Friday, January 30, 2015
The Morgan Raid - a Civil War poem
The poem below is taken from a book of Civil War poems written by J. H. Callin. On the title page he says, “written in the Army.” This amazing man, who lived on long after his Civil War days, must have been indeed remarkable to have written 171 poems, in ink, in a bound journal, all in perfect rhyme, in his tent after a long day of fighting. My aunt Vicki received this journal of poetry from her grandfather, John Q. Callin, John H. Callin’s second son.
This poem was most likely written after he and his men of the 21st Independent Battery of the Ohio Light Artillery were dispatched to head off General Morgan’s army. The 21st was deployed to Camp Dennison, Ohio, at the end of May 1863, and they put up a solid resistance in July when the Confederates attempted to capture the area. Morgan and his troops entered Ohio on 13 July, and battled their way north. Eventually, Morgan was flanked and cut off by Union forces on July 26, 1863 at the Battle of Salineville, near Lisbon, Ohio. At 2:00 p.m., they surrendered to Union Maj. George W. Rue of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry near West Point, Ohio approximately 8 miles northeast of Salineville.
The Morgan Raid
When Morgan plunged across our lines,
There to enact his dark designs,
He roused the northern patriot minds,
To a state of desperation.
He knew his blade—that wily chief,
And plunged the peaceful heart of grief,
Then hastened off, his stay was brief,
To his sword of depredation.
He saw the vistige of his clan,
And heard of deeds of that bold van,
Which fired the heart of Northern man,
To restrain this bold invader.
Who strewed the ground with burning red,
And numbered many with the dead,
Then on into sped
The vile and intrepid raider.
Ah, here he met the Union brave,
Numerous as Pacific waves,
Awaiting only to make graves,
For the Morgan devastators.
The Union breasts were filled with ire,
And Federal hearts were now on fire,
And wilder than Secession’s pyre,
Burned the hate of raid creation.
Then in pursuit our braves were sent,
Who proudly on their mission went
To capture were their soul’s intent,
And feed them on our rounders.
We pressed them hard o’er field and stream
While oft the unsheathed sabre gleams,
As over hills our weary teams,
Dragged the heavy Bryfs Twelve Pounders.
And on Ohio’s looming banks,
Surrounded by the Federal ranks,
Ended were all the raiders pranks,
By Union braves and musketry.
When our malignant cannons roar’d,
Morgan resigned his rebel sword,
And many traitors there were lowered
By our fatal artillery.
And now within States Prison shades,
Thou there can think of all thy raids,
From private to guerilla grades,
Thou chief of blood and misery.