictionary out and looked up "parole" and "pardon," and to my surprise, there is considerable difference between the words. I had never thought about it that way before. I was awaken in the night, unable to sleep as these words started forming in my mind, so I got up and composed the above poem.

Robin graciously read this in the Pt. Lookout POW pen for our Lee’s Miserables reenactors at the conclusion of their prison performance, June 1996.


Why?

There are those in this country, who wish to remove my Flag.
All over the land, you can hear their brag.
It’s a racial symbol, a radical act!
But before you furl my Flag, just a few of the facts.
She’s the Banner of Glory. Sacrifice and honor, are held in her folds.
We must not hide history, her story must be told.
She is the symbol of the struggles, Ole Dixie has fought.
The liberty and freedom, the Constitution sought.
Created for the men who would fight on her side.
She lives in beloved memory, my ancestors pride.
To say she is racist, that fact I defy.
Under her colors, black, white, and red man, all fought and died.
She serves to remind us, of what can become
Of a people who don’t learn the lessons of the things that we’ve done.
No, there is no hate in my Flag, when held high above.
Just heritage, reverence, devotion and love
When you attack the Flag of Dixie, you take away my pride.
You insult my ancestors, the memory, of why they lived and died.
The Confederate Flag is my legacy, when attacked I cry.
Take down my Flag! I’d like to know WHY?

....Wayne W. McFarland, descendant/LM member
Wayne and his son Timmy are descended from Sgt. William H. McFarland, 54th NC Inf. Co. H.


Confederate Graveyard at Point Lookout

Here rest the dead - Confederate dead!
Be careful stranger, do not tread,
Upon the unmarked grave of those
Who far from friendly care repose
Dark weeds their only monument
No kindly hand is ever lent
To mold in form the crumbling grave,
Or yield one tribute to the brave.
They sleep afar from home sweet home
Beneath the starlit heavens dome
With nought to shroud them, no not they
Not even their battle blanket gray
Ye men so true to honors call
Ye veteran soldiers of Stonewall

......Author Unknown

This poem appeared in an 1868 issue of the St. Mary’s Beacon. At this time, the prisoners’ bodies had not been moved from their original burials. In 1870, they were moved to Tanner’s Creek and a MD monument placed over the mass grave. In 1911, they were moved to the now existing Pt. Lookout Cemetery. A 85' monument towers over their immortal remains.


"The Brave So Far From Home"

Here the brave lay,
  who wore the Confederate Gray.
They are all so far from home,
  beneath the Heavens dome.
No notice of exchanges were ever sent,
  so now they are here under this great monument.
But only their mortal remains are here,
  for their Southern souls are God's heirs.
For pride and honor are what they were about,
  and now they lay here at this mass grave at Point Lookout.

- John B. Stober, Jr. descendant member
  Written on Christmas Eve 2001

-  Great-Great-Great Nephew of
   Private Rufus Bowden
   Company G, 47th North Carolina Infantry
   Died January 20, 1865 Pt. Lookout, POW


The Drums of Battle

The drums that beat for freedom
On the battlefield of yore - are silent
We hear them now no more
The men, and boys in gray, or rags
That marched, and fought, that suffered
A rag-tag army all
With battle flags a-fluttering
With musket, cap and ball;
And these that once were prisoners
For their homeland they did fight
Are lying now beneath the soil
Causalities of what was "right"
Remember them especially this season
As we all sing Silent Night.
But let’s not forget their battle
Is sill our battle yet to be won
Though not in ways of decades past
With saber, or with gun
Keep our banners flying high for everyone to see
And keep our heritage in tact
With the truth
Seek Vic-to-ry!

... Daniel Dodson Matheson Kelser, desendant/LM member
Descendant of Pvt. Felix Shelborne Dodson, 38th VA Inf. Co. E.


