Hailed as a national classic from the moment of its publication in 1867, this poem is perhaps the most touching and expressive of all the "reconciliation poems" written after the War's end. It was inspired by the following brief news item, which appeared in the New York Tribune: "The women of Columbus, Mississippi, animated by nobler sentiments than many of their sisters, have shown themselves impartial in their offerings made to the memory of the dead. They strewed flowers alike on the graves of the Confederate and of the National soldiers."

"The Blue and the Gray"