Here you will find Civil War songs that Corporal Regan documents in his American Civil War diaries. Corporal Regan collects these songs from the newspapers, from the lips of his comrades around the camp-fire, and from personal observation and experience, during his three year enlistment with the 9th Mass. Vols. He continues this documentation after his enlistment, until the end of the war in 1865, while working in Washington D.C. for the army quartermaster. There, he delivers horses and mules to the Army of the Potomac, and the Army of the James.
Corporal Regan documents over one hundred Civil War songs and poems, entering them into his diary at the time he finds them, giving us a sense of how the soldiers and people felt as the war progressed. This makes Corporal Regan's Civil War diaries a truly unique and one-of-a-kind, Civil War history reading experience!
Below is one of the many interesting entries from Corporal Regan's diaries where he documents a song about the Navy's grog ration.
Sept. 19, 1862 - Lee and his army is gone; he was retreating across the river while the burial parties were burying the dead under a flag of truce. The army began to move toward the Potomac early this morning, our division marched through Sharpsburg about nine o'clock AM. When we reached the river we halted and the batteries commenced to throw shell into the woods across the river; the Johnnies sent two shell in return and one of them killed a man in our brigade.
While passing through Sharpsburg, I noticed that nearly every house bore the marks of bullets and cannon balls; some of the houses are entirely destroyed, and nearly all of them have been broken into in the absence of the owners, and robbed of everything moveable. The people were beginning to return as we were coming through the town and they treated us very kindly; the ladies gave us fruit and coffee and such refreshments as the rebels did not find or could not carry away.
About four oclock in the afternoon the 4th Michigan made an expedition across the river and captured a forge belonging to some cavalry regiment, two cannon, twelve prisoners, four horses, and some arms.
An order was issued from the Navy department recently to discontinue the grog ration in the United States Navy; a sailor who cannot see the wisdom of such a measure, and who looks upon it as an encroachment upon sailors rights; has written the following verses, which I consider too good to be lost, so I copy them.
Farewell To Grog in the U.S. Navy.
Ward room of the U.S. Ship
Time-Aug. 31, 1862
Oh, messmates, pass the bottle 'round
Our time is short, remember;
For our grog must stop, and our spirits drop,
On the first day of September.
Yet memory oft will backward turn
And dwell with fondness partial,
On the days when gin was not a sin,
Nor cocktails brought courts-martial.
Jack's happy days will soon be past
To return again, oh, never,
For they've raised his pay five cents a day,
But stopped his grog for ever.
(The boatswain's mate pipes: "All hands splice the main brace")
All hands to splice the main brace call,
But splice it now in sorrow,
For the spirit-room key will be laid away
For ever, on tomorrow.
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More Civil War songs
Stonewall Jackson. A Rebel Song.
The Star Spangled Banner
Soldiers Marching Song.
Auld Lang Syne.
The Bounty Jumper.
The Cavalry Escort.
A ballad of the Second Wisconsin Cavalry.
Tell Mother I Die Happy. Dying Soldier's Song.