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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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