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BLAKELEY Pvt. Thomas Washington Danner,
29th Illinois Infantry

On the ninth of April, sixty-five,
Long remember’d be the day, 
In range of Blakeley’s batteries
General Canby’s forces lay;
They had waded sloughs and marshes,
Been exposed to winds and rain,
Marched o’er concealed torpedoes
This proximity to gain.

For here, within their stronghold,
Dreading an open field,
Had convened Dick Taylor’s forces
To keep us from Mobile;
We tried their works with light guns,
But of these they did make sport,
Saying with such, it would take five years
And six months to take their fort.

Our good General, not wishing
To besiege their works so long,
Gave orders that assault be made
And carry them by storm;
Evening came on—at half past five
Was the appointed time;
Our reserves were then moved to the front,
And forward to battle-line.

Our artillery opened on their works,
Their virtue thought to try,
When they opened their embrasures
And gave us a reply,
Dropping shot and shell around us,
Cutting branches o’er our heads,
While their leaden missiles thick and fast
On deadly errands sped.

Our skirmishers along the line
Engaged them—meanwhile
Our outward line was forming,
Preparing for the trial;
Our batteries then opened,
Using guns both small and large,
And command was given round the lines.

O, it was a glorious sight to see
The gallantry displayed
Along the line of Union forces
When that fearful charge was made;
Dashing forward o’er obstructions,
Breasting a murderous fire
From which troops less determined
In confusion would retire.

Onward, rushing to the muzzle 
Of huge death-dealing guns,
Each vying to be foremost, 
And cheering as they run;
Mounting the rebel ramparts
With shouts they rend the ari,
And plant the “Emblem of the Free,”
Our glorious colors, there.

Three thousand Southern soldiers
And many heavy guns
Are trophies of the victory
Which this day has been won;
But these fruits of our conquest
Many never lived to see;
They perished in the conflict—
Peace to their memory be.

A tear will glisten in the eye
When comrades shall recite
How they fell amid the fight;
Eighth Illinois! Brave regiment!
Lost heavily to-day,
Being deployed as skirmishers,
They were foremost in the fray.

The Eleventh behaved gallantly, 
As is their wont to do;
They understand the business
Of putting rebels through;
The colors of the Old Forty-Sixth,
Borne on despite of ball,
Were among the first that floated
Triumphant o’er the walls.

Nine or ten men of the Seventy-Sixth
Dead on the spot did lay;
The Eighty-Third Ohio
Had two flagstaffs shot away;
The Twentieth Iowa, luckily,
Lost not a single man,
Though early on the rebel works
Their colors took a stand;
Of other troops I can not speak,
Yet know they all fought well—
The story of their valor 
Future history will tell,
How at Blakeley, under Andrews,
Carr, Veatch, Garrard, Hawkins, Steele,
They won a victory which gave them 
The City of Mobile.

How, upon the 12th, they crossed the bay, 
Took possession of the town
And into quiet camp-life
They once more settled down;
Here we will leave them, but I fear
That eyes of softest blue
Will do what Southern armed men
Have essayed in vain to do,
And many, many a Northern maid
May yet deep anguish feel,
Should her lover fall a victim
To some “Fair Rebel” in Mobile.

 

 

 

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