PUBLISHED MONTHLY IN THE INTEREST OF
CONFEDERATE VETERANS AND KINDRED TOPICS
S. A. CUNNINGHAM, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
THE GIRLS WE LEFT BEHIND US.
BY B. L. RIDLEY, TENNESSEE.
In the December Veteran I read with much interest Hon.
W. J. Brown's address at Jackson, Miss., on "The Girl I
Left Behind Me." The recollection of that old song stirred
memories of those old days in the sixties when under the
music of the ear-piercing fife and spirit-stirring drum. It al-
ways revives the sleeping embers of war-time memories, and
I often wonder why it was not adopted as the national
anthem of the Confederacy instead of "Dixie." It ever pro-
pelled the martial spirit that determined action in battle, and
in its symphony it was the soothing balm to our rough-and-
tumble life in camp. It is a panacea to drive away humdrum
life, and I recall old times at home when 1 stepped to its
dulcet sound like "a three-year old champing his bit and ready
to go." As a soldier boy when the drum and fife played it
I stepped to the tune on the march in harmony with the exact
time its martial accents prompted. When the band played it,
I was taken back home to father and mother and loved ones
and above all, to the sweet and winning smiles of the "Dulcimea" of my youth,
"Who bade me go with smiling tears,
Who scorned the renegade,
Who, silencing my trembling Fears,
Watched, cheered, then wept and prayed;
Who nursed my wounds with tender care
And then when all was lost,
Who lifted me from my despair,
And counted not the cost."
In this ruminating all the old war songs come before me
noww "Just before the Battle Mother," "Tramp, Tramp,
Tramp, the Boys Ave Marching." "Lorena," "Joe Bowers,"
"Life on the Vicksburg Bluff," "When This Cruel War Is
Over." "Light Up the Camp Fire, Boys, Bring in the Old
tambourine," "Tune Up the Fiddle and the Bow," and "The
Girl I Left Behind Me." It beat "The Yellow Rose of
Texas," is more thrilling than "The Bonnie Blue Flag" and
was most affecting to the soldiers of all the sentimental pro-
ductions to entertains us on the tramp. It causes still more
music to my soul than the stringed instrumental pieces, of
those days: "Leather Breeches," "Devil's Dream," "Fisher's
Horn Pipe." "Billy in the Low Ground," "Karve Dat Possum,"
or Toddy in the Morning." As the spirit-stirring strains
attract our old soldiers' ears, they begin to pat and the soul-
Inspiring song strikes others, they begin to dance, and the
welkin fairly rings when you come to these lines:
"If ever I get through this war,
And Lincoln's chain don't bind me.
I'll make my way to Tennessee.
To the girl I left behind me."