Sunday, March 25, 2012

Union Poems 1863-1864

Have not discovered many knitting/sock -soldier poems in 1863-64. 
The Sanitary Reporter, by the United States Sanitary Commission, Vol. 1-2, 1863

At the Aid Society
Fold them up, they are warm and soft
As the delicate knitter’s heart and hand-
A pair of soft, blue woolen socks,
And love knit in with every strand.

More than this-there are dreams and prayers
Wove in like a mystic, golden thread—
Dreams that may stir a solder’s heart,
And prayers to bless a dying head.

It is not vain, it is not vain,
For love is blest, and prayer is strong,
To move the Arm that surely guides
The breasts that stem the tide of wrong.

And those who praying still believe,
Shall know the strength of human will,
They dream prophetic histories,
And through their faith their hopes fulfill.
M.R. B.

Leaves from the battlefield of Gettysburg: a series of letters from a field hospital; and national poems, 1864
By Emily Bliss Thacher Souder, Mrs. Edmund A. Souder

Knitting for the Army.
Inscribed to a lady of Christ Church.

All honor to the noble dame,
Of fourscore years and seven;
To loyal heart and willing hand,
Let honor due be given.
While youth and health the needles ply,
And knit the livelong day,
We look with loving pride on her
Who soon must pass away,
Yet wearies not, in hour of need,
When faithful sons for country bleed,
To guard their feet from winter’s cold,
Thus comforting the soldier bold.
Six pairs of hose, her busy hands
Have hastened to prepare;
A happy soldier must he be,
Whose feet these good socks wear.
The colors of our country’s flag
They also bring to view,
And heart and eye alike are cheered
With the red, white and blue;
So soft and warm and smoothly knit,
A soldier’s foot they well will fit;
Grateful must prove the favored one,
When told whose hands the works has done.

Another charm the soft wool holds,--
Let me the secret tell:
Three times, the loyal thirty-four
Within the circle dwell.
A stitch for every silver star—
Woe to the hand that seeks to mar
The flag that floats o’er land and sea,
Emblem, my country dear, of thee!
Withered the arm of every foe
That aims at thee a deadly blow;
Palsied the traitor’s serpent tongue,
Poisoning the fountain whence he sprung!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Union Poems 1862

Knitting/sock themed poetry--

Ballou's Monthly Magazine, 1862
The Dream of the Knitter. 
Loop by loop, loop by loop,
The white hands knit;
While over the eyes the fair lids droop,
And fancies flit
Wondrous and wild,
As dreams of a child—
And the soldier’s sock grows loop by loop.

Who is the one of the soldier troop
For whom she works?
And as o’er a lost loop the slight shoulders stoop,
In her heart there lurks
A longing to see
What the man may be
Who shall wear the stout sock growing loop by loop.

Is he weak and loose-jointed, with squint, halt and stoop?—
And a scowl comes unbid:
Or tall and erect, and like eagle’s sweep
The eyes flash ‘neath the lid?
And the blue eyes smiled
In their dreaming wild,
And the solder’s sock grew loop by loop.

And the well-known room, as the fire-flames droop,
The shadow drapes;
To her dreaming eyes the dark forms group
Into fearful shapes,
And all around
Is a camping-ground—
And slower the sock grows loop by loop.

Stretched on the ground lies a gallant group,
Hardy and brave:
Foremost of all the numberless troop
Who our land shall save;
And the young girl wept   
While the soldiers slept,
And the sock ceased growing loop by loop.

For the men have a haggard and hungry droop,
In their deep, fierce sleep;
And young and slight is one of the troop,
And dark brows keep
Watch over the eyes
Were the sleeping soul lies—
And the socks from his feet are worn loop by loop.

Ah, the merry blue eyes, that o’er the work stoop,
Are bewildered now!
Her full sweet lips have a sadder droop,
There’s a cloud on her brow.
Yet she merrily smiled.
As willful and wild
A broad spot of red she knits loop by loop.

