Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


The Marching Song Of Sherman's Army on the Way to the Sea(a)

Of the many interesting characters that adorned our military annals not one occupies a warmer place in the affections of his countymen; and. moreover, he has the singular distinction of refusing to become Chief Magistrate when it was freely offered. In the progress of the nation but a little time will elapse when the names of most of those on the long roll of it's Presidents will be forgotten, but never that of the bold, gallant leader of the famous "March to the Sea."

It is in place here to give the famous army song which Sherman's veterans chanted on their victorious march. It was written by Adjutant Byers, of the Fifth Iowa, while in the prison at Columbia, South Carolina, and being set to music, was frequently sung by the captives as a relief to the monotony of their prison life. After Wilmington was taken it was sung in a theatre, producing immense enthusiasm.

        Our camp fires shone bright on the Mountains
        That frowned on the river below,
        While we stood by our guns in the morning
        And eagerly watched for the foe
        When a rider came out of the darkness
        That hung over the mountains and tree
        And shouted " Boys up and be ready,
        For Sherman will march for the sea.

        When cheer upon cheer for bold Sherman
        Went up from each valley and glen
        And the bugles re-echoed the music
        That came from the lips of the men For we knew that the stars in our banner
        More bright in their splendor would be,
        And that the blessings from Northland would greet us.
        When Sherman marched down to the sea.

        Then forward boys, forward to battle,
        We marched our wearisome way'
        And we stormed the wild hills of Resaca-
        God bless who fell that day
        Then Kenesaw frowned in its glory
        Frowned down on the flag of the free
        But the East and the West bore our standards
        And Sherman marched on to the sea.

        Still onward we pressed, till our banners
        Swept out from Atlanta's grim walls,
        And the blood of the Patriot dampened
        The soil where the traitors flag falls,
        But we passed not to weep for the fallen,
        Who slept by each river and tree
        Yet we twined them a wreath of the laurel
        As Sherman marched down to the sea.

        O, proud was our army that morning
        That stood where the pine darkly towers
        When Sherman said " Boys, you are weary;
        But to-day fair Savannah is ours.
        Then sang we a song for our chieftain,
        That echoed o'er river and lea,
        And the stars in our banners shone brighter
        When Sherman marched down to the sea.


(a) 1888. Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, Volume I. C.J. Krehbiel & Co. Printers and Binders, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Submitted by:
Donald E. Darby
National Patriotic Instructor
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil
January 2001

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