War on Two Fronts: Shiloh to Gettysburg

By John Cannan | Go to book overview

SAMUEL LOVER


"The Girl I Left Behind"

A tearful song lamenting the pains of leaving a lover to face possible death on the fields of battle, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" enjoyed a great deal of popularity among Union troops. Yankee bands played the song as Hooker led the Army of the Potomac out of the encampment at Falmouth to move on Chancellorsville and the Iron Brigade went into the fight at Gettysburg to the same tune.

The hour was sad I left the maid, a lingering
farewell taking,
Her sighs and tears my steps delay'd, I thought
her heart was breaking;
In hurried words her name I bless'd, I breathed
the vows that bind me,
And to my heart in anguish press'd the girl I left
behind me.
Then to the East we bore away, to win a name
in story,
And there where dawns the sun of day, there
dawns our sun of glory;
Both blazed in noon on Alma's height, where in
the post assign'd me,
I shar'd the glory of that fight, Sweet Girl I left
Behind Me.

-411-

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