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Lighter Lyr Add: The Battle of Shiloh (3) Lyr Add: The Battle of Shiloh (Roud 830) 17 Jun 20


The DT has a Confederate text of this song, collected by Sharp in Virginia in 1918.

This, a Union version, from the Sioux City Register (May 28, 1864):

                               GAINING the HEIGHTS of SHILOH

Come ye Union far and near,
To hear the lines I brought you here,
To fill each Union heart with cheer,
With a victory gained at Shiloh.

It was on April’s seventh day,
In spite of Jeff. Davis’ array,
We landed safe in Tennessee
And gain’d the heights of Shiloh.

All night we lay on the cold ground,
No tents nor shelters could be found;
And with the rain was almost drowned
To gain the heights of Shiloh.

Next day the burning sun did rise
Beneath the eastern cloudy skies,
Our gallant chief Lord Halleck cries—
"Prepare to march to Shiloh."

But when the Shiloh’s hove in view,
It would the bravest hearts subdue
To see the numbering Southern crew
Upon the heights of Shiloh.

Our northern boys with axe and hoes
Were not behind as you may suppose;,
They boldly faced the Southern foes,
To gain the heights of Shiloh.

Knapsacks and guns they did throw down,
And ran like slaves before the hounds;
We climbed the hills and gave three cheers
Upon the heights of Shiloh.

To Fort Corinth the Rebels fled,
They left their wounded and their dead;
I am sure the river did look red,
With the blood that was spilt at Shiloh.

There’s many a pretty maid will mourn,
For her true love will not return;
You cruel warriors when away,
Your bodies will lie at Shiloh.


Shorter and more artless than the Southern version, but like it based on "The Battle of [the] Alma" (in the Crimea, September 20, 1854):

http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/static/images/sheets/25000/21322.gif

Both sides claimed victory in the battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862), the North with greater justification.

The most noted enlisted participant was probably Sergeant Ambrose Bierce of Indiana, 19, future author of weird tales. "Owl Creek," the locale of his most famous story, runs at the edge of the battlefield.

Brigadier General Lew Wallace, future author of "Ben-Hur," was also present.


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