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C.S.A.
By
Fr. Abram Joseph Ryan *(1838~1886)

Do we weep for the heroes who died for us,
Who living were true and tried for us,
And dying sleep side by side for us;
The Martyr-band
That hallowed our land
With the blood they shed in a tide for us?

Ah! fearless on many a day for us
They stood in front of the fray for us,
And held the foeman at bay for us;
And tears should fall
Fore'er o'er all
Who fell while wearing the Gray for us.

How many a glorious name for us,
How many a story of fame for us
They left: Would it not be a blame for us
If their memories part
From our land and heart,
And a wrong to them, and shame for us?

No, no, no, they were brave for us,
And bright were the lives they gave for us;
The land they struggled to save for us
Will not forget
Its warriors yet
Who sleep in so many a grave for us.

On many and many a plain for us
Their blood poured down all in vain for us,
Red, rich, and pure, like a rain for us;
They bleed -- we weep,
We live -- they sleep,
"All lost," the only refrain for us.

But their memories e'er shall remain for us,
And their names, bright names, without stain for us;
The glory they won shall not wane for us,
In legend and lay
Our heroes in Gray
Shall forever live over again for us.

On July 4, 1861 Gordon Thompson went to Princeton and enlisted as a Sergeant in the 60th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Company H., Confederate States of America.  He died in the Battle of Cloyd's Mountain on Monday, May 9, 1864.


Gordon Thompson
September 6, 1837 - May 9, 1864

You may want to read the Report of Col. Beuhring H. Jones, Sixtieth Virginia Infantry, of engagement at Cloyd's Mountain which was published in "The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies".

Scanned images of Gordon's letters to his wife Louisa Bailey Thompson can be found in Letters Home.  Pictures of Gordon are on page six of the Photo Album, and pictures of his memorial stone are on page five of the Photo Album.  More about his family is in the Thompson Genealogy Report.

 

 

* Fr. Abram Joseph Ryan (1838~1886) was a Southerner to the core in spite of his Irish heritage and mostly Northern upbringing, Fr. Ryan enlisted in the Confederate Army on September 1, 1862, and served as a chaplain throughout the conflict, carrying the wounded to safety and performing last rites on the battlefield. His first piece of poetry was inspired by the death of a younger brother in action, and he quickly became known as the "Poet-Priest of the Confederacy."

 

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