Send Me Home

I was just a Rebel soldier who went off to fight a war
for a cause that I believed was just, and well worth fighting for.
Well I knew that I could die there, on some gory battleground,
but with the stars and bars afore me, I knew that I would rally ‘round!
So my homeland could survive
my life I’d gladly give,
so my children could, unburdened, in sweet freedom live!
But, there are times when causes noble
fail, though hard they try,
some are taken off in chains, some on battlefield must die!
Though surrendered to the foe we tried to stand up tall,
for we were, very much like they, Americans after all.
We were forced to yield the battle to their overwhelming hosts!
Then, like cattle, we were brought to this cold and lonely coast.
They brought us to this horrid place where they starved and beat us sore,
and, when we died they buried us along Point Lookout’s sandy shore,
Mistreated by our captors, sick and hungry there to die;
laid to rest we could not sleep beneath this foreign sky!
Still not welcome where we lie, ne’er in peace to be,
they’ve taken down our battle flag that should fly over me!
Grant us the honor we deserve, dig our bones up from this loam
and ship them south to Dixie, where we’ll find a welcome home
!

....Donald Graham


This Tainted Land

Oh, land of ours, so bright and fair, this Maryland, free and true
Of forest glen and fields of green; of waters deep and blue.
This land, so lovely, bears a stain for in her bosom deep
The victims of a horrid crime can ne’er find peaceful sleep!
They call my name and bid me tell to all that ‘round may hear
Of heinous acts, so dark and foul, of precious life, so dear.
Point Lookout hears the awful taint for those who paid the cost
Have purchased e’er this land of ours, a haven of the lost!
The crime that haunts this fair, dear, shore, has not been washed away
By all the blood of those who lie within her mold’ ring clay!
We who live must tell the world of how they passed the test,
And paid, in full, the purchase price of land their blood has blessed.
We must take on their sacred cause, and hold their banners high
Must lift our voice in protest loud, shout vengeance to the sky!
Maybe then, these precious souls, on Lookout’s sandy shore
Can lie in peaceful slumber and restless be no more.
Then, perhaps, the Point’s dark stain
Will, slowly, ebb away
And night shall fall in peace, and hope
Hope for a bright, new day!

....Donald Graham

I wrote this poem in honor of the thousands of Confederate POWs who perished at Pt. Lookout, MD during the WBTS. A small step in atoning for the sins of our fathers, committed against our fathers. May they find the rest they so deserve within our soil and within our hearts.

 


You Got It All Wrong

You say that I’m unethical - you label me a fool
I’m simply bein’ respectful - of my g’great Grandaddy’s views
He was for love and freedom - Southern thru and thru
He fought against oppression -hate and over-rule
My great grandaddy’s daddy -went marching off to war
What he stood for gallantly - is now what I’m standing for
You’re asking me to give up -things dear to my heart
If you can’t hear me clear enough - I’ll take it from the start
You Got it all wrong!
I’m a Southern man from the sweet southland
Lordy, I’m just like you
You got it all wrong!
If you’d take my hand, you could understand
Together we’d know the truth
You got it all wrong! You got it all wrong!
Oh, I’m glad I am in Dixie - where hearts are strong and true
But that dear anthem has been banned - by people just like you
Now you want to take our flag - that every proudly waves
Over our grandfathers who are turning in their graves.
Now you don’t realize - just what you’re trying to do
If I could open up your eyes - the truth might shine on thru
This is the flag - the home - the land - of my dear family
And with every ounce of strength I’ll stand to save their memory

.... The Rebelairs


Nothing More Than We Deserve

We call to you, our living kin, who know the breath of life
To carry on our noble cause, go proudly through the strife!
Regain our honor for us, face the hazards, every one
To where ‘re the quest may lead you, ever onward, carry on.
They mistreated and defiled us when there was no cause for hate
Never, once, saw us as brothers, nor as men, but merely freight.
They, who should have seem among us men of honor, true and brave
Carried such a hatred in them that it lingered unto the grave.
Not content to lay our broken bodies in the dirt
Nor revenged, though we had perished, for some undetermined hurt.
What could we possibly have done t’would cause our fellow man
To hate us so that we can’t sleep within this hallowed land.
Then never could they leave us lie, and oft disturbed our rest
Uncaring, dragged our mortal bones to places they deemed best.
But, now has come, the final blow, they’ve stolen from on high
Our grand and glorious battle flag, that should, above us, fly.
We, the dead, who’ve born the pain, and endured what’er befell
Who marched beneath that banner throughout the battle hell
Have lost the only peace we knew to know that were ‘er we lie
That flag would flutter o’er our grave, against the azure sky.
Take up the cause, unsheathe the sword
If you can find the nerve
Fight bravely for our honor
And the peace we so deserve.

