Song of the First of Arkansas

Melody - "Battle Hymn of the Replublic", William Steffe?, 1862

Captain Lindley Miller, of the First Arkansas Colored Regiment. Published by the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments

Oh! we're de bully soldiers
Of de "First of Arkansas."
We are fightin' for de Union,
We are fightin' for de law;
We can hit a rebel furder
Dan a white man eber saw,
As we go marching on.
|: Glory! glory, hallelujah! :|
Glory! glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

2. See dar! above de centre,
Where de flag is wavin' bright;
We are goin' out of slavery;
We are bound for freedom's light;
We mean to show Jeff. Davis
How the Africans can fight,
As we go marching on.

3. We hab done wid hoein' cotton,
We hab done with hoein' corn,
We are colored Yankee soldiers now,
As sure as you are born;
When de Massas hear us yellin'
Dey'll tink its Gabriel's horn,
As we go marching on.

4. Dey will hab to pay us wages,
De wages ob their sin,
Dey will hab to bow their foreheads
To their colored kith and kin,
Dey will hab to gib us house-room,
Or de roof shall tumble in,
As we go marching on.

5. We heard de proclamation,
Massa hush it as he will;
De bird he sing it to us,
Hoppin on de cotton hill,
And de possum up de gum tree
He couldn't keep it still,
As he went climbing on.

6. Dey said, "Now colored bredren,
You shall be forever free,
From the first of January,
Eighteen hundred and sixty-three;
We heard it in de riber
Goin' rushin' to de sea,
As it went sounding on.

7. Father Abraham has spoken,
And de message has been sent,
De prison doors he opened,
And out de pris'ners went,
To join de sable army
Of de "African descent,"
As we go marching on.

8. Den fall in colored bredren,
You'd better do it soon,
Don't you hear de drum a beatin'
De Yankee Doodle tune?
We are wid you now dis mornin',
We'll be far away at noon,
As we go marching on.

Captain Miller says the "boys" sing the song on dress parade with an effect which can hardly be described, and he adds that "while it is not very conservative, it will do to fight with." Captain Miller is a son of the late ex-Senator Miller, of New Jersey.

From Civil War Song Sheets, Series 1, Volume 3.

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