DIXIE'S SUNNY LAND by Private John Lauffer (1846-1921)

Come friends and fellow soldiers brave, Come listen to our song; About the rebel prisons, and Our sojourn there so long. Our wretched state and hardships great, No one can understand But those who have endured this fate In Dixie's sunny land. When captured by this "chivalry," They stripped us to the skin, But failed to give us back again The value of a pin -- Except those lousy rags of gray, Discarded by their band, And thus commenced our prison life In Dixie's sunny land. With a host of guards surrounding us, Each with a loaded gun. We were stationed in an open plain, Exposed to rain and sun. No tent or tree to shelter us We lay upon the sand, Thus side by side great numbers died In Dixie's sunny land. This was our daily bill of fare In that secesh saloon: No sugar, tea or coffee there, At morning, night, or noon; But a pint of meal, ground cob and all, Was served to every man, And for want of fire we ate it raw, In Dixie's sunny land. We were by these poor rations, soon Reduced to skin and bones; A lingering starvation, worse Than death we could but own. Three hundred lay both day and night, By far too weak to stand; Till death relieved their sufferings, In Dixie's sunny land. We poor survivors oft were tried By many a threat and bribe, To desert our glorious Union cause, And join the rebel tribe; Though fain we were to leave the place, We let them understand We'd rather die, than thus disgrace Our flag, in Dixie's land. Thus dreary days and nights rolled by, Yes, weeks and months untold; Until the happy time arrived, When we were all parolled. We landed at Annapolis, A wretched looking band, But glad to be alive and free, From Dixie's sunny land.

Soldier Life