Sabine Cross Roads
Submitted by David
Clemens of Monterey Peninsula College, California.
Twas on the eighth of April,
The poem was among genealogical papers kept by his Grandmother.
In Eighteen Sixty-four,
A day to be remembered,
By the thirteenth army corps.
From pleasant hill at two o'clock,
Before the break of day,
The fourth division took the front,
And boldly led the way.
With General Ransome in command,
We did not fear to go,
And meet the reb Dick Taylor,
And charge upon the foe.
The night was dark and cloudy,
The stars refused their light,
Yet everyone seemed cheerful,
They felt their cause was right.
The thought of home and downy bed,
And wished their friends secure,
And felt twas only for their rights,
Such hardships they'd endure.
At length the dawn of day appeared,
And soon the sun arose,
And many that beheld its light,
Ne'er seen that evening close.
At six o'clock that morning,
The rebs we overtook,
And soon began to skirmish,
Close by a running brook.
They killed Lieutenant Col. Webb,
Quite early in the day,
And others dead and wounded,
Upon the field did lay.
Till one o'clock that afternoon,
We drove them through the pines,
When Gen. Price with his command,
Did reinforce their lines.
Likewise Dick Taylor, Kirby Smith,
And Monton lay in sight,
All ready now for action,
And anxious for a fight.
One of the Sixth Missouri scouts,
Came passing to our right,
He told us that in half an hour,
We might expect a fight.
He said he'd been where he could see,
The rebels forming lines,
And all that hid them from our view,
Was a narrow strip of pines.
Their force he said was very large,
And on us soon they'd be,
And if we did not quick get help,
A hot time we would see.
This was a time that tried the nerves,
Of men as true as steel,
They knew the time was close at hand,
When rebel lead they'd feel.
The 4th division still in front,
And no relief in sight,
We slung our knapsacks in a pile,
And rushed into the fight.
To meet such heavy forces,
And no relief at hand,
It seemed to us bad management,
By those in high command.
But Gen. Ransome true and brave,
Would never disobey,
When ordered front with his command,
He boldly led the way.
The roar of musketry in front,
And cannon from our rear,
Dealt death among the rebel ranks,
To them it was severe.
The 23rd Wisconsin,
To their honor be it said,
They fought with desperation,
While round them lay their dead.
The 67th hoosier boys,
Show patriotic grit,
And when out numbered six to one,
They did not like to quit.
The 77th Illinois,
Great bravery they did show,
With leveled guns and deadly aim,
They laid the rebels low.
The 130th Sucker boys,
Whose bravery ever shines,
Sent death and great destruction,
Into the rebel lines.
The 96th Ohio,
Stood bravely to the work,
And not a man among them,
Did seem disposed to shirk.
Their noble colonel soon was killed,
So awful to behold,
His name shall shine in history,
Like letters wrote with gold.
His motto was his country's rights,
A man both great and good,
His principle was justice,
He sealed it with his blood.
The buckeye boys of the 83rd,
Cannot be praised too high,
They fought till fight was useless,
They were compelled to fly.
The 19th Kentucky,
All honor to that state,
They showed a boldness unsurpassed,
And met a cruel fate.
The 48th Ohio,
Was posted on their right,
And never did a regiment,
Show better blood for fight.
In truth the whole division,
Did bravely stand the fire,
Till overwhelming numbers,
Compelled them to retire.
Their noble Col. Landrum*,
Who led us on the field,
Was never known to falter,
He did not like to yield.
He viewed the lines from right to left,
He saw they could not stand,
So thick and fast were falling,
His more than spartan band.
Great praise to Gen. Ransome,
He did command our corps,
To gain the day and save his men,
No General could do more.
But now the day to us was lost,
We saw that we were beat,
And everyone now for himself,
Did hastily retreat.
The 3rd Division just as good,
As ever fired a gun,
Came up too late to save the day,
They too did have to run.
The 19th corps of yankee boys,
Came up on double quick,
They formed their lines in gallant style,
And held the rebs in check.
Such volleys from their muskets,
I never heard before,
All honor to the 19th boys,
They saved the 13th corps.
And now I've told you of the 8th,
And of our hasty flight,
To pleasant hill where Gen. Smith,
Was ready for a fight.
The rebs came up he mowed them down,
Of victory we will boast,
He drove them back he gained the 9th,
He saved what we had lost.
All honor to his noble name,
Of him we'd ever boast,
Had it not been for Gen. Smith,
Both corpes would have been lost.
And now my song is ended,
I hope 'tis not in vain,
And if the eighth to us was lost,
The eighth to us was gain.
Billy R. M. Fifer, Co. C, 77 Illinois Vol.
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* The typed trancription of the original hand written poem gives this name
as "Sandrum". Since Col. Landram (often spelled "Landrum") was the division
commander, this has to be a mistranscription of his name and we have changed