Stars & Stripes: SCENES 18-21

Scene 18: Washington

President Lincoln reads the Emancipation Declaration

Abraham Lincoln
I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves in the said and designated states and parts of states are and henceforward shall be free; and that the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognise and maintain the freedom of said persons. And I hereby enjoin on the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases where allowed, they labour faithfully for reasonable wages. And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the armed services of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

SCENE 19: A village in the South

The Emancipation Declaration is being read to the people. Enter the Spirit of America

Across the South the Proclamation read,
In cinereous quarters songs uprise,
Their former masters filling guns with lead
Dreading what lurks behind valiant eyes;
“Today you may go ‘soever you please,”
A mother leans her childrens’ heads to kiss,
Close by an old man sinks on work-chapp’d knees,
Counting the angels with arm-reaching bliss;
The day they’d fear’d they’d never live to see
Shines all about in perfect ecstasy!

The gates flung open, the Black Man enlists,
The First Louisiana rais’d the flag,
Most passionate anti-seccessionists,
Ready to stand & die for the dog-tag;
Impress on the world a cuttleaxe kind of tough
As ancient as the sands of Africa,
Gone storming Port Hudson’s foeheld hairpin bluff,
Bloodshed imbibing, one tribe together,
But part of something greater, to release
Egregious dogs, & leave the land at peace!

Enter the First Louisiana


Oh, Fremont he told them when the war it first begun
How to save the Union and the way it should be done
But Kentucky swore so hard and Old Abe he had his fears
Till ev’ry hope was lost but the colored volunteers

Oh, give us a flag
All free without a slave;
We’ll fight to defend it as our fathers did so brave;
The gallant Comp’ny “A”
Will make the rebels dance
And we’ll stand by the Union if we only have a chance

McClellan went to Richmond with two hundred thousand brave;
He said, “Keep back the n***ers” and the Union he would save;
Little Mac he had his way, still the Union is in tears
Now they call for the help of the colored volunteers


Old Jeff says he’ll hang us if we dare to meet him armed
A very big thing , but we are not at all alarmed;
For he first has got to catch us before the way is clear
And that is “what’s the matter” with the colored volunteer


So rally, boys, rally, let us never mind the past;
We had a hard road to travel, but our day is coming fast;
For God is for the right, and we have no need to fear
The Union must be saved by the colored volunteer


Then here is to the 54th, which has been nobly tried
They were willing, they were ready, with their bayonets by their side
Colonel Shaw led them on and he had no cause to fear
About the courage of the colored volunteer


SCENE 20: Gettysburg

Enter General Lee at the head of the Confederate army


I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

In Dixie’s Land where I was born in,
Early on one frosty mornin,
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie’s Land I’ll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.

Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.

Old Missus marry “Will the weaver,”
Willium was a gay deceiver;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

And when he put his arm around ‘er,
He smiled as fierce as a forty-pounder,
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie’s Land I’ll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.

Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie’s Land I’ll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.

Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.

Now here’s to the health to the next ole Missus
An’ all the gals that want to kiss us;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land

And if you want to drive away sorrow
Come and hear our song tomorrow
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie’s Land I’ll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.

Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.

Dar’s buckwheat cakes an Injun batter,
Makes your fat a little fatter;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

Then hoe it down and scratch your gravel,
To Dixie’s Land I’m bound to travel.
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie’s Land I’ll take my stand
to live and die in Dixie.

Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
Away, away, away down south in Dixie.

Enter the Spirit of America

Warring most audacious rode famous Lee,
Conspiring to break the enemy’s back,
To smash the Army of the Potomac,
Inflicting wrath divine, terminally!
A Copperhead officer rumors heard,
“At Gettysburg good shoes in good supply,”
There led his men & with this cast the die,
The day of greatest death no more deferr’d
Thro cowtail fields, where bare a bumble stirr’d,
‘Neath Lutheran cupola scraping sky!

