By James Kibby

19th Century America is one of my favorite periods in American history to study because it was in this century that the U.S. established itself as a superpower and faced it’s greatest challenge as a nation: civil war. It’s crazy to think about how bloody this war was, how bitter the sentiments were between both sides. Worst of all, this wasn’t Americans versus some foreign invader, this was Americans versus Americans. While the Union was preserved, and good came out of it in the abolition of slavery, we are still dealing with some of the fall out from it. I believe history can teach us a lot, and if we’re willing to listen we can avoid making the same errors that lead to this brutal conflict.

Bellow is the ballad I wrote in honor of those who died fighting for home and hearth.

O When the morning comes, O when the day begins
O’er fields of smoke and ash, as one we rise again
To make ready our rifles, to fall into form
And stand at attention before the coming storm

I’ve seen ghost in the mist, cries drone throughout these fields
If in death, even death, sworn men refuse to yield
Their cannons still echo the fight for home and hearth
Some under stars and stripes, some under stars and bars

These were the free and brave whom vaunted songs proclaimed
Who shook the ground of every hill and every plain
Hallowed by the lead and blood rained upon the dirt
Memory in lifeless stone laid on solemn earth

And like them I have joined and march to fife and drum
I’ve heard the whistling balls, I’ve heard their barrels hum
I’ve seen a company mowed down by shot and shell
I’ve breathed the soot of Hades, felt the fire of hell

Still the bugle calls us on ‘til it calls us home
Its requiem composed of solitary tones
One last watch in the night before our eyelids close
One more dawn to break upon these bodies reposed

O When the morning comes, O when the day begins
O’er fields of smoke and ash, as one we rise again
To make ready our rifles, to fall into form
And stand at attention before the coming storm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s