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The Confederate Soldier’s Wife Parting From Her Husband!; Just After the Battle;
Just Before the Battle, Mother; Parody on When This Cruel War is Over;
To the Soldier’s Sister; When This Cruel War is Over
Many of the ballads express the grief and anguish of separation felt by the soldiers and their loved ones. Both the North and the South produced a large number of sentimental poetry that was somber and patriotic. They were written from a soldier’s point of view expressing pain and sadness on the battlefield to mothers and wives at home. The perspective of the soldiers’ loved ones was shown with words that expressed a longing for their sons and husbands to return.
George F. Root’s successful “Just Before the Battle, Mother” produced a sequel, “Just After the Battle.” This was common with Root who was never one to let a good song go unrepeated. He said he wrote the sequel because many felt that the first one had been too sad, and that this was an attempt to give a more hopeful message.
Also known as “Weeping Sad and Lonely,” “When This Cruel War Is Over” was so popular and tugged so strongly at the emotions of the common soldier, North and South, that officers had to forbid its singing in the Camp. Its popularity influenced a parody attempting to render it in stereotypical Irish brogue and imagery. It also inspired Stephen Foster’s acclaimed “When This Dreadful War Is Ended” (Silber, 115-123).
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