Stonewall

Come, stack arms, men! Pile on the rails,
Stir up the campfire bright;
No matter if the canteen fails,
We’ll make a rousing night!
Here Shenandoah brawls along,
And burly Blue-Ridge echoes strong,
To swell our brigade’s rousing song
Of “Stonewall Jackson’s way.”

We see him now—the old slouched hat,
Cocked o’er his eye askew;
The shrewd, dry smile—the speech so pat,
So calm, so blunt, so true.
The “Blue-Light Elder,” his foe knows well.
Says he, “that’s Banks—he don’t like shell;
Lord save his soul! we’ll give him hell!”
In Stonewall Jackson’s way.

SOV_CivilWar_StonewallJackson.1946.41Silence! ground arms! kneel all! caps off!
Old “Blue Lights” going to pray.
Strangle the fool that dares to scoff!
Attention! it’s his way.
Appealing from his native sod,
In forma pauperis to God,
Say “tare Thine arm; stretch forth thy rod,
Amen!” “That’s Stonewall Jackson’s way.”

He’s in the saddle now, Fall in!
Steady the whole brigade;
Hill’s at the ford, cut off, we’ll win
His way out, ball and blade!
What matter if our shoes are worn?
What matter if our feet are torn?
Quick-step! we’re with him before morn!
That’s “Stonewall Jackson’s way.”

The sun’s bright lances, rout the mists,
Of morning, and by George!
Here’s Longstreet, struggling in the lists,
Hemmed in an ugly gorge.
Pope and his Yankees, fierce before,
“Bay’nets and grape!” hear Stonewall roar;
“Charge, Stuart! Pay off Ashby’s score!”
In “Stonewall Jackson’s way.”

Ah! Maiden, wait and watch and yearn
For news of Jackson’s band!
Ah! Widow, read, with eyes that burn,
That ring upon thy hand;
Ah! Wife, sew on, pray on, hope on;
Thy life shall not be all forlorn
The foe had better ne’er been born
That gets in “Stonewall’s way.”

Penned during the Civil War, found in the coat pocket of a deceased soldier, Stonewall Jackson’s Way became known as the Song of the Confederate States of America. 

Books on the topic of this poem may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.

Leave a Comment
Print Friendly, PDF & Email