......Donald Graham

I wrote this poem to honor our fallen heroes of the Confederacy who had the misfortune to be POWs at Point Lookout, MD and the added misfortune to have perished there. They suffered sorely at the hands of their fellow Americans merely because they believed in the Constitution and it’s guarantee of states rights. Even worse, their mortal remains continue to be abused and mistreated at the hands of the keepers of their resting place. They have been unceremoniously and carelessly exhumed and re-interred and as a final slap in the face, have had their Battle Flag, the symbol of what they fought and died for, taken away from their cemetery because some bureaucrat feels it may offend someone. Well, we want to tell the world, the fact that their flag is no longer there, damn sure offends someone...."US" and these honored dead! Please, bring it back to them and show them the honor they deserve.

 


I Told You I Was Sorry

Oh, brave and nobel countrymen, I stood there o’er your bones
And spoke these low and feeble words in hushed and reverent tones.
I wept for you, my brothers, and with each falling tear
I told you I was sorry, and prayed, to God, you’d hear!
There, beside your marker, I softly read your names
Despair and sorrow filled my heart, and mingled there, with shame.
I cannot change the things they did, all those many years ago
Those things that shamed the mighty deed that warriors, all should know.
Not campaigning for a cause their acts were cruel, unjust.
They abused the treasured soul left there, in their trust.
I stood there on that hallowed land your blood had sanctified
And questioned, loud, the reason so many there had died!
I know these words can’t recompense those ones, at home, who prayed
At least, to know the lonely spot their soldier boys were laid.
At best I hope these words will cry, "Injustice!" strong and clear
In fervent hopes that some good folks will stop and lend an ear.
Perchance to see the horror that you, young Rebels knew
And settle, gently, some future strife in memory of you.
The grave site sleeps in peaceful still
The Point is now at rest.
At least I know the ground you share
You share it with the best!

......Donald Graham

To die in a POW Camp when you are no longer an active participant in the war "is murder."

 


The Forgotten Rebel Soldier

There is a graveyard both far and near where a forgotten soldier lies,
No flowers there are sprinkled nor tears from mourners eyes.
For there I stood not long ago in remembrance of these brave,
When suddenly I heard a weeping voice speak softly from the grave.
"Did we win our freedom that we fought so hard to save?
Do they still respect that battle-flag flying gently above our grave?"
"I died in youth without a chance to see my children play,
Yet I prayed to God with all my might to help me through that day."
"My son," God said, o’er the weeping winds and gently swaying field,
"The price you paid your life for theirs, this I cannot yield."
"But it's not fair!" he cried in vain, "there were many a volunteer,
Our death was picked by lot and chance, misfortune brought us here."
"The price of freedom is paid by some so that others may have no fear,
You, my son, have paid that price, your duty was sharp and clear."
"Our Southern people have forgotten us Lord, of us their memories wain,
Beneath this stone of dirty white, I feel we have died in vain."
"So long as one remembers you and what you did for all,
So long as freedom stands and peace abides, your memory they will recall."
"The honored field of duty is a terrible price for those who die,
But for all true sons of Dixie, your flag will always fly."
"On this hallowed ground my son, you are not alone,
Throughout the history of your land, brave acts and deeds were sown.
To your left and to your right, behind, in front, and near,
the spirits of your fallen friends, I will forever hold so dear."
"But my Lord it don't seem fair, for those who never bled,
To live in bliss and harmony not a tear for us they shed?"
"The loss you paid, your eager youth, your children never born,
Your hopes and dreams and everything, through you their price was torn.
As I listened to these gentle words that filled my eyes with tears,

My sight beheld the Rebel flag they carried for many years.
Each star and bar that gently shined was multiplied ten thousand fold,
To embrace the lives of those who died, brave men, brave deeds untold.
And as the saddened voice continued, a feeling of pride and honor spread,
For here is what the weeping spirit of that forgotten soldier said.
"I am that forgotten soldier, and maybe I died in vain,
But if I were alive and my country called, I'd do it all again."
I rode the trail with Bedford Forrest, others fought with Bobby Lee,
At Gettysburg and Shiloh, from Antietam to the sea.
"For I believe in Dixie, and for the rights of all free men,
So if I were alive, for Dixie, I'd do it all again. "
"You may say that we were Rebels, who fought for slavery,
But the truth be known, on the bottom line, we fought to set men free."
"You can hide our tattered battle flag, and the memory of our deeds,
You can forget our Christian way of life, and the honored Southern creed."
"But I will forever stand and take my place, among the soldiers of the free,
I would die again for Dixie, God bless the Confederacy!"