Perhaps in the swelling years’ rapid swoop,
She would hear from the mark.
Who shall say if the girl was a foolish dupe
Of her dream in the dark?
The web of our life,
Spite of doubting and strife,
The Future will knit for us loop by loop.

The Rebellion record:, Edward Everett [published in ]1862
The Socks That I Knit.
By “A. I.”
‘Tis a clear twilight time in November,
With the day passing on into night;
In the west fades the glow of the evening,
In the east shines the moon, cold and white;
The trees, like the nation, have parted
With summer’s soft riches at length;
But now, see the wonderful structure,
So glorious in beauty and strength!

The fire-light flashes and flickers
On low white-washed ceiling and wall,
And plays on my poor tired fingers,
At work with their gray woollen ball.
It glimmers and shines on my needles,
And lights up the stocking I knit;
It’s a sock for some volunteer soldier,--
I hope that the stocking will fit!
I suppose it will suit in dimensions,
For feet of all sizes have marched
To go to the help of the nation,--
Long, short, and flat-footed, and arched.
And the yarn is from old Massachusetts,
And the shape is an excellent hit;
So I think it may do good to some one,
This gray woolen sock that I knit.

I hope it will comfort no traitor,
But one that is loyal and true,--
Some brave boy who’s left home and fortunes,
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue.
To his foot, O sock, be thy softest!
And never wear out, nor give way;
There’s none to do darning and mending
Down there in the midst of the fray.

Protect him from cold and from dampness,
And soften the hard leather shoe;
And on the long arch or night watches,
Do all that a stocking can do.
But stocking, I charge thee! return not,
Except with thy duty performed;
Till the season is turned into summer,
And the last rebel stronghold is stormed.

Let no knitting of mine be surrendered
On a soldier afraid of the fight,
Or be dropped by the way, or borne homeward,
In some needless and panic-stuck flight.
The swift-rolling ball in my basket,
Like destiny seems to unwind;
One vision comes up as I widen,
And one as I narrow and bind.

Shall my sock be sent off to Missouri,
For some of our brave Western boys?
Or down to Port Royal and Beaufort,
Where Sherman is making a noise?
Or off to the old sea-girt Fortress,--
Or where, on Potomac’s bright shore,
There are regiments drilling and waiting
For the word to go forward once more.

Perchance this soft fabric, when finished,
May cherish and invalid’s foot;
Or, in some wild scamper of horsemen,
Lie hid in a cavalry boot.
Perchance it may be taken prisoner,
And down into Rebeldom borne;
Peradventure—alas! the poor stocking—
It may by some rebel be worn!

It may be cut through with a sabre;
Its whit top-woe’s me!—be dyed red,
And on the cold field of a battle
May cover the foot of the dead.
How weirdly the needles are working—
Click, click—as they knit up the toe:
O stocking, you look to me ghostly,
In this question of where you shall go.

I see them flash down like a whirlwind,
Their long sabres gleaming on high;
the Stars and Stripes waving among them,
“For the Nation!” their fierce battle-cry;
O see them all pallid and drooping,
In sickness, in wounds, or in death;
And yet the faint pulses are loyal,
And yet Freedom nerves every breath.

The firelight wavers and trembles
With its shadowy, fitful glance,
Till the very coals and the ashes
Seem to look at me half askance;
And I  in the  chimney corner
In silence and solitude sit,
And work up and army of fancies,
In the volunteer sock that I knit.

It is all full of prayers and good wishes;
Stitch by stitch, as I knit, they’re wrought in;
In my heart burns the love of the Union—
On my breast is a Stars-and Stripes pin;
So if ever  sock could be loyal,
And fro a brave volunteer fit,
As well as soft, warm and elastic,
It must be this sock that I knit.

Ah, if I could only make blankets!
They should be of the warmest and best;
No night-wind should trouble the soldier,
While my blankets lay light on his breast.
And I wish that my hands could work faster,
And for every gray sock could knit two,--
You men who go forth to the battle
Don’t know what the women would do.

