Although "All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight" is generally recognized as the premier Wartime poem about the loneliness and fear associated with sentry duty, these stanzas by an anonymous Southern soldier (which appeared, among other places, in the June 1863 issue of The Southern Literary Messanger) are as powerful and affecting as their more famous counterparts.

According to Francis F. Browne, writing in Bugle Echoes: Poems of the Civil War in 1886, "There has been no little dispute as to the authorship of this poem. The Philadelphia "Press," in 1861, said it was 'written by a private in Company G, Stuart's Engineer Regiment, at Camp Lesley, near Washington.' But it may now be stated positively that it was written by a Confederate soldier, still living. The poem is usually printed in a very imperfect form, with the fourth, fifth, and sixth stanzas omitted. The third line of the fifth stanza affords internal evidence of Southern origin."

All eight stanzas are presented here.

"The Countersign"

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Last modified 18-April-2001