.... Gene Ladnier
10/10/00 www.SierraTimes.com


The Rebel Soldier

In a dreary yankee prison
Where a Rebel soldier lay
By his side there stood a preacher
E’er his soul should pass away
And he faintly whispered
Parson, as he took him by the hand
O Parson, tell me quickly,
Will my soul pass through the South land?
Will my soul pass through the South land
Through old Virginia grand
Till I see the hills of Georgia
And the green fields of Alabama
Will I see that little church house
Where I pledged my heart and hand
Oh Parson, tell me quickly
Will my soul pass through the South land?
It was for loving dear old Dixie
That in this prison cell I lie
It was for loving dear old Dixie
In this Northern State I’ll die
Will you see my little daughter
And make her understand
Oh Parson, tell me quickly,
Will my soul pass through the South land?
And the Rebel Soldier died.


A Free Man

Walking home to GA in June of ‘65
They let me out of prison camp - I’m glad to be alive
Wore out my shoes in Baltimore - my hat has lost its crown
My trousers shinning in the sun - my coat’s a dusty brown
Got a hardtack in my pocket - salt bacon in a sack
Tin cup and half a blanket - just the clothes upon my back
But, I’m going home to see my wife that I left three years ago
And I’m walking home to GA - going down that Southern road

CHORUS

And I’m glad to see the sunshine - feel the rain upon my face It’s time for me to get back and join the human race
When I reach my home in Dixie my new life will begin
So glad I’m out of that prison and a free man once again
Passing through VA - my mouth is dusty dry
Sleeping in a fence row under starry Summer skies
But, it rained in Carolina turning roads to muddy clay
Still I’m walking home to GA - heading for a brighter day

.... The Rebelairs


I AM THEIR FLAG

In 1861, when they perceived their rights to be threatened; when those who would change the nature of the government of their fathers were placed in charge; when threatened with change they could not accept the mighty men of valor began to gather. A band of brothers, native to the Southern soil, they pledged themselves to a cause; the cause of defending family, firesides, and faith. Between the desolation of war and their homes they interposed their bodies and they chose me as their symbol. I AM THEIR FLAG.

Their mothers, wives and sweethearts took scissors and thimbles, needles and thread and from silk or cotton or calico - whatever was the best they had - even from the fabric of their wedding dresses, they cut my pieces and stitched my seams. I AM THEIR FLAG

On courthouse lawns, in picnic groves, at train stations across the South the men mustered and the women placed me in their hand. "Fight hard, win if possible, come back if you can, but, above all, maintain your honor. Here is your symbol," they said. I AM THEIR FLAG.

They flocked to the training grounds and the drill fields. They felt the wrenching sadness of leaving home. They endured sickness, loneliness, boredom, bad food and poor quarters. They looked to me for inspiration. I AM THEIR FLAG.

I was at Sumter when they began in jubilation. I was at Big Bethel when the infantry fired its first volley. I smelled the gun smoke along Bull Run in VA and at Belmont along the MS. I was in the debacle at Ft. Donelson; I led Jackson up the Valley; for Seven Days I flapped in the turgid air of the James River bottoms as McClelland ran from before Richmond. Sidney Johnston died for me at Shiloh as would thousands of others whose graves are marked Sine Nomine, "without a name," unknown. I AM THEIR FLAG.

With ammunition gone they defended me along the railroad bed at Manassas by throwing rocks. I saw the fields run red with blood at Sharpsburg. Brave men carried me across Doctor’s Creek at Perryville. I saw the Blue bodies cover Marye’s Heights at Fredericksburg and the Gray ones fall like leaves in the Round Forest at Stones River. I AM THEIR FLAG!