And perchance—who can tell?-the young soldier
May turn out a hero, and fight
His way to the heart of the Nation,
As well as to glory’s grand height;
And then, when his camp-chest is treasured,
And his uniform hung up with care,
Like Washington’s guarded and cherished,
My gray woolen sock may be there!
November, 1861

Lowell Daily Citizen and News, (Lowell, MA) Tuesday, January 14, 1862
We, and our “Knitting-Work”
By Laura Elmer.

Nimbly forward, knitting-pins,
When ye lag kind conscience dins;
Round and round-hast to the heel-
Click and clatter, glittering steel.

First the heel, and then the toe,
Shining bodkins quickly go.
O ye heed not, but we heed
All the good that’s in your speed.

Loop the pliant thread of wool,
In and out, each needleful;
“Slip-and-bind” the flexile string,
Till “toe’d off” ‘s the elastic thing.

So its mate-then click along,
Till we have a knitted throng;
“Pillow-case full” of the hose,
Is the rule, each woman knows.

Off now-toward your mission flit-
“Tis for loyal feet ye’re knit;
Keep them snug and warm each day-
We’ve no fear they’ll run away.

Stay, there’s one thing-just suppose
Rebels steal ye, fleecy hose!
Dare not shield their toes from damps-
‘Flame their soles, and coax the cramps.

Quick they’ll swear-but be ye sure,
‘Leglance ‘tisn’t – ‘two’n enquire!
Snap your thread and gape in holes-
Ho! their corns and swell their soles!

Dare not give to rebles aid-
For their comfort ye’re not made;
Let all traitors barefoot flee-
Be unto them P.P.C.
N.Y. Evening Post.

Dwight’s Journal of Music
To the Performances of the Belmont Theatrical Company, at Chickering’s Hall, in aid of the Volunteers, February 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th, 1862

A twelvemonth since, the lengthened nights to cheer,
Our actors raised their mimic pageant here,
And, while fair Peace in listless leisure smiled,
Their masquerade the lingering hours beguiled.
But now, when festal lights are few and dim,
And drum and trumpet swell the battle hymn,
Now that the sullen war cloud, dark and dun,
Hangs o’er the birthplace of our Washington,
And mad rebellion pours its angry wave
Hard by the hallowed precincts of his grave;
When our beleaguered Capital is set
With hedge of battery and of bayonet,
The thoughtful or the stern perchance may ask,
Why, at such season, try our trivial task?
A question pertinent and just, ‘tis true,
But still the subject has another view.
The bleakest climate has its summer hours,
When autumn’s fruits are heralded by flowers;
At epochs when long faces are in vogue
Austerity oft cloaks the clever rogue,
But breathing-space for laughter ever finds
Apology in philosophic minds;
And even when driven by Misfortune’s goad,
Courage and Pluck will whistle on the road.
Who is there, that reads history, who blames
That warring Greece still kept her Isthmian Games?
And earlier still, no doubt the somber ark
Heard in its cabin many a jocund lark;
And very like the cousins there together
Got up charades on deck in pleasant weather.
Indeed, all history shows there’s no affinity
‘Twixt Wisdom’s emblems and its fair divinity;
For Chaucer never chronicled the owl,-
Minerva’s favorite,-as a cheerful fowl.
But there’s no need of argument-you know
The proverb of the always-bended how;
And though our hearts are at the Tournament
For whose fierce lists our gallant beaux are bent,
We want some little merriment-like froth-
To show the yeast is working at the North.
The gay Germania’s strains resound no more
Where twinkling footsteps circle round the floor;
We’ve no more jolly rides in sleigh or cutter;
Papanti, too has lost his “Bread and Butter;
Logan and Dalton show their ebon faces
No longer ‘mid the crowd of ball-room Graces;
And our Champagne-domestic make or foreign-
Pops only for the prisoners at Fort Warren.
At whatsoever door the patriot knocks
He finds his sister patriot knitting socks,
While, on the floor, the scientific kittens
Study cat-hop-trios with one-fingered mittens.
All right—for if the brave are making breaches
It is but fair the fair should take some stitches;
But it is right, too, we put bound and measure
As well to knitting stockings as to pleasure,
And that some festive interlude should vary
The weightier labors of the sanitary,
Lest we, like misers in their quest of wealth-
Fall victims to an over-zeal for health.
Why, even in the cold Crimean trenches,
The soldiers had their stage and critic’s benches,
And, writers tell us, each heroic lad
Fought better for the jollity he had.
Indeed, in with or war, those gallant Zouaves
Disdained the doing anything by halves.
As there, the elastic thread and spirit light
Were good for honest work and honest fight,
So our young heroes show that merry dancers
Work none the worse for their Quadrille and “Lancers,”
For we well know that Burnside, Banks and Sherman,
Recruited their best soldiers fro “The German.”
But my Muse hurries me too far and fast;
I’m but the oyster of to-night’s repast;
And in your eyes-the stars of our astrology-
I read a dispensation from apology.
Though Shakespeare says the world’s a stage, or stages,
We trust that our seven acts may not seem ages;
And that you’ll hold our pastime no abuse,
But see its healthful and its serious use.
However stocks and manufactures are,
‘Twill serve to keep our spirits up at par;
And your rich bounty goes to swell the store
That cheers the exile on Potomac’s shore.
There, while the watch-fires flicker on his tent,
Through this long winter of his banishment,
Your thoughtful deeds and offices of love
Shall nestle in his bosom like the dove;
And while he lingers far from social charms
His heart shall bless his fair allies in arms,
Each of whom, here, in loyal measure, shares
His daily toil, his bravery and his cares;
Whose prayers make musical the silent night,
That Heaven guard him that guards his Country’s right;
Who, when in Gods’ good time, the day shall come
Which turns his footsteps toward his Northern home,
When, ‘neath Heaven’s rainbow for triumphal arch,
Her listening ear shall catch his homeward march,
Shall stand like beckoning angel at the door
To which his longing feet return once more,
Adorn with festal pomp her halls and bowers,
And welcome back her Knight with smiles and flowers.

