The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58957   Message #936281
Posted By: GUEST,Q
18-Apr-03 - 10:36 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: PRAIRIE GROVE
Subject: Lyr Add: PRAIRIE GROVE
Lyr. Add: PRAIRIE GROVE

Come ye gallant sons of Ioway, come listen to my song;
If you'll but pay attention I'll not detain you long,
About the gallant charge that was made at Prairie Grove,
An' we an' Southern rebels on equal numbers strove.

Through fields of blood we waded, was about to gain the day,
Until old Blount's artillery had then began to play;
The cannons loud did roar an' put 'em all to flight,
An' they all had to retreat by the dead hours of the night.

I was sorry the next mornin' to see the rebels' wives
A-huntin' their dead husbands, with melancholy cries,
As we put 'em all in order, just like on dress parade,
An' we put a board at each mans head, to mark where he was laid.

@Civil War

Sung by Judy Jane Whittaker, Anderson, MO, 1928.
#222 in Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 2, pp. 225, with music.
Randolph's version is the only published text; Laws (1964) considered it to be dubious, but several Confederate veterans told Randolph that they had heard it as early as 1864.

The battle at Prairie Grove, 10 miles south of Fayettville, Arkansas, took place Dec. 2, 1862. "The Confederate General Hindman attacked a Federal force under General Herron, who was driven from the field despite the artillery fire of Blount's division, which arrived during the fight. It was a barren victory, since Hindman's troops had no supplies and were forced to retire, upon which the Federals returned to their original position." Quoted from Randolph, p. 275.

Ely has mentioned this song as a Civil War favorite of his; I wonder if he has lyrics from another source.
Katlaughing has posted that she had an antecedent who fought in this engagement.