by Murray Walton Craig

They bid us quit the hopeless strife –
They bid us lay our weapons by –
And they’ll in mercy spare our life,
Although we’re traitors deemed to die,
But hark, the sound that comes from afar:
“Re-enlist for the war.”

And do the idiots dream that we
Will e’er our holy cause desert,
Or cease our struggle to be free,
And ev’ry freeman’s right assert!
Then bark the watchword from afar:
“Re-enlisted for the war.”

From ev’ry camp-fire in the land,
From Florida to Tennessee,
From Texas to the fleeting sand
Washed by the broad Atlantic sea!
O hark the sound that comes from afar:
“Re-enlisted for the war.”

All glory to that gallant band
Of noble privates in the ranks!
In arms this patriot phalanx stand,
And well deserve a station’s thanks.
Their watchword comes from near and far:
“Re-enlisted for the war.”

And let the silent tear-drop fall
For those who died upon the field:
No more they answer Duty’s call –
With patriot blood their faith they’ve seal’d.
Their dying watchword sounds afar:
“Re-enlisted for the war.”

Full many a mother mourns a son,
Full many a wife is widow’d now;
Of many a lost, beloved one
Remorseless Death has paled the brow;
But still the watchword comes from far:
“Re-enlisted for the war.”

Were ever people yet subdued
Who knelt at such a sacred shrine,
With souls so thoroughly imbued
With Freedom’s principle divine,
Whose watchword soundeth from afar:
“Re-enlisted for the war!”

Were ever people conquer’d yet,
Whose trust in God has never sway’d,
Whose soil from freemen’s blood was wet,
Whose hearts unflinching courage serv’d,
Whose watchword sounded, near and far:
“Re-enlisted for the war!”

–Columbus, Miss, March 8, 1864