Sunday, December 3, 2006

INCIDENTS & ANECDOTES: "The Ragged 48th"

Last week, I posted "Song for the 48th P.V.V.," which was authored by Private David Hamilton of Company E while the regiment was encamped on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. The following is another of Hamilton's works, a poem titled "The Ragged 48th."

The Ragged 48th
By Private David Hamilton

What men are those now rushing past
With double quick and musket grasp
And white shirt tails about half mast
The ragged 48th

And are those the men who came to fight
For stars and stripes and country's right
Allowed to go in such a plight
Poor ragged 48th

To fight the rebels those men came
From Pennsylvania State of fame
To gain that mean inglorious name
The ragged 48th

Oh, Pennsylvania if you know
How mean and ragged we all go
Why do you not some pity show
On the ragged 48th

For they are men who will not flinch
Though cold and hunger both should pinch
They never will retreat an inch
The ragged 48th

Our colonel he does try and try
To get our quarters warm and dry
But Sam's agents plays it on the sly
On the ragged 48th

And when we have the rebels licked
I suppose we'll get ourselves kicked
And on some desolate island sticked
Poor ragged 48th

But never mind they'll see the day
They'll want us again at this same play
And when they ask us we'll say nay
We're the ragged 48th

But the Union is our motto still
And fight for it we ever will
And never forget Old Bunker Hill
Hurrah for the ragged 48th

(Private Hamilton's works can be found at the United States Army Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

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