DescriptionJames Ryder Randall Autograph Poem "The Lone Sentry." Five pages (recto only), 8" x 10.75", n.p., n.d. Comprised of five stanzas of eight verses each, Randall has placed one stanza per page. The poem, written sometime after the death of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, illustrates the mythical status that he had achieved throughout the South. The poem is based upon a (likely fictional) story regarding Jackson's lone vigil over his men just before the First Battle of Manassas. Jackson's spirit is evoked in the final stanza, which reads:
"Brothers! the midnight of the cause
Is shrouded in our fate,
The demon Goths pollute our halls
With fire and lust and hate.
Be strong, be valiant, be assured --
Strike home for Heaven and Right!
The soul of Jackson stalks abroad
And guards the camp to-night."
John Ryder Randall (1839-1908), known as the "Poet Laureate of the Lost Cause," was a poet and journalist best remembered for writing the nine stanza poem "Maryland, My Maryland!" Written on thin, moderately toned paper. Folds are weakened with slight separation at the edges.
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