I was a shroud for the body of Stonewall after Chancellorsville. Men ate rats and mule meat to keep me flying over Vicksburg. I tramped across the wheat field with Kemper and Armistead and Garnett at Gettysburg. I know the thrill of victory, the misery of defeat, the bloody cost of both. I AM THEIR FLAG!

When Longstreet broke the line at Chickamauga I was in the lead. I was the last off Lookout Mountain. Men died to rescue me at Missionary Ridge. I was singed by the wildfire that burned to death the wounded in the Wilderness. I was shot to tatters in the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania. I was in it all from Dalton to Peachtree Creek and no worse place did I ever see than Kennesaw and New Hope Church. They planted me over the trenches at Petersburg and there I stayed for many long months. I AM THEIR FLAG.

I was rolled in blood at Franklin; I was stiff with ice at Nashville. Many good men bade me farewell at Saylor’s Creek. When the end came at Appomattox, when the last Johnny Reb left Durham Station many of them carried fragments of my fabric hidden on their bodies. I AM THEIR FLAG!

In the hard years of so-called "Reconstruction;" in the difficulty and despair of years that slowly passed, the veterans, their wives and sons and daughters, they loved me. They kept alive the tales of valor and the legends of bravery. They passed them on to the grandchildren and they to their children and so they were passed to you. I AM THEIR FLAG!

I have shrouded the bodies of heroes, I have been layed with the blood of martyrs, I am enshrined in the hearts of millions, living and dead. Salute me with affection and reverence. Keep undying devotion in your hearts. I AM HISTORY. I AM HERITAGE, NOT HATE. I AM THE INSPIRATION OF VALOR FROM THE PAST. LOOK AWAY, DIXIE LAND! I AM THEIR FLAG!

.....Dr. Michael R. Bradley

This poem was read at a flag dedication ceremony that we had at Pt. Lookout in 1996. Dr. Bradley sent his poem to Patricia on a poster, composed in beautiful writing, accompanied by hand drawn pictures. Truly a treasure! She had the pleasure of reading it at Confederate Memorial Park's Dedication.

 


This Is My Flag, This Is My Heritage

My Flag...

My Heritage.....

This is my flag, This is my heritage....

How dare anyone utter the words that I am anything but a badge of courage and honor. I carry the weight of a nation on my entire existence, My battle worn colors may have become faded and tattered in time, but I still shine brilliantly within the hearts and souls of millions of true Southerners world wide.

I marched proudly before my soldiers and sailors on thousands upon thousands of battlefields in bloody battles and skirmishes alike in those four short bloody years. Names such as Mine Run, Shilo, Manassas, Vicksburg, Fredericksburg, New Bern, Cedar Creek, Gettysburg and Appomattox.

I carry the blood stains of thousands upon countless thousands of brave Confederates who gave there very all. Names like Henry Adkins, Ira Collins, Alexander L. Hensley, Matthew C. Wells, Mary Jane Pittman and so many others.

I carry the sweat of young boys, old men, and Yes even those brave women who dared all; by wearing the uniforms of gray and butternut and every shade in-between, so many who bravely carried me into harms way time and time again and never once faltered in their pride and devotion to me nor the cause.

I carry the bitter tears of defeat heavily upon my existence and the joys of pride and jubilation in victory, the tears of thousands and thousands of loved ones who gave there very all to save me both on the battlefields and back home awaiting my return.

I carry the hopes that I can lead these brave souls against insurmountable odds time and time again, with the hopes of victory some day. I carry on my battle torn fringes of glory and honor a hope of, A day of Respect, A day of understanding, A day of acceptance for what I truly am.

I carry the dreams of a nation of living in peace among good honest God fearing Southern men, women and children, A dream to prosper and live with out bitter prejudices among all men.

I carry the blood, sweat, tears, hopes and dreams of a nation.

This is my Flag and My Heritage, Where my beloved men of unbelievable Courage, Gallantry and Honor once carried me with pride, those very same who gave there lives time and time again to protect my honor and dignity from my enemies.

No man has the right to even touch the helm of my sacred battle scared tattered remnants other than the thousands of brave men who carried me as a badge of honor and courage into battle, or those ancestors who follow in there foot steps with pride and devotion to those Veterans in the generations upon generations since those days gone past.

