Blackfoot Rangers

DESCRIPTION: "Mount! mount! and away o'er the greenwood so wide, The sword is our sceptre, the fleet steed our pride...." The Blackfoot rangers will raid and bushwhack the Federals, who cannot hope to defeat them; God will support them
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1912 (Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety)
KEYWORDS: outlaw horse Civilwar
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, p. 354, "Blackfoot Rangers" (1 text)
Roud #7770
NOTES [172 words]: Although the reader may be tempted to refer this to the Blackfoot Indians (who lived primarily in Montana and Alberta east of the Rockies), Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety refers this to the Blackfoot region in Missouri, and to the Civil War, and he is likely right.
Missouri was long a center of intense guerrilla activity, starting actually *before* the Civil War (as raiders crossed over into "Bleeding Kansas" to try to force that state to become slave or free). These particular raiders were probably Confederate (since they were anti-Federal), but it's barely possible that they were abolitionist and trying to overthrow the pro-slavery Lecompton government.
In any case, given the way these guerillas behaved, the only god who could approve of their behavior is one which fed on human sacrifice.
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety does not mention an ancestor of this piece, but looking at it, I cannot help but feel that it is adapted from something else, though I'm not sure what. - RBW
File: Beld354

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