James M. Dalzell - Autograph Poem Signed For Sale
JAMES M. DALZELL - AUTOGRAPH POEM SIGNED JAMES M. DALZELL
A Union veteran's poem rejects the idea of honoring Union and Confederate soldiers together.
Autograph Poem signed twice: "James M. Dalzell/Private Dalzell" at end, 3p, 6½x8¾. Accompanied by Autograph Note signed: "James M. Dalzell/Private Dalzell", 1p, 6½x8¾. Washington, D.C. He has written the original place and date of the poem, "Washington, D.C., Feb. 1, 1867", at the end of the Poem and of the ALS. Headed: "The Blue and The Gray, 1867./By Private Dalzell./Music by G.F. Root./Copied in my own hand July 4, 1920 at 82." In full: "I./You may sing of the Blue and the Gray/And mingle their Lines in your rhyme,/But the Blue that we wore in the fray/Is covered with glory sublime./So no more let us hear of the Gray/The symbol of Treason and Shame,/We pierced it with bullets, away!/Or will pierce it with bullets again/(Chorus) Then up with the Blue [word crossed out] and down with the Gray,/And hurrah for the Blue that won us the day!/II./Of the Rebels who sleep in the Gray/Our silence is fitting alone/But we cannot afford them a boy/Of sorry, a tear, or a moan,/Let Oblivion seal up their graves/Of Treason, Disgrace and Defeat./Had they triumphed the Blue had been slaves/And the Union was lost in retreat./(Chorus.) Then up with the Blue and/ down with the Gray/And hurrah for the Blue that won us/the day./III./Of the Rebels whom Mercy still spares/To boast of the traitorous fray/No boy in the Blue thinks or cares/For the struggle is ended today/Let them come as they promised to come/Under Union and Loyalty too./And we'll hail them with fife and/with drum./And forget that they fired on the Blue./Chorus: Then up with the Blue & c/IV./As they carried Your Flag all the way,/Ye Northmen ye promised the Blue,/That ye'd never disgrace with the Gray/Their color so gallant and true/Will ye trace on the leaves of your souls/The Blue and the Gray in one line,/And mingle their hues on the scrolls/Which glorify Victory's shrine/(Chorus/changed) And cheer for the false and hiss/at the true,/And up with the Gray and/down with the Blue./V./Let the Traitors all go, if you may, -/Your heroes would punish the head -/But never confound with the Gray/The Blue, whether living or dead./O remember the price that was paid -/The blood of the brave and the true,/And you never can suffer to fade/The laurels that cover the Blue,/(Chorus) Then up with the Blue/and down with the Gray,/And hurrah for the Blue that won us the day" His Autograph Note, bound with the poem, reads in full: "The Blue and The Gray, written Feb. 1867, & published by the entire press at the time, in reference to a Southern poem of [2 words illegible] which celebrated the decoration alike of some graves of both Blue & Gray by a lady in the South. Long before Logan's order for Decoration Day, My poem is a reply. The press took it up as a cause and treated the idea of Decorating and the result of the controversy was the establishment soon after ((1867) of both Decoration Days - North & South, separate and distinct memorials observed annually. The lLue and the Gray as I wrote and published it in February 1867 now follows." Dalzell has penned an additional note at bottom of the first page of poetry: "Next day after Gettysburg a famous, unnamed S. C. Colonel told me in reply to my question, what they would have done with us if we had been defeated. 'Make Slaves of every d___ one of you.'" This poem by James M. Dalzell (1838-1924) was among published works and publicized memorial activities that inspired Civil War General John A. Logan to designate May 30, 1868 as Decoration Day. Logan, then Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, a group of Civil War veterans, issued a general order "for the purpose of...decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country." Dalzell became a member of the Grand Army and initiated the first Civil War soldiers reunion in Caldwell, Ohio on September 15-16, 1874. As chairman, founder and former soldier, he had obtained the sanction and attendance of General William T. Sherman and staff. Following WWI, Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day, and the practice now honors all deceased American servicemen. Dalzell adopted the non de plume of "Private Dalzell" to honor and not forsake the thousands of privates who served in the great conflict with little or no glory for their sacrifices. Likewise, this cause was a catalyst in his efforts to establish the national reunion of soldiers of the Blue and the Gray. For Dalzell, other postwar activities included working as a clerk in Washington, studying for and becoming a lawyer, writing many articles for newspapers, serving in the Ohio legislature and "taking the stump" for political favorites, such as fellow Ohioans, Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) and James A. Garfield (1881). Poem and letter bound together at left edge with conservator's tape. Pencil not (unknown hand) in left margin of p1. Overall, fine condition.
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