I am a badge of Honor, I am not a symbol of hate and dishonesty. How dare anyone one disgrace my name nor the gallant men who once carried me proudly into battle .

So the next time you think of showing disrespect to me, my Confederate Flag and my Southern Heritage, remember one simple thing.

Even though I choose to honor my Confederate Ancestors, Please show me, my flag, and my heritage the same respect you would show any other proud American.

Remember this:

I am an very proud American just like you.

You will never, not now, nor never in 10 million years to come; take away my Confederate Flag nor my Southern Heritage nor Southern Pride away from me!!!

THIS IS MY FLAG

THIS IS MY HERITAGE!!!!!!!!

..... Michael D. Kendrick, descendant of three Pt. Lookout POWs from Virginia: Cpl. Ralph Adkins, James Adkins and Alexander Hensly.


I'm The South

I'm the Little Rock of Arkansas
The Smokey Mountains and a cross-cut saw
Louisiana cooking and a watermelon vine
I'm a tall Georgia Pine
And Georgia's on my mind
I'm the Tennessee Waltz and all night sings
The Florida sun and Silver Springs
I'm Huck and Tom and the old folks at home
I'm Clingman's Dome

Why, I'm the stars that fell on Alabam
I'm coffee in the morning
And an old smoked ham
I'm a Carolina moon, a dusty delta dawn
Magnolias in Bloom
I'm a thoroughbred grazing on Kentucky bluegrass
I'm coon hounds, bird dogs and tea of sassafras
I'm the Mississippi River as it rounds the bend
I'm Gone With The Wind
Y'all come back again

I'm hanging moss on a live oak tree
Southern fried chicken and a cypress knee
Why, I'm the birth of the blues in New Orleans
The land of dreams
And I'm a trout a' jumpin' in a cool clear stream
I'm an antebellum home on the Natchez Trace
A rusty plow on the old home place
Azaleas a' blooming in beautiful Mobile
I'm the Virginia Reel
Derby Day in Louisville

That Southern hospitality in Charleston
and in Raleigh
A Georgia peach, a cotton patch, Miami Beach
I'm Dan'el Boon and Robert E. Lee
The Seminole, Choctaw and the Cherokee
Well, I'm everything good
you've ever dreamed about
Hush your mouth

I Am The South

.....Performed by Paul Ott, Copyright ©

 


THE OLD CONFEDERATE FLAG

Dear old sister Battle Flag
With all your wear and tear
Please help me understand why
I was taken down and now looked upon with spite.

Oh my young sister
Those that took you down
Are the ones that should be looked upon with spite.

Let me tell you my story so you can see from which you came.
For you see I was there.
It was me that flew over the camp in the early morning
And had the smoke from the campfire caress me.
It was me that heard the men talk of home and of their families.
It was me that heard them laugh among themselves
And silently pray when alone.

It was me the Flag Bearer held tight.
It was me that heard the Reb Yell as into battle they ran.
It was me that had the smoke from gunfire forever embedded in my fabric.
It was me that was falling when my carrier was mortally wounded.
It was me that NEVER hit the ground
For another soldier was there to catch me.

Then after the battle it was me that had to hear the cries of the wounded.
It was me that had to smell the blood.
It was me that also had the sweet sick smell of death flow over my stars.
It was me that had to see brother bury brother.

When it was me they carried into battle the next day.
It was me that NEVER saw these men give up or give in.
It was me that did see them grow old and weary of battle.
It was me that they gingerly folded and
Risk their life to hide when the South fell.

You see my young sister you have a rich heritage and history.
You are not alone,
For I see those that are fighting for you to return to your place of honor.
These men and women are the none other than the
Sons and Daughters of my men.
Yes they fight a different battle,
But they fight with the same convection as there Fathers before them.

So my young sister flag I say to you,
There is no shame in honoring our past.
Worry not young sister for
YOU WILL BE RESTORED TO
YOUR PLACE OF HONOR.

