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Poetry:
Mother Lincoln's Melodies


The Confederate soldier enjoyed making fun of the panoply of successively bumbling, incompetent Federal Generals sent forth by Abraham Lincoln to defeat the South.  This modest collection of nursery rhymes, based on originals which are surely familiar to us even today, were collected in scrapbooks by Lizzie Cary Daniel when she was a young girl in wartime Richmond.

Mrs. Daniel pulled out her old scrapbooks in 1893, supplemented them with selections from wartime issues of The Southern Literary Messenger and The Illustrated News, and published them as CONFEDERATE SCRAPBOOK for the benefit of a memorial bazaar held in Richmond.

The Union Generals mentioned in the rhymes are:
(I) John Pope, who had his troubles with Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of Second Manassas;
(II) John Pope again, who lost his uniform coat and hat to J.E.B. Stuart in a raid on Pope's headquarters;
(III) John Pope and Irwin McDowell, who were both defeated by Southern forces at Manassas (Pope by Robert E. Lee at Second Manassas and McDowell by Joseph E. Johnston and P.G.T. Beaureagrd at First Manassas); and
(IV) Ambrose Burnside, whose army was thrashed by Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, and James Longstreet at Fredericksburg along the banks of the Rappahannock River.
(V)  The "man from the North" mentioned presumably is Ulysses S. Grant, who suffered stunning casualties when he went up against the "man from the South" - Robert E. Lee - at Cold Harbor.
(VI) "Old Mother Seward" was Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Seward.

MOTHER LINCOLN'S MELODIES
Authors Unknown

I
Little Be-Pope,
He lost his hope,
"Coz" Jackson he couldn't find him.
He found him at last,
And ran very fast,
With his tail hanging down behind him.

II
Poor Johnnie Pope
Has lost his coat,
But let him never mind it;
When he comes down
To Richmond town,
There he'll be sure to find it.

III
Pope and McDowell
Fighting for a town,
Up jumped General Lee
And knocked 'em both down.

IV
Burnside, Burnside, whither doth thou wander?
Up stream, down stream, like a crazy gander?

V
The man in the North,
He pledged his troth,
To find a Richmond barber,
But the man in the South,
He mashed his mouth
At a place they call Cold Harbor.

VI
Old Mother Seward,
She went to the Lee-ward,
To get her dog a Union bone.
She got to Manassas,
And saw them harass us -
Lord! how Mother Seward did groan.

VII
Yankee was a bad man, Yankee was a thief,
Yankee came to my house and stole a side of beef;
I went to Yankee's house, Yankee he had fled,
Caught him on the battle-field, and there I killed him dead.


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