The Daily Cleveland Herald, Cleveland, OH Saturday, March 15, 1862
To My Knitting Work.
The following lines were found by and officer of the 42d Ohio, in the toe of a stocking received from a kind friend in Ashland:

Say, tiny stitches, dost thou know
What fancies thou art weaving?
And dost thou see, as on you flow,
The bosom o’er thee heaving?
Ah! no, thou canst not know or tell
That sighs and tears embalm thee,
And prayers that neither shot nor shell
From Marshall, ere may harm thee.

And, little stitches, dost thou know
Thy destiny is – Glory?
I pray the feet on which you go,
May bring me back their story.
And if, where’ere you press the sod,
The war cry ring still louder
Oh tell thy wearer – Trust in God,
With one eye on the powder.

And comfort then his toes at night,
His heart needs no warm cover,
But shield his head, ye angels bright,
And if perchance, our country’s good
Demands his [immotation ?],
then build the alter, bring the wood,
“God will provide the’ [obiaties].”

The March [?] , from her [asure] home,
Smiles through yon dappled awning;
Oh does this new-born Spring time [?]
With Peace for her adoring?
Father, we own Thy judgments just,
Our native land deliver
Henceforth the Gift is not our trust,
We’ll worship first, the Giver.
Ashland, O. March 16th, 1862

The Ladies’ Repository, 1862
Helen and Mary, by Josephine Pollard

“Nonsense, Helen: there’s no reason
Why you should remain alone;
Nothing in the world to hinder—
Every moment is your own:
You can lounge, or walk, or visit,
Taking comfort as you go;
Dome and see me often, Helen,
I am seldom out, you know.

Household cares are so engrossing,
And my children are so small,
I have very little freedom,
Scarcely time to make a call;
But there’s nothing to prevent you,
“T is no task to grant this boon;
Come and see me often Helen,
come and see me very soon.”

“True, no children cling around me,
Claiming mother’s love and care;
Though no household cares distract me,
Duties spring up every-where.
In such times as these, dear Mary,
Want at many a threshold stands;
There is work to do in plenty—
Could I sit with folded hands?

