Mount Jackson in Shenandoah County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Our Soldiers’ Cemetery
Erected 1997 by the Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number A-65.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil.
Location. 38° 45.29′ N, 78° 38.053′ W. Marker is in Mount Jackson, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker is on Main Street (U.S. 11) south of Nelson StreetTouch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mount Jackson VA 22842, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. To All Confederates (a few steps from this marker); The Confederate Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Confederate Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); Mt. Jackson General Hospital, CSA (within shouting distance of this marker); Moore House 1872 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mount Jackson (approx. 0.6 miles away); 5855 Gospel Street (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mayor Joseph A. "Joe" Williams (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mount Jackson.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Shenandoah County Civil War related Markers.
1. The Sword of Robert Lee
The stanzas quoted on the north face of the monument are from the poem “The Sword of Robert Lee” by Abram Joseph Ryan (1839–1886) published in the collection entitled Father Ryan’s Poems published in 1879. The entire poem is reproduced below.
The Sword of Robert Lee
by Abram Joseph Ryan
Forth from its scabbard pure and bright,
Flashed the sword of
Far in the front of the deadly fight
High o’er the brave in the cause of Right
Its stainless sheen like a beacon light
Led us to Victory.
Out of its scabbard where full long
It slumbered peacefully,—
Roused from its rest by the battle’s song
Shielding the feeble, smiting the strong
Guarding the right, avenging the wrong
Gleamed the sword of Lee.
Forth from its scabbard high in air
Beneath Virginia’s sky—
And they who saw it gleaming there
And knew who bore it knelt to swear,
That where that sword led, they would dare
To follow and to die.
Out of its scabbard!—never hand
Waved sword from stain as free,
Nor purer sword led braver band,
Nor braver bled for a brighter land,
Nor brighter land had a Cause so grand,
Nor cause a chief like Lee.
Forth from its scabbard! how we prayed,
That sword might victor be;—
And when our triumph was delayed,
And many a heart grew sore afraid,
We still hoped on while gleamed the blade
Of noble Robert Lee.
Forth from its scabbard! all in vain
Bright flashed the sword of Lee;—
’Tis shrouded now in its sheath again,
It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain;
Defeated yet without a stain,
Proudly and peacefully.
2. The Bivouac of the Dead
The stanzas quoted on the south face of this monument are from the 1847 poem “The Bivouac of the Dead” by Theodore O’Hara. It was written to honor the dead during the Mexican-American War. Many of the soldiers and officers on both sides of the War Between the States were Mexican-American War veterans. The full poem is reproduced below.
The Bivouac of the Dead
by Theodore O’Hara
The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last Tattoo;
No more on life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame’s eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards, with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.
No rumour of the foe’s advance
Now swells upon the wind;
No troubled thought at midnight haunts
Of loved ones left behind.
No vision of the morrow’s strife
The warrior’s dream alarms;
No braying horn, nor screaming fife,
At dawn shall call to arms.
Their shivered swords are red with rust,
Their plumed heads are bowed;
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
Is now their martial shroud.
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
The red stains from each brow;
Are free from anguish now.
The neighing troop, the flashing blade,
The bugle’s stirring blast,
The charge, the dreadful cannonade,
The din and shouts are past;
Nor war's wild note, nor glory's peal,
Shall thrill with fierce delight;
Those breasts that never more may feel
The rapture of the fight.
Like the fierce Northern hurricane
That sweeps the great plateau,
Flushed with triumph, yet to gain,
Come down the serried foe;
Who heard the thunder of the fray
Break o’er the field beneath,
Knew the watchword of the day
Was “Victory or death!”
Long had the doubtful conflict raged
O’er all that stricken plain,
For never fiercer fight had waged
The vengeful blood of Spain;
And still the storm of battle blew,
Still swelled the glory tide;
Not long, our stout old Chieftain knew,
Such odds his strength could bide.
Twas in that hour his stern command
Called to a martyr’s grave
The flower of his beloved land,
The nation’s flag to save.
By rivers of their father’s gore
His first-born laurels grew,
And well he deemed the sons would pour
Their lives for glory too.
For many a mother’s breath has swept
O’er Angostura’s plain,
And long the pitying sky has wept
Above its moldered
The raven’s scream, or eagle’s flight,
Or shepherd’s pensive lay,
Alone awakes each sullen height
That frowned o’er that dread fray.
Sons of the Dark and Bloody Ground
Ye must not slumber there,
Where stranger steps and tongues resound
Along the heedless air.
Your own proud land’s heroic soil
Shall be your fitter grave;
She claims from war his richest spoil,
The ashes of her brave.
Thus ’neath their parent turf they rest,
Far from the gory field,
Borne to a Spartan mother’s breast
On many a bloody shield;
The sunshine of their native sky
Smiles sadly on them here,
And kindred eyes and hearts watch by
The heroes sepulcher.
Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear as the blood ye gave,
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave.
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While fame her record keeps,
For honor points the hallowed spot
Where valor proudly sleeps.
Yon marble minstrel’s voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanquished age hath flown,
The story how ye fell.
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter’s blight,
Nor time’s remorseless doom,
Shall dim one ray of glory’s light
That gilds your deathless tomb.
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