Bombs, when he lost his crown,
Wished to shell Palermo town,
Gilmore would have knocked it down,
He rains Greek Fire on Charleston.
Fear restrained King Bomb’s wrath
From an act of savage scath.
Nothing stands in Gilmore’s path –
He hurls Greek Fire on Charleston.
General Gilmore found it hard
To come over Beauregard,
So he played a Yankee card,
And poured Greek Fire on Charleston.
Asked to let the townsfolk go,
Gilmore bravely answered “No!”
And proceeded, no ways slow,
To pitch Greek fire on Charleston.
Gallant Gilmore, warrior stern,
Babes and women thus to burn!
What a deathless name he’ll earn,
That threw Greek fire on Charleston!
Nana Sahib, rest unsung.
Let none speak of Badahung,
Since bold Gilmore bombs has flung,
And cast Greek fire on Charleston.
Do but think what shriek and yell
Rose where dropt his Parrot shell.
When he dies you’ll say “Ah, well!”
He threw Greek fire on Charleston.

Title:Greek Fire on Charleston


Publication:The Bolton Chronicle

Published in:Bolton

Date:September 19th 1863

Keywords:america, war


This anonymous Punch poem comments on the controversial use of incendiary bombs by the Union’s Major-General Quincy Gillmore during the siege of Charleston in August 1863. Its republication in the context of a local Bolton newspaper joins it with several poems in the region which perhaps offer implicit sympathy for the Confederate situation, if not cause. – SR