Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Civil War — One Side of the Story

On April 12, 1861, the Confederacy shelled Fort Sumter, S.C, which launched the American Civil War.

In honor of this day, I give you a poem written by a Southern lawyer, born in Winchester, Va., which later was set to music and is considered one of the most famous Rebel songs. I first heard it years ago on "Songs of the Civil War," which my friend Collin shared with me, and I found it very stirring.

Good Ol' Rebel Soldier

by Major Innes Randolph, C.S.A.

Oh, I'm a good old Rebel soldier, now that's just what I am;
For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn!
I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won,
And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.

I hates the Constitution, this "Great Republic," too!
I hates the Freedman's Bureau and uniforms of blue!
I hates the nasty eagle with all its brags and fuss,
And the lying, thieving Yankees, I hates 'em wuss and wuss!

I hates the Yankee nation and everything they do,
I hates the Declaration of Independence, too!
I hates the "Glorious Union" -- 'tis dripping with our blood,
And I hates their striped banner, and I fit it all I could.

I followed old Marse Robert for four years, near about,
Got wounded in three places, and starved at Point Lookout.
I cotched the "roomatism" a'campin' in the snow,
But I killed a chance o' Yankees, and I'd like to kill some mo'!

Three hundred thousand Yankees is stiff in Southern dust!
We got three hundred thousand before they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever and Southern steel and shot,
But I wish we'd got three million instead of what we got.

I can't take up my musket and fight 'em now no more,
But I ain't a'gonna love 'em, now that's for sartain sure!
I do not want no pardon for what I was and am,
And I won't be reconstructed, and I do not care a damn!

(Thanks to

According to Poems and Songs of the American Civil War, "Edward VII, the Prince of Wales, heard it at a reception in London and called it 'that fine American song with the cuss words in it.'"

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