Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sherman's Boys In Blue


Philip and his wife Helen
wearing their medals
 This poem was written by my 2nd great-grandfather, Philip Roesch.  He was born in Baden, Germany and sailed to America on the William Nelson at the age of 14 with his parents and siblings.  He celebrated his 15th birthday in the middle of the ocean.  They settled in Potosi, Wisconsin.

In 1862 he enlisted as a Union soldier to serve in the Civil War. Three of his brothers also joined.  Philip kept a diary of his three years of service.  This diary, handwritten in German, was translated and published in Midland, Michigan, by R. K. Long in 1979.  The original and the translated version are in the Library of Congress. When he returned from the war, he married his sweetheart, Helen Cardey. She worked for the Women's Relief Corp of the Grand Army of the Republic while waiting for Philip to return home. They both received medals for their service. 

I feel privileged to share his poem with you.

Sherman's Boys In Blue
by Philip Roesch

T'was the twenty-second of July in eighteen sixty-four,
that round the doomed Atlanta our cannon loud did roar.
Our drums did beat to arms, and our bugles wildly blew,
the soldiers fixed their bayonets for the signal well they knew.

The Rebels rapidly advanced and soon came full in view
with musket, sabre and the lance before our boys in blue.
Still forward came the charging host, their courage well we knew.
We met them as the rocky coast meets the troubled ocean blue.

Our Sherman brave was in command with lips compressed he stood,
And Logan boldly meeting there the rushing charge of Hood.
Oh! What a charge--the crash the yells that rent the air!
Let other pens describe the scene, but your humble band was there.

The baffled Rebels did retreat, and from the strife withdrew,
and falling back, they left the field to Sherman's "boys in blue".
And, now long life to Sherman, and  all his boys so true.
who held aloft the stars and stripes and wore the suit of blue.

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