Those brave men who have gone forward
For our country’s flag to fight,
Need warm garments to protect them
Through the wintery day and night.
Women’s hands must labor for them;
Women’s hearts must send good cheer
To the homes where widows languish;
Soothing many an orphan’s tear.

Mary, I’ve no heart to visit;
I’m not idle, though you say
I have plenty leisure moments.
Duties spring up every day.
Here are soldiers’ socks to finish;
Coverlets to baste and tack;
Slippers waiting for the binding;
Shirts and blanket yet to pack.

While brave men have left their fireside
To endure want, woe, and pain,
We should practice self-denial
Till sweet Peace returns again.
When these troublous times are over,
When with palms we deck the brow
I will come and see you, Mary,
Every day; but, O, not now.”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Union Poems - 1861

The theme of these poems is about knitting. Knitting was one of the activities women did to support the war efforts in the Union and in the Confederacy.

Boston Daily Advertiser [Massachusetts] Friday, October 18, 1861
The Warriors to the Women.

Oh! Women at home!—list awhile, we implore ye,
To us as we tell the sad tale of our woes;
Though ‘tis chilly and damp out, we forced are to camp out,
And march o’er rough roads in the thinnest of hose;
While in comfort your sitting—thick stockings be knitting,
For Winter is coming on, bitter and dreary
Through  benevolent channels, send blankest and flannels,
And show that our welfare to women dear!

Let the long needles flash ‘mid the drawing-room’s splendor,
And gleam in the light of the cottage’s fire,
Laps of matron and maiden, with worsted be laden,
And the fair hands that knit never falter not tire;
Such labors delight in, when we are out fighting,
They’ll give us fresh vigor to strike at the foe;
While the garments may warm us, the donors shall charm us,
For our hearts like our bodies shall feel the rich glow.

Then knit away, mothers, wives-sisters and daughters;
Our sweethearts (of course) will their fingers employ;
And when this inhuman war’s over-each woman
We’ll thank for remembering the “bold soldier boy.”
Thus in active communion, defending the Union,
A Needle Brigade will support with their charms,
And the Rebels confounded—our weapons all grounded,
We’ll swiftly obey your sweet order—“To Arms!”

Vanity Fair, 1861
The Knitting of the Socks.

The winter is upon us—we have passed the equinox:
Call the wives and maids and widows to the Knitting of the Socks!

By the Potomac river the wind is blowing cold;
The frost-nip rusts the maple, and dims the marigold;

And on Missouri’s borders are waving to and fro
The pine-trees and dry reeds that beckon to the snow:

And the sea-board is rebounding to the surging of the main,
As the fog-bells and the light-ships ring and rock in the hurricane.

O! a voice comes through the tempest, ringing clear like a crystal bell—
“All’s well!” adown the wind-gust, from the pacing sentinel:

And in the lull of the night-blast, between the swirls of sleet,
Comes the “stamp, stamp” of the sentinel, for cold, cold are his feet.

Fifty thousand maids and matrons, and widows a hundred score,
Up, up! and ply the needles, let our soldiers freeze no more!

And sweet music to your hearts will steal, as each pacing sentinel
Feels the sentiment he utters in his baritone,“All’s well!”

 Ho! buxom wife and widow, and maid with the glossy locks,
Draw round the loyal hearthstone to the Knitting of the Socks!
The Living Age, 1861
Knitting Socks.
Click, click, click! how the needles go
Through the busy fingers, to and fro-

With no bright colors of Berlin wool
Delicate hands to-day are full;

Only a yarn of deep, dull blue,
Socks for the feet of the brave and true.

Yet click, click, how the needles go,
‘Tis a power within that nerves them so.

In the sunny hours of the bright spring day,
And still in the night-time far away,

Maiden, mother, and granddame sit
Earnest and thoughtful while they knit.

Many the silent prayer they pray,
Many the teardrops brushed away,

While busy on the needles go,
Widen and narrow, heel and toe.

