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A ripple of heightened and expectant interest passed over the audience, and then all sat stone still, as though fearing to breathe lest the speaker might again take fright. No danger? The hero in the youth was aroused. He went at his “piece” with a set purpose to conquer, to redeem himself, and to bring the smile back into the child's tear-stained face. I watched the face during the speaking. The wide eyes, the parted lips, the whole rapt being said that the breathless audience was forgotten, that her spirit was moving with his.

And when the address was ended with the ardent abandon of one who catches enthusiasm in the realization that he is fighting down a wrong judgment and conquering a sympathy, the effect was really thrilling. That dignified audience broke into rapturous applause; bouquets intended for the valedictorian rained like a tempest. And the child who had helped to save the day—that one beaming little face, in its pride and glad. ness, is something to be forever remembered.



ID you ever hear of the Drummer Boy of Mission

Ridge, who lay
With his face to the foe, 'neath the enemy's guns, in the

charge of that terrible day? They were firing above him and firing below, and the

tempest of shot and shell Was raging like death, as he moaned in his pain, by the

breastworks where he fell.

“Go back with your corps," our colonel had said, but

he waited the moment when He might follow the ranks and shoulder a gun with the

best of us bearded men; And so when the signals from old Fort Wood set an

army of veterans wild He flung down his drum which spun down the hill like

the ball of a wayward child. And then he fell in with the foremost ranks of brave old

company G, As we charged by the flank, with our colors ahead, and our columns closed


a V, In the long, swinging lines of that splendid advance,

when the flags of our corps floated out, Like the ribbons that dance in the jubilant lines of the

march of a gala day route. He charged with the ranks, though he carried no gun,

for the colonel had said him nay, And he breasted the blast of the bristling guns, and the

shock of the sickening fray; And when by his side they were falling like hail he

sprang to a comrade slain, And shouldered his musket and bore it as true as the

hand that was dead to pain. 'Twas dearly we loved him, our Drummer Boy, with a

fire in his bright, black eye, That flashed forth a spirit too great for his form, he only

was just so highAs tall, perhaps, as your little lad who scarcely reaches

your shoulderThough his heart was the heart of a veteran then, a

trifle, it may be, bolder.

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He pressed to the front, our lad so leal, and the works

were almost won, A moment more and our flags had swung o'er the muzzle of murderous

gun; But a raking fire swept the van, and he fell ʼmid the

wounded and slain, With his wee, wan face turned up to Him who feeleth

His children's pain. Again and again our lines fell back, and again with

shivering shocks They flung themselves on the rebels' works as ships are

tossed on rocks ; To be crushed and broken and scattered amain, as the

wrecks of the surging storm, Where none may rue and none may reek of aught that

has human form. So under the Ridge we were lying for the order to charge

again, And we counted our comrades missing, and we counted

our comrades slain ; And one said, “ Johnny, our Drummer Boy, is greviously

shot and lies Just under the enemy's breastwork; if left on the field

he dies.” Then all the blood that was in me surged up to my

aching brow, And my heart leaped up like a ball in my throat, I can

feel it even now, And I said I would bring that boy from the field, if God

would spare my breath, If all the guns in Mission Ridge should thunder the

threat of death.

I crept, and crept up the ghastly ridge, by the wounded

and the dead, With the moans of my comrades right and left, behind

me and yet ahead, Till I came to the form of our Drummer Boy, in his

blouse of dusty blue, With his face to the foe, 'neath the enemy's guns, where

the blast of the battle blew.

And his gaze as he met my own just there would have

melted a heart of stone, As he tried like a wounded bird to rise, and placed his

hand in my own; And he said in a voice half smothered, though its

whispering thrills me yet, “I think in a moment more that I would have stood on

that parapet.

“But now I nevermore will climb, and, Sergeant, when

you see

The men go up those breastworks there, just stop and

waken me;

For though I cannot make the charge and join the

cheers that rise, I may forget my pain to see the old flag kiss the skies.” Well, it was hard to treat him so, his poor limb shattered

sore, But I raised him on my shoulder and to the surgeon

bore, And the boys who saw us coming each gave a shout of

joy, And uttered fervent prayers for him, our valiant

Drummer Boy.

When sped the news that “Fighting Joe” had saved

the Union right, With his legends fresh from Lookout; and that Thomas

massed his might, And forced the rebel centre; and our cheering ran like

wild; And Sherman's heart was happy as the heart of a little

child, When Grant from his lofty outlook saw our flags by the

hundred fly Along the slopes of Mission Ridge, where'er he cast his

eye; And when we heard the thrilling news of the mighty

battle done, The fearful contest ended, and the glorious victory won; Then his bright, black eyes so yearning, grew strangely

rapt and wild ; And in that hour of conquest our little hero died. But ever in our hearts he dwells, with a grace that ne'er

is old, For him the heart to duty wed can nevermore grow

cold! And when they tell of heroes, and the laurels they have

won, Of the scars they are doomed to carry, of the deeds that

they have done ; Of the horror to be biding among the ghastly dead, The gory sod beneath them, the bursting shell o'er head; My heart goes back to Mission Ridge and the Drummer

Boy who lay With his face to the foe, 'neath the enemy's guns, in the

charge of that terrible day ;

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