DESCRIPTION: "The army is gath'ring from near and from far, The trumpet is sounding the call for the war, McClellan's our leader, he's gallant and strong." The Union army will face the enemy in battle array. The singer has good wishes for the families and the dead
AUTHOR: William B. Bradbury (source: Silber-CivWarFull)
EARLIEST DATE: 1862 (sheet music published by Firth, Pond & Co, according to Silber-CivWarFull; Edwin Wolf 2nd, _American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870_, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963, pp. 93-94, lists 13 different broadsides by seven different publishers)
KEYWORDS: Civilwar soldier nonballad
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 30-31, "Marching Along" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #1378, pp. 93-94, "Marching Along" (13 references)
Alliance Song (File: CAFS2489)
Song of the Volunteers ("Arouse to the conflict; why linger ye here") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 148)
NOTES [121 words]: George B. McClellan was appointed to command what became the Army of the Potomac after the first Battle of Bull Run in mid-1861, and led it until late 1862, commanding at Yorktown, Fair Oaks/Seven Pines, the Seven Days' Battles, and Antietam. Given that not one of those battles was a clear-cut Union victory, it seems clear that this song was written before McClellan's tendency toward delay and inaction became clear.
That this song was popular s shown both by the number of broadsides and by the fact that it probably inspired a "Marching Along No. 2," for which see Wolf, p. 94. But I find no evidence of the song in tradition.
For background on William B. Bradbury, see the notes to "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us." - RBW
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