The final two items I have that came from Uzal Trowbridge’s pen are not letters, but copies of songs/poems. The first poem, copied by Uzal on Wednesday, January 22, 1862, while stationed at St. John’s Seminary near Alexandria, Virginia, is Mary D. James’ To the New Jersey Volunteers which appeared in Bridgeton, New Jersey’s West Jersey Patriot newspaper on May 18, 1861.
Uzal penned his copy of the poem eight months after that publication:
The second item copied by Uzal, Corporal Kelly, appears to be a song as he says it is “to the Tune of Rasin the bow [his spelling]”. I was unable to find any reference to this tune on the Internet, nor for that matter was I able to find references to the song. Uzal took pen to paper on Saturday, February 1, 1862, and wrote down the words.
Although Uzal had very good penmanship, there are a few words here and there which were hard to make out. So I have done my best to interpret them:
Away with the mallet and chisel
No more of a stone-cutters life.
My books and my papers shall mizzle,
For I’ll follow the drum and the fife.
I was once a stone-cutter hard fisted,
But the “ranks” had a charm for my eye;
So I bent down my head, and I ‘listed
To the tune of the “Bould Sojer Boy.”
I am covered with trappings and facings,
And a gilt eagle sits on my cap;
I am learning my marchings and facings,
Oh! Bomb shells may fly like the divil-
They may blow up foundation and roof-
They can light on my head and be civil,
For, I’ve mind, its entirely bomb-proof.
I’ve courage enough, I am thinking,
And I’ll always the enemy meet;
But when a friend’s glass I am drinking,
I’ll not be the last at re-treat.
The ladies can’t help but desire me,
Since I’ve caught their sweet hearts in a trap:
But there’s one that must never admire me–
Her name, I believe, is “Miss Hap.”
The whip never marked my broad back,
Nor gave my big stomach the gripes:
If I haven’t been getting the stripes.
But the stripes, you must know, were no harm-
They were a great honor, I tell ye;
For they were all laid on my arm.
And I am bould Corporal Kelly.
And Uzal finished the letter with:
Uzal H. Trowbridge
Camp Seminary, Virginia
United States Army
Saturday, February 1st 1862
What is the use of a seat of war for a standing army?