In 2001, I discovered a poem in the handwriting of my great, great grandfather, Joseph D.
Whitson,.of Jackson County, IL. He served in Company H of the 27th IL Inf. during the
Civil War. The poem was attributed to Mr. George W. Cross of Company G (Mercer Co.,
Illinois) of the 27th.
The document was in very poor condition when I found it, having been folded many times and
stuffed in my great grandmother, Pruella Whitson Richardson's, famiy bible for Lord
knows how long. Through the help of some friends, the document has been restored. It is
still in bad condition but at least it's now completely readable.
The poem is about the Battle of Belmont, Missouri which took place in May of 1861. I hope
everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed discovering it.
The Battle of Belmont
By G. W. Cross
Company G, 27th IL Volunteer Infantry
Came all my friends both far and near
A song I'll sing for volunteer
And also for the timid ones
That stay home in sixty one.
The best of our men are far away
Drilling and maneuvering every day
To learn to whip the southern hounds
And make their rebel kingdom sound.
On the Seventh of November, Sixty One
The battle we fought and victory won
Twas on that day we did them haunt
And took their cannon at Belmont.
Our Colonel was as brave a man
As ever in battle did command
For thru the fight that lasted long
We cheered the 27th on.
The fight that day began at ten
Our force was twenty eight hundred men
And ere that night we did return
Their property and tents did burn.
We fought them hard from ten till four
And many a poor man we passed o'er
But could not stop to ease his pain
For on we went victory to gain.
Hot was the fight that day with all
For many a brave man there did fall
And as the dead and wounded fell
Huzza, my boys were going well.
The balls flew hot and fast around
When Lieutenant Lytle their flag hauled down
And when it fell, we gave three cheers
For all the union volunteers.
And on that night when we returned
On board the Tyler an' Lexington
Kind were the men with their scant fare
And passed the water everywhere.
The men on these boats so true
Should be remembered by all of you
For their kindness to us that night
May God assist them in every fight.
And when they are sent down the river
They'll make the Southern rebels quiver
For shot and shell that day will fall
Till loud for quarters they will call.
On that these days were fast and gone
Contented would I end my song
And on my couch would repose
And pray to God to save my foes.
This song is credited to G. (George) W. Cross. A handwritten transcript was done by my
great, great grandfather, Joseph D. Whitson on an unknown date. Joseph served in Company H
of the same Infantry unit. The document was found in 2001 in my great grandmother, Pruella
Whitson Richardson's family bible.
Mary Riseling, November 18, 2002