All Richmond Was Astir

But one spring day in April, 1861, all Richmond was astir. Schools were broken up, and knots of excited men gathered at every street corner. Sumter had been fired upon, and Lincoln had ordered the men of Virginia to rush upon their brethren of the South and put the rebellion down. Now “the die was cast,” our lot was with theirs, and come weal or woe, we would fight for independence. How merrily the sunbeams danced that day! how proud we children were of the great preparation for the illumination that night!—how few recked of the great underthrob of misery, grief and want! Every patriotic citizen had his house ablaze with a thousand lights, and the dark ones were marked. I remember distinctly my father taking us to see the Exchange Hotel and Ballard House with the glass balcony, stretching over the street and connecting the two houses, all glittering and reflecting the crystal lights. To us it was a great spectacle, and our hearts swelled with pride to think we could say to our tyrants: “Thus far shalt thou come, and no further.”

The excitement permeated the schools, and those of our number who lived in the dark houses, or the non-illuminators, were dubbed “Yankees,” “Abolitionists” and “Black Republicans,” and virtually ostracised. Saturdays we would spend in the lecture-rooms of the different churches we attended, where our mothers and grown-up sisters were busy plying the needle, and cutting out clothes for the soldier boys, and indulging in such talk about the vile usurpers as would fire our young hearts with indignation. Snatches of song improvised for the emergency—”Maryland, my Maryland,” “John Brown’s Body,” “There’s life in the Old Land Yet,” &c.— grew as familiar as “I want to be an Angel.” In fact, we had a parody which ran thus:

I want to be a soldier,
And with the soldiers stand,
A knapsack on my shoulder,
And musket in my hand;
And there beside Jeff Davis,
So glorious and so brave,
I’ll whip the cussed Yankee
And drive him to his grave.

But what were our boys doing while the girls were sewing up sand-bags to fortify Drewry’s Bluff? It seemed the “Demon of Destruction” was possessing the whole land. The boys were keeping their patriotism warm by playing “Yank” and “Reb” in mock battles, and so sorely did these young archers wound each other that steps had to be taken by the city authorities toward the suppression of these hostilities. I remember being on Church Hill on one occasion, when the rowdies from Rocketts, calling themselves Yankees, came upon our boys who were unarmed. Immediately our party of little girls flew to a coal-house near, which happened to be open for replenishing, and filling our little aprons with the dusky diamonds ran into the midst of a hot battle, screaming with all the enthusiasm of our young natures, “Kill them! kill them!” We bound up heads and filled pockets with “ammunition” till our nurses, noticing our escapade, came to carry us to our mammas to be punished for soiling our dresses.

— Miss Sallie Hunt, of Lynchburg, Va.; from “Our Women in the War.” The Lives They Lived; The Deaths They Died, Charleston: The News and Courier Book Presses, 1885.

Our Cause Is Just and Holy

Confederate Second National Flag carried by the Consolidated 6th & 7th Arkansas Infantry Regiment.
Confederate Second National Flag carried by the Consolidated 6th & 7th Arkansas Infantry Regiment.

Come, all ye sons of freedom, and join our Southern band,
We are going to fight the Yankees and drive them from our land.
Justice is our motto and providence our guide,
So jump into the wagon, and we’ll all take a ride.

Wait for the wagon! The dissolution wagon!
The South is the wagon, and we’ll all take a ride.

Secession is our watchword, our rights we all demand;
To defend our homes and firesides, we pledge our hearts and hands;
Jeff Davis is our president, with Stephens by his side;
Brave Beauregard, our General, will join us in the ride.

Our wagon is the very best, the running gear is good;
Stuffed ’round the sides with cotton, and made of Southern wood.
Carolina is the driver, with Georgia by her side,
Virginia holds the flag up, and we’ll all take a ride.

There are Tennessee and Texas also in the ring;
They wouldn’t have a government where cotton wasn’t king.
Alabama and Florida have long ago replied;
Mississippi and Louisiana are anxious for the ride.

Old Lincoln and his Congressmen with Seward by his side,
Put old Scott in the wagon just for to take a ride.
McDowell was the driver, to cross Bull Run he tried,
But there he left the wagon for Beauregard to ride.

Manassas was the battleground. the field was fair and wide;
They Yankees thought they’d whip us out, and on to Richmond ride;
But when they met our “Dixie” boys, their danger they espied;
They wheeled about for Washington, and didn’t wait to ride.

The Tennessee boys are in the field, eager for the fray;
They can whip the Yankee boys three to one, they say;
And when they get in conflict with Davis by their side,
They’ll pitch into the Yankee boys and then you’ll see them slide.

Our cause is just and holy, our men are brave and true;
We’ll whip the Lincoln cutthroats is all we have to do.
God bless our noble army; in Him we all confide;
So jump into the wagon and we’ll all take a ride.

The Southern Wagon (1861).

Wrongs Inflicted, Insults Spoken

Battle_flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America.svg

SOUTHRONS, hear your Country call you,
Up, lest worse than death befall you!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Lo! all the beacon-fires are lighted,–
Let all hearts be now united!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Advance the flag of Dixie!
Hurrah! Hurrah!
In Dixie’s land we take our stand,
And live or die for Dixie!
To arms! To arms!
And conquer peace for Dixie!
To arms! To arms!
And conquer peace for Dixie!

