The following poem from the Civil War Song Sheets collection highlights the sacrifice made by individual Civil War soldiers. It’s entitled, “The Dying Confederate’s Last Words.”
Dear comrades on my brow the hand of death is cast,
My breath is growing short, all pain will soon be past;
My soul will soar away to that bright land of bliss,
Far from the pain and woe of such a world as this.
I left my home and friends to battle with the foe,
To save the Southern land from misery and woe;
I gave my life my all (oh! not to win a name,
Or have it e’en enrolled upon the scroll of fame.)
Not so, I only wished a helper brave to be
To save the glorious South from cruel tyranny;
My soul with ardor burned the treacherous foe to fight,
And take a noble stand for liberty and right.
But oh! how weak is man! It was not God’s decree,
That I should longer live a helper brave to be,
Before another day I shall be with the dead,
And ‘neath the grassy sod will be my lonely bed.
And should you see the friends that nurtured me in youth,
Tell them I tried to walk the ways of peace and truth;
O! tell my mother kind the words that she has given,
Have led her wayward child to Jesus and to heaven.
Farewell! farewell! my friends my loving comrades dear,
I ask you not to drop for me one bitter tear;
The angels sweetly stand and beckon me to come,
To that bright land of bliss that heavenly realm my home.
Source: Library of Congress.
Image Credit: Harper’s Weekly, September 17, 1864.