As phlegm erupts from mankind’s waking throats,
Two lines are drawn like sabres heaving sand,
On Cemetery Ridge plunges the stand
Of Union boys up-buttoning coats,
Tied all together like a bridge of boats,
Ready to face whate’er the day’s demand;
Steady in cause & combat – two eyes scann’d
The scene… says Confederate Colonel Oates,
Seeing Roundtops as yet undefended,
“Seize the heights, this war might soon be ended!”

SCENE 21: Gettysburg: The Confederate lines

General Lee has made his headquarters at a stone house on Seminary Ridge.

Walter H Taylor
I have dire news most uncouth to report
From Rummel Farm, where Stuart’s horse have lost
All speed & all surprise, our handsome cost,
A stand-off full of slaughter as a sport,
Where Custer’s flame-hair’d screams fill every ear
“Come on you Wolverines!” – his sabre rais’d
Has stopp’d us dear, chopp’d down our endeavor,
Leaving intact the enemy’s ridg’d rear,
Their forces are compact, alert, unphas’d –
Attacking now might not be so clever.

General Lee
Let us attack, for in our boys we trust,
The Army of Northern Virginia
Has pomell’d foes one after another
Who dared to stand against a cause so just,
Our cannon claws crust, when we shall thrust
Into their heart a dagger, deliver
A blow so lethal the world will shiver,
A blow that shall forever be discuss’d,
For when I’ve ask’d my boys to charge this day
They did, ‘those men were heroes,’ men will say.

James Longstreet
This bodes not well, a hurricane awaits,
That line could withstand fifteen thousand men,
When Pickett, untried Pickett, has just ten,
To test their guns would only dissipate
Our strength, I say, sir, turn back from the gate.
Lee: We must attack, & if not now then when?
The Army of the Potomac a hen
Plump for plucking & cooking on a grate,
& then, with Lincoln’s sword from flay’d hands pris’d,
He’ll sue for peace, with that the South baptized!

Walter H Taylor
Lieutenant, take this down so none forgets,
Our troops are passing the Emmitsburg Road,
In tatter’d grey butternut coats they strode,
A glittering forest of bayonets!
All whom, before this humid sunshine sets,
Shall glory cover thickly, rights restor’d;
But what is this deadly discharg’d discord,
Us-withering with vicious, threatful frets…
Fleeing that wall of artillery fire,
It seems, for war, men no more show desire!

General Lee
Wait… wait… wait…….. some reach Cemetery Hill,
This day might yet be ours in many ways,
Wait… wait… alas… it seems… thro’ clearing haze,
Of death & slaughter all have had their fill,
Blame me for these calamities occur’d,
But all of this this will come right in the end,
We’ll talk it over afterwards, ’til then
Cry, ‘all good men must rally,’ spread the word
Along the lines, a new line to defend,
As I ride out to greet my bravest men!

General Pickett leads his men into the carnage – the Battle of Getysburg ends / Enter Lincoln checking the corpses / the bodies are cleaned / a platform is built on the field / men & women arrive in civilian dress


Abraham Lincoln
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Enter the Spirit of America

The glory of the Gettysburg Address,
Forever steadfast, cleverly worded,
Was, in the pauses, five times applauded,
When good folk felt America’s caress
In heart – one soul in all the laws they bless,
Never has there been a speech so lauded;
Never has the truth been so well order’d,
They heard it in the South – where soon, God Bless,
Peace granted precious liberty each slave,
In the Land of the Free & the Home of the Brave.

Enter Joseph Rodman Drake

Joseph Rodman Drake
WHEN Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there.
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies,
And striped its pure celestial white,
With streakings of the morning light;

Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
The sign of hope and triumph high,
Flag of the seas! on ocean wave
Thy stars shall glitter o’er the brave;
Flag of the free heart’s hopes and dreams
For ever float thyandard sheet!
With Freedom’s soil beneath our feet,
And Freedom’s banner oer us streams.



Oh say can you see,
By the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed,
At the twilight’s last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.

And thy rocket’s red glare,
Thy bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through thee night,
That our flag was still there.

Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

And where is that band
who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war
and the battle’s confusion

A home and a Country
should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out
their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save
the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight
or the gloom of the grave.

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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