Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Poem about Company Q

 The Poets have sung in all Ages,
 Of heroes, both gallant and true;
But in spite of what's said by the sages,
Still give me old Company Q.

They'll live on in the pages of story,
Their history I'll now give to you;
More splendid than old Mother Morey,
Is the history of Company Q.

They come from all parts of creation;
Used to dig, play dandy, and hew!
They fought for the flag of their nation,
Here's the glory of Company Q.

Their deeds of high valor are written,
Where sunlight shall fall upon the dew,
Wherever the foe has been smitten,
Is the record of Company Q.

They number all sorts of professions,
They come from the old world, and new;
 They are rich, without others' possessions,
They are rich -- old Company Q!

They marched with the old Flag above them,
And they carried their colors straight thro';
Their dear ones at home to-day love them--
They are longing for Company Q.

But the shoulder straps wanted to show folks
How big young puppies could grow,
And they thought it one of their best jokes
To imprison old Company Q.

And now the country lies bleeding--
Whose heroes the enemy slew!
We imprison our veterans, not heeding
The valor of Company Q.

They pay splendid bounties for green-horns,
And conscripts, black, yellow and blue;
But through all the dark nights and dark morns,
Doomed to idleness is Company Q.

But Oh! give them the freedom of battle,
Wherever the Eagle e'er flew--
They'll make all the wild welkin rattle,
To the shouts of old Company Q.
 An unknown prisoner at Fort Delaware calling himself "Colonel Lester" wrote this poem sometime in October 1863. It was recorded in the diary of a certain Reverend Isaac W. K. Handy, who became friends with the mysterious man at the fort. This "Colonel Lester" never positively identified himself, and his origins and reasons for being imprisoned remain unknown.  It is not clear whether the "Colonel" was a nickname from the men, or if he ever was really a Colonel. I just like this poem because it refers to the joke behind my blog's title :) "Company Q" was a popular nickname for the stragglers, wounded, invalid and prisoners who were still in military service but unable to fight.

The above poem was reproduced from Fort Delaware Notes, Volume LII, February 2002. Published by the Fort Delaware Society, edited by William E. Craven.  Printed booklets of Fort Delaware Notes are available in the gift shop on Pea Patch Island.

No comments:

Post a Comment