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GUEST,Lighter Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare (61* d) RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare 12 Apr 20


As every Civil War buff here must know, some of the Confederates before the battle of Chancellorsville (1863) sang, "Old Joe Hooker, get out of the Wilderness...Get out as fast you can!"

The battle of the Wilderness (in the same locale) took place a year later. The following first-person recollection is in a similar vein:

Daniel Hartnett, “The Battle of the Wilderness,” Democratic Northwest (Napoleon, O.) (Feb. 6, 1890), p. 2:

“On the morning of [May 7, 1864]…we started for Spotsylvania C[ourt] H[ouse] and sang…
        O, hain’t I glad to get out of the wilderness,
        Out of the wilderness, down in old Virginia.”

Hartnett wasn't alone. The very next day, recalled Lt. Col. Horace Porter in "Campaigning with Grant," 1897, p. 83:

“A drum corps in passing caught sight of the general [Grant], and at once struck up a then popular negro camp-meeting air. Every one began to laugh, and Rawlins cried, ‘Good for the drummers!’ ‘What’s the fun?’ inquired the general. ‘Why,’ was the reply, ‘they are playing, “Ain’t I glad to get out ob de wilderness!”’ The general smiled at the ready wit of the musicians, and said, ‘Well, with me a musical joke always requires explanation. I know only two tunes: one is ‘Yankee Doodle,’ and the other is n’t.’”


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