Charles W. Lee
July 16, 2000


DEATHBED POEM

Dear Mother I know that thou wilt weep
When of my death thou dost hear
That I am sleeping, the last deep sleep
And thou, my mother was not near

But let this a consolation be
Though on a prisoners bed I died
True and faithful friends were with me
When I crossed the swelling tide

Now my soldiers life is over
With its many toils and cares
For my country I can do no more
With resignation my fate I bear

My mother for me do not grieve
For it was my Country’s call
Caused me home and families to leave
And who would not for his Country fall

My mother, I hope someday you’ll meet
In heaven your "daling boy Milt"
I shall for you reserve a seat
Bought by the blood of Jesus, spilt

I shall meet you at the gate
A golden harp in my hand
And mother, how long must I wait
To welcome you to that happy land

....Pvt. Thomas Milton Oakes, 8th KY Mtd. Inf. Co. I, Camp Morton, IN, POW
Milt’s brother was Americus Kirtley Oakes, 7th KY Cav., Pt. Lookout POW


THE REUNION

Wearing the gray, wearing the gray
The old line marches in mem’ry today
The old drums beat and the old flags wave
How the dead gray jackets spring up from the grave!
They rush on with Pickett where young gods would yield
They sweep with Forrest the shell-harrowed field
They laugh at the bolts from the batteries hurled,
Yet weep around Lee when the last flag is furled.

....Confederate Veteran, May 1923


Battle Hymn of the Southern Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling northern tyrants where His grapes of wrath are stored,
He's defended Southern freedom by His terrible swift sword,
Our Cause is marching on!

Chorus:

Glory, glory, Hallaluia! Glory, glory, Hallaluea! Glory, glory, Hallaluia!
Our Cause is marching on!

Proud invaders have reduced each home to a charred and smoking shell,
They have torched our fields and burned our barns o'er every hill and dell,
God's vengence and our quickened arms will send them all to hell,
Our Cause is marching on!

(chorus)

He will throw back the invaders from our homes and hearths so dear,
He will vindicate our Southern cause as righteous, bold and clear,
He will comfort now each orphan, He will dry each widow's tear,
Our Cause is marching on!

(chorus)

He is smelting out our manhood-ore, discarding slacken dross,
He is forging Southern character, straight, true, and with no loss,
We'll love His grace and liberty beneath the Starry Cross,
Our Cause is marching on!

(chorus)

He is standing with our leaders, field and line, both rank and file,
In each arsenal and hospital, on rails, each fragile mile,
Our wives and sweethearts bless our arms, we cherish each sweet smile,
Our Cause is marching on!

(chorus)

We have marched forth from the cornfields, from the cotton-fruited plain,
From hills teeming with cattle, and where cured tobacco's lain,
From bayous and wet rice fields, spreading swards of sugar cane,
Our Cause is marching on!

(chorus)

We will cross o'er the Potomac, full one hundred thousand free,
We will bivouac on the White House lawn, oh what a sight to see!
We will hang Abe Lincoln by a sour apple tree!
Our Cause is marching on!

(chorus)

by: Scott W. Owens, Copyright, 1996
21st Ala Vol Infantry Re-enactors,

The above is my copyrighted composition which I feel that captures the spirit of the struggle for Southern Independence. It was inspired when I attended a reenactment but a few miles from the region of my childhood, after I had done considerable research on my ancestors who lived at the time. The emotion I experienced overwhelmed me to live if but for a weekend as a nineteenth-century Southerner, amidst the antebellum homes and structures I had grown up taking for granted in west central Alabama. ...Scott Owens

You can view points of interest on The Battle Hymn of the Republic here.


Gray Yesterdays, Today

Wisps of gray through the pines' boughs, smoke of a sort we smell, From days of past blood, muskets and cannon, where Our kin fell,

Winds of ancestors past, ripple and curl the colors, of Our being, Flags of liberty's sweet promise, now cloistered rags hidden from seeing,

In dark museum rooms walked by sentries from the North, whose step is power, And will ever yield rags, to a defeated color of Gray whose bones sour,

But, ground to dust, truth will rise again, and what the Legions of Gray, Held above Life, and Being, trickles, eases, through Our soul heart today.

SOUTHERNERS, walk through the smokes' wisps, feel and know the sorrow, But never walk from the Liberty and Freedom, that is Theirs and Ours tomorrow.

.....Robert W. Hester, 1st Lt. Brig. Cmdr. NE Brig., NC Div.

   
 
Last updated on November 1, 2008
 
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