By the cross upon our banner,
Glory of our Southern sky,
Swear we now a band of brothers,
Free to live, or free to die.
Northerns by the right denied us,
You shall never rule us now;
We have sworn, as freemen never
Swear, who live to break their vow.
By our brave ones lost in battle,
Best and noblest of our land,
Fighting with your Northern hirelings,
Face to face and hand to hand;
By a sacrifice so priceless,
By the spirits of the slain,
Swear we now, our Southern heroes
Shall not thus have died in vain.
Wide and deep the breach between us,
Rent by hatred’s poisoned darts,
And ye cannot now cement it
With the blood of Southern hearts.
Streams of gore – that gulf shall widen –
Running strong, and deep and red,
Severing you from us for ever,
While there is a drop to shed.
Think you we will brook the insults
Of your fierce and rustian chief,
Heaped upon our dark eyed daughters,
Stricken down and pale with grief;
Think you, while astounding nations
Curse your malice, we will bear
Foulest wrongs with God to call on,
Arms to do, and hearts to dare.
When we prayed in peace to leave you,
Answering came a battle cry!
Then we swore that oath, which freemen
Never swear who fear to die!
Northerners come! and you shall find us
Heart to heart and hand to hand,
Shouting to the God of Battles –
Freedom! and our Native Land.
Newark, New Jersey, April 7th, 1863.

Title:'The Southerner's Oath – by a Lady of New Orleans'


Publication:Bury Guardian

Published in:Bury


Keywords:nationalism, politics, war


This poem, though apparently written in Newark, is purported to be by a ‘Lady of New Orleans’. The poem presents the American Civil War as a fight for freedom and self-determination, and against northern oppression. Perhaps as interesting as the poem is this particular publication context so late into the Civil War, when most commentators considered the Union to eventually prevail. This appears to be evidence of Lancashire sympathy with the Confederacy, or at the very least an even-handed neutrality. – SR