Today in History:

Music of the Civil War

Rallying Songs of the South


Maryland, My Maryland! J.R. Randall
"Maryland, My Maryland," the state song of Maryland, was a favorite rallying song of the Confederacy. Baltimore poet James Ryder Randell wrote the words in April 1861 while in Louisiana, after he read the New Orleans Delta newspaper account of the skirmish in Baltimore between Massachusetts troops and southern sympathizers in Baltimore. One of Randell's friends was the first casualty. Jenny Cary first sang the song to the tune of the German folk song in July 1861, after the First Battle of Bull Run, in darkness before General Beauregard's tent. Beauregard's troops gradually joined in the refrain.

The Yellow Rose of Texas J.K.
"The Yellow Rose of Texas" is a song still popular today that was first published in 1858 by Pond & Co. of New York for the black-faced minstrel shows. It became a favorite rallying and marching song of the Confederate soldiers; in particular, for General John Hood's "Texas Brigade."

Roll, Alabama, Roll F. Townshend
"Roll, Alabama, Roll" (1864) is based on an earlier American sea chanty. The lyrics of the song, written by a Confederate sailor, Frank Townsend, are about his ship, the Alabama. The Alabama was built in Birkenhead, England by Jonathon Laird & Sons. The ship was assigned to attacking Yankee merchant ships and reportedly sank or captured 56 merchant ships from 1862 to 1864. On June 19, 1864 the Alabama was sunk off the coast of Cherbourg, France by the man-of-war U.S.S. Kearsarge.
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