Sabine Cross--Roads
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Near Mansfield, Louisiana
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'Twas on the eighth of April;
Eighteen sixty-four,
A day to be remembered,
By the Thirteenth Army Corps.

From Pleasant Hill at two o'clock,
Before the break of day,
The Fourth Division took the front
And boldly led the way.

With Gen. Ransom in command,
We did not fear to go,
And met the Reb Dick Taylor, 
And charged upon the foe.

The night was dark and cloudy, 
The stars refused their light,
Yet everyone seemed cheerful--
They felt their cause was right.

They thought of home and downy beds
And wished their friends secure
And felt ‘twas only for their rights,
Such hardships they'd endure

At length the dawn of day appeared
And soon the sun arose,
And many that beheld its light,
Ne'er saw that evening close.

At six o'clock that morning,
The Rebs we overtook,
And soon began to skirmish
Close by a running brook.

They killed Lieut. Col. Webb,
Quite early in the day,
And others dead and wounded,
Upon the field did lay.

Till one o'clock that afternoon,
We drove them through the pines,
When Gen. Price with his command,
Did reinforce their lines.

Likewise, Dick Taylor, Kirby Smith,
And Mouton lay in sight,
All ready now for action,
And anxious for a fight. 

One of the 6th Missouri scouts
came passing to our right,
He told us that in half an hour
We might expect a fight.

He said he'd been where he could see
The rebels forming lines,
And all that hid them from our view,
Was a narrow strip of pines.

Their force, he said, was very large,
And on us soon they'd be,
And if we did not quick get help,
A hot time we would see.

This was a time that tried the nerves
Of men as true as steel,
They knew the time was close at hand,
When Rebel lead they'd feel.

The 4th Division still in front,
And no relief in sight,
We slung our knapsacks in a pile,
And rushed into the fight. 

To meet such heavy forces
And no relief at hand
It seemed to us bad management
By those in high command.

But Gen. Ransom, true and brave,
Would never disobey,
When ordered front with his command,
He boldly led the way.

The roar of musketry in front,
And cannon from our rear,
Dealt death among the Rebel ranks
To them it was severe.

The 23rd Wisconsin,
To their honor be it said,
They fought with desperation,
While round them lay their dead.

The 67th Hoosier boys
Showed patriotic grit,
And when outnumbered six to one,
They did not like to quit.

The 77th Illions,
Great bravery did they show,
With leveled guns and deadly aim,
They laid the Rebels low.

The 130th Sucker boys,
Whose bravery ever shines,
Sent death and great destruction
Into the Rebel lines.

The 96th Ohio,
Stood bravely to the work,
And not a many among them
Did seem disposed to shirk.

Their noble Colonel soon was killed,
So awful to behold,
His name shall shine in history,
Like letters wrote with gold,

His motto was his county's rights,
A man both great and good,
His principle was justice, 
We sealed it with his blood.

The buckeye boys of the 83rd
Cannot be praised too high,
They fought till fight was useless,
They were compelled to fly.

The old 19th Kentucky,
An honor to that State,
They showed a boldness unsurpassed
And met a cruel fate.

The 48th Ohio,
Was posted on their right,
And never did a regiment
Show better blood for fight.

In truth the whole Division
Did bravely stand the fire,
'till overwhelming numbers
Compelled them to retire.

The noble Colonel Landram,
Who led us on the field,
Was never known to falter,
He did not like to yield.

He viewed the lines from right to left
He saw they could not stand,
So thick and fast were falling
His more than Spartan band.

Great praise to Gen. Ransom,
He did command our Corps,
To gain the day and save his men,
No general could do more.

But now the day to us was lost,
We saw that we were beat,
And everyone now for himself,
Did hastily retreat.

The 3rd Division, just as good
As ever fires a gun,
Came up too late to save the day,
They too did have to run.

The 19th Corps of Yankee boys
Came up on double quick,
They forced their lines in gallant style
And held the Rebs in check.

Such volleys from their muskets,
I never heard before.
All honor to the 19th boys,
They saved the 13th Corps.

And now I've told you of the 8th,
And of our hasty flight,
To Pleasant Hill were Gen. Smith
Was ready for a fight.

The Rebs came up' he mowed them down,
Of victory we will boast,
He drove them back, he gained the 9th,
He saved what we had lost.

All honor to his noble name,
Of him we'd ever boast,
Had it not been for Gen. Smith,
Both Corps would have been lost.

And now my song is ended,
I hope 'tis not in vain,
And if the 8th to us was loss,
The 9th to us was gain. 

BILLY R. MOORE,
Pifer Co. C: 77th Illinois Vols.


NOTE: This was sent to me by Wayne Salisbury/WS7245@aol.com. His ggrandfather, William Soden, typed the above poem.  The poem was definitely typed by Mr. Soden sometime following the war as Mr. Salisbury has other material from his ggrandfather where the type is the same as that of the poem. He was a prisoner at Camp Ford, Tyler, TX. There is no indication that Mr. Moore was imprisoned with Wm. Soden, however, but both Mr. Snowden and Billy Moore fought at Sabin Cross Roads, April 8, 1864.  It is unknown how or where Mr. Soden got the poem.


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