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Poetic Reflections

Excerpted from History of Danby
by
J.C. Williams
Pg 294-295

"It is due to those who enlisted from this town to say, that they were mostly men of intelligence and good moral character, and were brave and faithful soldiers. When the nation was threatened with destruction, and in its hour of peril, these men sacrificed the comforts of home, leaving their business, their families and all they held dear, enduring untold hardships and sufferings , from toilsome marches through mud and over frozen ground, exposure to heat and cold, privations in food and raiment, from diseases in camps and wounds on the field, some of them meeting death far from home and kindred, for its preservation. We have no honors too great, or gifts too precious to bestow upon such men. Those who survived, returned to their homes after serving out their term of enlistment, to be again useful citizens It is our duty to celebrate in song and in story, the sacrifices, virtues and zeal of these men , transmitting them to our children and grandchildren, that they may derive new courage and zeal in " performing their duty to their country and their God." For us, in common with the nation, let our sentiments be expressed in the following impressive lines:

"Four hundred thousand men;
The brave , the good, the true;
In tangled wood, in mountain glen
Lie dead for me and you.
Four hundred thousand of the brave
Have made our ransomed soil their grave
For me and you.

"In many a fevered swamp,
By many a black bayou
In many a cold and frozen camp
The weary sentinel ceased his tramp,
And died for me and you.
From western plains to ocean tide
Are stretched the graves of those who died
For me and you.

"On many a bloodied plain
Their ready swords they drew,
And poured their life blood, like the rain
A home and heritage to gain--
To gain for me and you
Our brothers mustered by our side
They marched, and fought, and bravely died,
For me and you

"Up many a fortress wall
They charged; those Boys in Blue;
‘Mid surging smoke and volleyed ball.
The bravest were the first to fall.
To fall for me and you.
The noble men, the nations pride,
Four hundred thousand men have died
For me and you.

"In treason's prison hold,
their martyr spirits grew
To stature like the saints of old.
While ‘mid agonies untold,
They starved for me and you;
The good , the patient, and the tried,
Four hundred thousand men have died
For me and you

"A debt we n'er can pay
To them is justly due;
And to the nation's latest day,
Our children's children still shall say
‘They died for me and you."
Four hundred thousand of the brave
Made this our ransomed soil their grave
For me and you."



Source: Williams, J.C. "History and Map Of Danby Vermont" Rutland: McLean and Robbins, 1869; Contributed by Thomas Risdon Baine

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