BLAKELY by Thomas Washington Danner (1845-1903)

On the ninth of April sixty five, Long remembered be the day. In range of Blakely's batteries, General Canby's forces lay. They had waded sloughs and marshes, Marched over concealed torpedoes, This proximity to gain. For here with in their stronghold, Dreading an open field, Had convened Dick Taylor's forces, To keep us from Mobile. He had tried their works with light guns, But of these they did make aport, Saying with such it would take five years And six months to take their fort. Our good General not wishing To beseige their works so long Gave orders that assault be made and carry them by storm. Evening come on -- At half past five Was the appointed time Our reserves were then moved to the front, And formed in battle line. Our artillery opened on their works, Their vertue thought to try, When they opened their embrasures, And gave us a reply, Dropping shot and shell around Cutting branches over our heads, While their leaden thick On deadly earrands sped. Our skirmishes along the line, Engaged them -- Meanwhile Our outward line was forming, Preparing for the trial, Our batteries then opened, Using guns both large and small, And command was given around the line, Battallion's, Foward: Charge: O, it was a glorious sight to see, The gallantry displayed, Along the lines of Union Forces, When that fearful charge was made. Dashing foward, over obstructs, Breasting a murderous fire, From which troops less determined, In confusion would retire. Onward rushing to the muzzles, Of Huge death-dealing guns, Each vieing to be foremost, And cheering as they run. Mounting the rebel ramparts, With shouts that rend the air, 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 first 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, The story of the struggle, How the men did bravely fight, Eighth Illinois: Brave Regiment, Lost heavely today, Being deployed to be 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 Bore on despite the balls Were among the first that floated, Triumphant, over the walls. Nine brave men of the Seventy-sixth, Dead on one spot did lay, The Eighty-third Ohio Had two flag staffs 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 cannot speak, Yet know they all fought well, The story of their valor, Future history will tell, How at Blakely, under Andrews, Carr, Veatch, Gerrand, Hawkins, Steele, They won a victory which gave to them, The city of Mobile. How upon the twelfth they crossed the bay, Took possession of the town, And into quite a camp life They once more settled down. Here we leave them -- but I fear, That eyes of softest hue 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.