Hear the Northern thunders mutter!
Northern flags in South winds flutter!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Send them back your fierce defiance!
Stamp upon the cursed alliance!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Fear no danger! Shun no labor!
Lift up rifle, pike, and sabre!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Shoulder pressing close to shoulder,
Let the odds make each heart bolder!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

How the South’s great heart rejoices
At your cannon’s ringing voices!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
For faith betrayed and pledges broken,
Wrongs inflicted, insults spoken,
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Strong as lions, swift as eagles,
Back to their kennels hunt these beagles!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Cut the unequal bonds asunder!
Let them hence each other plunder!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Swear upon your Country’s altar
Never to submit or falter–
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Till the spoilers are defeated,
Till the Lord’s work is completed!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Halt not till our Federation
Secures among earth’s powers its station!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Then at peace and crowned with glory,
Hear your children tell the story!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

If the loved ones weep in sadness,
Victory soon shall bring them gladness–
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Exultant pride soon vanish sorrow;
Smiles chase tears away to-morrow!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie! Albert Pike, The War Song of Dixie or Dixie to Arms! (1861).

This is Your Flag

Recruitment poster for the 207th (Ottawa-Carleton) Battalion, CEF.
Recruitment poster for the 207th (Ottawa-Carleton) Battalion, CEF.

This is your flag — Fight for it.

This slogan of the 207th has
been made the title of a
stirring song dedicated to
the 207th Battalion — Read it —

Words by Miss Esther Knott.
Music by Donald Heins.

How would you care to see the old flag down, boys,
Would you care to see her dragged in the mire?

Could you bear to hear it said
That you crawled beneath the bed,
While the rest of us were standing up to fire?

Would you care to hear the Kaiser was in England;
That his fleet was on the way to Old Quebec?

Would you care to have the girls
With the pretty golden curls,
See you get a German bayonet in the neck?

Chorus:

Come on the (sic) boys, this is your flag,
And it surely means to you
That the world expects to see your tag
And believes that you’ll be true.
Come on, boys, this is your flag,
Show the red blood — and the blue —
For the men are white —
Who join the fight —
And surely you’ll be true.

The Song of the South

Sheet music cover for “The Song of the South” composed by James H. Huber. Note the labels under the two flags: The flag as it is (the original seven star design of the First National Confederate Flag); and, the flag as it will be (with the addition of many more states from the Old Union).

Thirteen Southern Stars

Confederate sheet music cover, “13 Southern Stars.”

Stars and Bars

Sheet music cover for “The Confederate Flag,” lyrics by Mrs. C. D. Elder and music by Sig G. George.

For Southern Rights Hurrah!

Cover of sheet music for “The Bonnie Blue Flag” by Harry Macarthy.

God Save the Southern Land

Sheet Music Cover; God Save the Southern Land; Cameron, S. F. composer; 1 score ([4] p.) : col. ill. ; 30 cm.; 1864; Confederate Imprints Collection, William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library, University of Alabama.

In Memory of the Confederate Dead

In Memory of the Confederate Dead; sheet music cover; composed by Jules C. Meininger; published at Louisville by McCarrell and Meininger.

Here’s to Our Confederacy

Cover of sheet music for the popular song The Bonnie Blue Flag.

The third verse of the song misstates the order in which the states seceded from the Union. The dates on which the states seceded are as follows:

South Carolina (December 20, 1860), Mississippi (January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10, 1861), Alabama (January 11, 1861), Georgia (January 19, 1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), Texas (February 1, 1861), Virginia (April 17, 1861), Arkansas (May 6, 1861), North Carolina (May 20, 1861), and Tennessee (June 8, 1861).

Thus, Alabama did not take South Carolina by the hand, but delayed its secession until the departure of Mississippi and Florida. The most likely reason for the discrepancy is literary license and a desire to fit within a certain poetic meter.

* * *

We are a band of brothers
And native to the soil,
Fighting for the property
We gained by honest toil;
And when our rights were threatened,
The cry rose near and far–
“Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star!”

CHORUS:
Hurrah! Hurrah!
For Southern rights hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

As long as the Union
Was faithful to her trust,
Like friends and like brothers
Both kind were we and just;
But now, when Northern treachery
Attempts our rights to mar,
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

First gallant South Carolina
Nobly made the stand,
Then came Alabama,
Who took her by the hand.
Next quickly Mississippi,
Georgia and Florida
All raised on high the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

Ye men of valor, gather round
The banner of the right;
Texas and fair Louisiana
Join us in the fight.
Davis, our loved president,
And Stephens statesman are;
Now rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

And here’s to old Virginia–
The Old Dominion State–
Who with the young Confederacy
At length has linked her fate;
Impelled by her example,
Now other states prepare
To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

Then cheer, boys, cheer;
Raise the joyous shout,
For Arkansas and North Carolina
Now have both gone out;
And let another rousing cheer
For Tennessee be given,
The single star of the Bonnie Blue Flag
Has grown to be eleven.

Then here’s to our Confederacy,
Strong are we and brave;
Like patriots of old we’ll fight
Our heritage to save.
And rather than submit to shame,
To die we would prefer;
So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

— Lyrics by Harry Macarthy (d. 1880).

The Bonnie Blue Flag.

The Star Spangled Cross and the Pure Field of White

The Star Spangled Cross and the Pure Field of White. Second Pattern Confederate National Flag.