This Day in Dayton, 11 August
On August 11, 1862, the 72nd regiment received orders to move to Indianapolis the next day. That night a group from Dayton arrived in camp to serenade the soldiers. The song was patriotic and brought tears to many eyes.
Heavily falls the rain, wild are the breezes to-night;
But ‘neath the roof, the hours, as they fly,
Are happy, and calm, and bright.
Gathering round our fireside, though it be Summer time
We sit and talk of brothers abroad, forgetting the midnight chime.
Brave boys are they! gone at their Country’s call;
And yet, and yet, we cannot forget,
That many brave boys must fall!
Under the homestead roof, nestled so cozy and warm,
While soldiers sleep with little or naught to shelter them from the storm:
Resting on grassy couches; pillowed on hillocks damp;
Of martial fare how little we know till brothers are in the camp.
Thinking no less of them; loving our Country more
We sent them forth to fight for the flag their fathers had borne before.
Though the great teardrops started, this was our parting trust:
“God Bless you, boys! we’ll welcome you home when Rebels are in the dust!”
May the bright wings of Love guard them wherever they roam:
The time has come when brothers must fight, and sisters must pray at home!
Oh! the dread field of battle! soon to be strewn with graves!
If brothers fall, then bury them where our banner in triumph waves!
(McGee pp. 13–14)