Posted by: Democratic Thinker | March 30, 2010

“Stack Arms!”

The American Civil War—Victory, and Defeat

The surrender of Lee at Appomattox virtually ended the war. The only considerable Confederate force left in the field was that under command of Johnston, and it surrendered to Sherman on April 26, 1865. The following was written in prison at Fort Delaware upon hearing of the surrender of General Lee.



“Stack Arms!”


“STACK ARMS!” I’ve gladly heard the cry
When, weary with the dusty tread
Of marching troops, as night drew nigh,
I sank upon my soldier bed,
And calmly slept; the starry dome
Of heaven’s blue arch my canopy,
And mingled with my dreams of home
The thoughts of Peace and Liberty.

“Stack Arms!” I’ve heard it when the shout
Exulting ran along our line,
Of foes hurled back in bloody rout.
Captured, dispersed; its tones divine
Then came to mine enraptured ear.
Guerdon of duty nobly done.
And glistened on my cheek the tear
Of grateful joy for victory won.

“Stack Arms!” In faltering accents, slow
And sad, it creeps from tongue to tongue.
A broken, murmuring wail of woe,
From manly hearts by anguish wrung.
Like victims of a midnight dream,
We move, we know not how nor why;
For life and hope like phantoms seem,
And it would be relief—to die!

Captain Joseph Blythe Alston, Company F.,    
27th South Carolina, Hagood’s Brigade.