The granddame thinks with a thrill of pride
How her mother-knit and spun beside

For that patriot band in olden days
Who died the ‘Stars and Stripes” to raise—

Now she in turn knits for the brave
Who’d die that glorious flag to save.

She is glad, she says, “the boys” have gone,
‘Tis just as their grandfathers would have done.

But she heaves a sigh and the tears will start,
For “the boys” were the pride of grandame’s heart.

The mother’s look is calm and high,
God only hears her soul’s deep cry—

In Freedom’s name, at Freedom’s call,
She gave her sons—in them her all.

The maiden’s cheek wears a paler shade,
But the light in her eye is undismayed.

Faith and hope give strength to her sight,
She sees a red dawn after the night.

O soldiers brave, will it brighten the day,
And shorten the march on the weary way,

To knot that at home the loving and true
Are knitting and hoping and praying for you!

Soft are their voices when speaking your name,
Proud are their glories when hearing your fame,

And the gladdest hour in their lives will be
When they greet you after the victory.

The Living Age, 1861
Knitting Socks for Our Boys
Away with the “Shetland” that busied our hands
Last year, when the autumn the forests was dyeing!
Away with the “zephyrs” too bright and too soft
For our brave-hearted boys to the battle-field flying!

The knitting our grandmothers taught us to do,
With fingers as patient as ours were unsteady,
The course, homely work, long neglected, ignored,
Now rallies our efforts, and finds us all ready!

All ready! “All forward!” come swell the fair ranks;
Dear girls, we are knitting the Union together!
There’s enough of stanch timber about the old ship;
We have made up our minds the storm to out weather.

The Living Age, 1861
Knitting the Socks

By the fireside cosily seated,
With spectacles riding her nose,
The lively old lady is knitting
A wonderful pair of hose.
She pities the shivering soldier
Who is out in the pelting storm,
And busily plies her needles
To keep him hearty and warm.

Her eyes are reading the embers,
But her heart is off to the war,
For she knows what those brave fellows
Are gallantly fighting for.
Her fingers as  well as her fancy
Are cheering them on their way,
Who under the good old banner
Are saving their country to-day.

She ponders how in her childhood
Her grandmother used to tell
The story of barefoot soldiers
Who fought so long and well:
And the men of the Revolution
Are nearer to her than us,
And that, perhaps, is the reason
Why she is toiling thus.

She cannot shoulder a musket,
Nor ride with the cavalry crew,
But nevertheless she is ready
To work for the boys who do.
And yet in official despatches
That come from the army or fleet,
Her feats may have never a notice
Though ever so mighty the feet!

So prithee, young owner of muscle,
Or purse-proud owner of stocks,
Don’t sneer at the labors of woman,
Or smile at her bundle of socks.
Her heart may be larger and braver
Than his who is tallest of all;
The work of her hands as important
As cash that buys powder and ball.

And thus wile her quiet performance
Is being recorded in rhyme,
The tools in her tremulous fingers
Are running a race with Time.
Strange that four needles can form
A perfect triangular bound-
And equally strange that their antics
Result in perfecting “the round.”

And now, while beginning “to narrow,”
She thinks of the Maryland mud,
And wonders if ever the stocking
Will wade to the ankle in blood.
And now she is shaping the heel,”
And now she is ready “to bind,”
And hopes, if the soldier is wounded,
It never will be from behind.

And now she is “raining the instep,”
Now “narrowing off at the toe,”
And prays that this end of the worsted
May ever be turned to the foe.
She “gathers” the last of the stitches,
As if a new laurel were won,
And placing the ball in the basket
Announces the stocking as “done.”

Ye men who are fighting our battles,
Away from the comforts of life,
Who thoughtfully muse by your camp-fires
On sweetheart or sister or wife,
Just think of their elders a little,
And pray for the grandmothers too,
Who patiently sitting in corners,
Are knitting the stockings for you.
--Hartford Courant.

The Ladies’ Repository, 1861
If you’ve patriot blood in your veins!
For our boys on Southern plains,
Our boys on Southern hills,
Our boys in Southern vales,
By the woods and seams of Dixie’s land,
Are feeling the wintry gales.

