O! TOUCH NOT MY SISTER'S PICTURE [or THE CONFESSION OF A REBEL PRISONER] Words by Mrs. E.S. Kellogg Music by T. Martin Towne (1835-1911?)

On the bloody field of battle, One dark night, with stealthy tread, I was prowling 'round for plunder, 'Mid the dying and the dead; As I roughly seized a locket, Pressed upon a throbbing breast, Words of pleading, faintly uttered, Sought my purpose to arrest. CHORUS: O! Touch not my sister's picture, Let it lie upon my heart; With the parting kiss I promised I would never with it part. "'Tis my dearest earthly treasure, But to you of little worth; Would you rob a fellow soldier, Dying on the cold, damp earth? Gentle Mary, thy dear image, With its sweet, approving smile, As I fondly gazed upon it Kept me pure among the vile.".--CHORUS "Lonely orphans from our childhood, With no one to love beside, She hath been my more than mother -- Friend and counselor and guide. By the memory of thy mother, Let me plead with thee once more, Though I but repeat the language Which I vainly used before." FINAL CHORUS: "O! Touch not my sister's picture." With these words he sank to rest. In a new-made grave I laid him, With that locket on his breast.

Thanks to Benjamin Tubb of
The Music of the American Civil War (1861-1865)
for permission to use his MIDI file of
O! Touch Not My Sister's Picture.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without permission.

Thanks also to Charles J. Ten Brink
of the Third Battery, First Michigan Light Artillery,
for allowing us to reproduce this song from the Battery Web site.

Songs of the Union