JOINED THE BLUES by John Jerome Rooney

Says Stonewall Jackson to "Little Phil": "Phil, have you heard the news? Why, our 'Joe' Wheeler -- 'Fighting Joe' -- has gone and joined the blues. "Ay, no mistake -- I saw him come -- I heard the oath he took -- And you'll find it duly entered up in yon great Record Book. "Yes, 'Phil,' it is a change since then (we give the Lord due thanks) When 'Joe' came swooping like a hawk upon your Sherman's flanks! "Why, 'Phil,' you knew the trick yourself -- but 'Joe' had all the points -- And we've yet to hear his horses died of stiff or rusty joints! "But what of that? -- the deed I saw to-day in yonder town Leads all we did and all 'Joe' did in trooping up and down; "For, 'Phil,' that oath shall be the heal of many a bleeding wound, And many a Southland song shall yet to that same oath be tuned! "The oath 'Joe' swore has done the work of thrice a score of years -- Ay, more than oath -- he swore away mistrust and hate and tears!" "Yes, yes," says Phil, "he was, indeed, a right good worthy foe, And well he knew, in those fierce days, to give us blow for blow. "When 'Joe' came round to pay a call -- the commissaries said -- Full many a swearing, grumbling 'Yank' went supperless to bed: "He seemed to have a pesky knack -- so Sherman used to say -- "Of calling, when he should by rights be ninety miles away! "Come, Stonewall, put your hand in mine, -- 'Joe's sworn old Samuel's oath -- We're never North or South again -- he kissed the Book for both!"

Postwar Remembrances

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Last modified 18-April-2001