Tag Archives: Civil War poetry

“The Lively Old Lady” – A Poem About Civil War Knitting

Yesterday, I sat in an archive basement, looking through material about women’s efforts to support the Union during the Civil War. Yesterday was also my Grandma Barbara’s birthday. She is no longer with us, so it was a bittersweet moment … Continue reading

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“Freedom!” Their Battle-Cry: 1863 Poetry For African American Soldiers

Poetry has many form and uses, and this writing form has legendarily been used to celebrate heroes. Some of the earliest epics in World History – Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey – were crafted in poetry form. Through meter, rhythm, and … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: Melville On Pickett’s Charge

So few poets chose to write about the American Civil War that it is sometimes described as the “unwritten war.” Herman Melville, however, was among the few who chose to do so. His collection of poems on the war, in … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: On Stonewall Jackson’s Death

“I have always desired to die on Sunday.” — General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. On May 2, 1863, shots rang out from the 18th North Carolina line in the woods at Chancellorsville. Unbeknownst to the soldiers at the time, they were … Continue reading

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“The Women Who Went To The Field”

In 1892, Clara Barton shared a poem she had written about women during the Civil War when she spoke at a meeting of the National Woman’s Relief Corps. She paid tribute to the women who came alongside the soldiers and … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: March into Virginia

By July 1861, the tension described in “Misgivings” and “The Conflict of Convictions” had been realized. The United States was at war with itself. In his poem “March Into Virginia,” Melville describes the first battle fought between the North and … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: Herman Melville and the Civil War

It was November of 1860, and America had a new president. He was highly popular among the northern states, but he was widely disliked in the South. At the same time you have Herman Melville, famous for his 1851 novel … Continue reading

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Longfellow, the “Organ of Muskets,” and the Civil War

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Rob Wilson ECW’s December 24 re-posting of Meg Groeling thoughtful piece about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1863 poem “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” was, for me, a welcome introduction to the work. No … Continue reading

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Civil War Christmas Poetry – Soldier’s Perspective

I’ve been reading through a collection of Civil War Christmas stories and poetry. So…just for something a little something different this weekend in the holiday season, I thought it would be nice to share some poems. The tone in these … Continue reading

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O Captain! My Captain!

There are many excellent reasons why Walt Whitman is considered the poet laureate of the American Civil War. His poetic style is much closer to that of the 20th century’s free verse rather than the labored rhyme schemes so popular … Continue reading

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