Dying Wisconsin Soldier, The
DESCRIPTION: The sun sets on "a forest Where a dying soldier lay... Far away from his dear Wisconsin home." He recalls his life, and his beloved sister, and how he answered when his country called. He dies and is buried by the Potomac
EARLIEST DATE: 1946 (Peters), with an earlier version from c. 1925
KEYWORDS: death soldier family farewell Civilwar derivative
FOUND IN: US(MW,So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Peters, pp. 225-226, "The Dying Wisconsin Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 152, "The Wisconsin Soldier Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "The Dying Ranger" [Laws A14] (lyrics)
NOTES: Roud, understandably, lumps this with "The Dying Ranger" [Laws A14]. There is no question but that this is derived from that; many lines, and even whole verses, are identical. But there are enough alterations to make it clear that this is a deliberate rewrite -- although not a very specific one; there are really no references to particular places or people in Wisconsin.
Still, the soldier died by enemy fire near the Potomac. Most Wisconsin regiments in the Civil War served in the west; only a handful were sent east to join the Army of the Potomac. And only a handful of those were in service early in the war, when the front was close to the Potomac. The three major exceptions were the 2nd Wisconsin, which served as early as Bull Run, and the 6th and 7th Wisconsin, which were later combined in the famous Iron Brigade.
If we wanted to suggest an actual regiment, the 2nd Wisconsin makes sense; according to Boatner's Civil War Dictionary, p. 942, the 2ns Wisconsin had the highest percentage of soldiers killed in the entire Union army. Although we note that the 7th Wisconsin was #3 on the killed list, and the 6th wasn't far behind. - RBW
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