Once again the call is coming, and the fiery cross on high
Blazes as before Manassas when our fathers went to die;
Trains of soldiery are moving, rumbling seaward once again,
Rolling as in early sixties, to the songs of eager men,
Puffing onward through the valley from the mountains to the bay,
Bearing on the lads in khaki of the sires who wore the gray.
From the portals of Mount Vernon and the heights of Arlington,
Down the line to Appomattox by the shrine of Jefferson,
From the Shenandoah’s highlands and the Roanoke’s flowered vales,
From the townships of the Piedmont and the Rappahannock dales,
They are coming to the colors for the God Almighty fray,
Future heroes of the khaki born of heroes of the gray.
From tobacco fields and orchards, from the studies and the games,
From the Allegheny cabins and the mansions on the James,
Out of factories and offices and furnaces and mills,
From the cities and the hamlets’ shaded lanes and sunny hills,
They are coming for the Union, theirs forever and a day,
These the eaglets of the eagles of the glory-misted gray.
Down the Blue Ridge they are going on to somewhere on the seas,
Through the mountains that were Jackson’s and the valleys that were Lee’s,
By the mounds upon the hilltops and their monuments that tell
How the wearied ragged legions nobly fought and nobly fell.
O, they’re going on high-hearted to an unforgotten day
When the boys who wear the khaki will be worthy of the gray.
What a history behind them, what a future just ahead!
What an inspiration given by the mothers’ living dead!
What a heritage of glory in the deeds of high romance!
What a legacy to carry to the battle fields of France!
O Virginia, old Virginia, let your shadows point the way
To immortal paths of honor for the children of the gray!
— Littell M’Clung, Old Virginia, Once Again, Confederate Veteran, Vol. XXVI, no. 6, June 1918.