For our Northern soldiers brave!
While the Stars and Stripes they wave!
While they the rebels in battle meet,
Be yours to fashion with fingers fleet,
The nice warm socks for the weary feet—
Knit-knit-knit !
For our boys on Southern vales,
By the woods and steams of Dixie’s land,
Are feeling the wintry gales.

The socks and mittens and gloves!
Each one that her country loves!
Lay by the useless, though beautiful toy,
With which you many hour employ,
And knit instead for the soldier boy==
For our boys on Southern hills,
Our boys on in Southern vales,
By the hills and streams of Dixie’s land,
Are feeling the wintry gales,

Narrow, and widen, and seam—
Till the flying needles gleam.
Knit till the mitten lies complete—
Knit till the socks for the weary feet
The eye of each patient soldier greet—
For our boys on Southern hills,

Our boys in Southern vales,
By the woods and steams of Dixie’s Land,
 Are feeling the wintry gales.
Work at it early and late:
Let no body’s zeal abate.
While rebels would ruin this glorious land,
Between us and them our brave boys stand,
Ready to peril their lives at command—
For our boys on southern hills,
Our boys in Southern vales,
By the woods and steams of Dixie’s land,
Are feeling the wintry gales.

With a warm heart and a true!
The stockings warm and new.
The mittens with finger and thumb complete,
The gloves for the drummers their drums to beat—
And the nice warm socks for the shivering feet—
For our boys on Southern hills,
Our boys in Southern vales,
By the woods and steams of Dixie’s land,
Are feeling the wintry gales.

And knit with many a prayer!
Pray God the lives to spare
Of loved ones soon on the battle field
The deadly weapons of war to wield,--
And pray that the foe before them yield—
For our boys on Southern hills,
 Our boys on Southern vales,
By the woods and steams of Dixie’s land,
Are feeling the wintry gales.

The Smokey Hill and Republican [Kansas] December 26, 1861
The Soldier’s Mother.
By the low west window dreaming,
With the lingering sunlight gleaming
Softly on her saintly brow –
Of her boy to battle marching,
Heat and thirst the loved lips parching,
Dreams she in the twilight now.

Yet with rapid fingers knitting,
In the ancient arm-chair sitting,
Musing of her soldier son –
Pausing in her thoughts of sorrow,
Wond’ring if upon the morrow
She can have the blue socks done.

Thinking of the soldiers steading
As she saw them on the landing,
Thinking how they sternly drill them –
Back and forth the needles going
From the socks, God only knowing,
If or not his feet shall fill them.

But a sound her quick ear greeting,
Starts her frightened heart to beating
With a troubled throb and surge,
For she hears the church-bell tolling,
And the solemn muffled rolling
Of slow music like a dirge.

Heeds she not the stitches falling,
As with eager accents calling
Some one passing by the door,
All her wild forebodings masking,
And with lips unfalt’ring asking
Whom this mournful dirge is for?

But she strives her grief to smother,
‘Tis not meet a solder’s mother
Thus should yield to sorrow vain.
Are there not a hundred others,
Stricken, desolated mothers,
Weeping for their brave one slain?

For their country still are bleeding
Soldiers brave who will be needing
Warm socks for their valiant feet –
Feet which ne’re before the traitors,
Like the feet of some bold praters,
Beat a cowardly retreat.

Other days have waned to twilight
Since the eve when such sad heart blight
Came down on that lonely one;
Yet beside the window sitting,
When her aged fingers knitting,
Dreams she still at set of sun.

On her brow a shadow resting,
And the sunset glory cresting
Like a crown the silver hair.
Back and forth the needles going,
Inch by inch the socks are growing,
And the tears her eyes o’erflowing
Are inwrought with silent prayer.
Could men see as see the angels,
These dumb socks, like sweet evangels,
 Would a wond’rous tale unfold;
Every stitch would tell its story,
And each seam would wear a glory
Fairer than refiner’s gold.