Battle of Fisher's Hill
DESCRIPTION: "Old Early's Camp at Fisher's Hill Resolved some Yankee's blood to spill, He chose the time when Phil was gone." Early attacks the Union troops, but Sheridan hears the fight, rides back, and rallies his troops to brush Early aside
AUTHOR: C. A. Savage? (see NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1864
KEYWORDS: battle Civilwar
Sep 22, 1864 - Battle of Fisher's Hill.
Oct 19, 1864 - Battle of Cedar Creek
FOUND IN: US(Ap)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Thomas-Makin', p. 58, "Battle of Fisher's Hill" (1 text)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #97, p. 8, "Battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864" (X references)
ST ThBa058 (Partial)
LOCSinging, as100710, "The battle of Cedar Creek, October 19th, 1864," J Magee (Philadelphia), 1864
NOTES [296 words]: Thomas's version of this song appears to conflate two battles, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. Phil Sheridan (the "Phil" of the song) was appointed in August 1864 to command Union forces in the Shenandoah. They had about a 3:1 edge over the understrength corps of Jubal A. Early, who had earlier raided Washington and continued to be viewed as a major threat.
The campaign began in earnest in September, with Sheridan winning a battle at Winchester on September 19 and following it up with another at Fisher's Hill on September 22.
The Union forces thought Early no longer a threat, but he regrouped and counterattacked at Cedar Creek a month later. Sheridan was away at the time, and made his famous ride back to his army to rally the troops. Early's forces (most of them starving) had scattered to plunder the Union camp, and Early had not tried hard enough to rally them to finish off the Federals; as a result, Sheridan was able to gather his forces and crush Early finally and completely.
As "Old Early Camped at Fisher's Hill," this is item dA40 in Laws's Appendix II. Thomas doesn't indicate a tune, but I suspected "Old Dan Tucker" when I first saw it, and a broadside now seems to confirm this. According to Edwin Wolf 2nd, American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963, p. 8, there was a song "Battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864," eight verses beginning "Old Early camped at Fisher's Hill," with the air listed as "Old Dan Tucker," credited to "C. A. Savage, Xo. 'K,' 8th Indiana." Curiously, this is dated 1863 -- before the battle! Presumably, though, this was just an error. Wolf also lists a 13-verse version which appears to be the LOCSinging edition, but it has no author or tune listed. - RBW
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