John Jerome Rooney

Joined the Blues

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Says Stonewall Jackson to "Little Phil": "Phil, have you heard the news?
Why, our 'Joe' Wheeler -- 'Fighting Joe' -- has gone and joined the blues.

"Ay, no mistake -- I saw him come -- I heard the oath he took --
And you'll find it duly entered up in yon great Record Book.

"Yes, 'Phil,' it is a change since then (we give the Lord due thanks)
When 'Joe' came swooping like a hawk upon your Sherman's flanks!

"Why, 'Phil,' you knew the trick yourself -- but 'Joe' had all the points --
And we've yet to hear his horses died of stiff or rusty joints!

"But what of that? -- the deed I saw to-day in yonder town
Leads all we did and all 'Joe' did in trooping up and down;

"For, 'Phil,' that oath shall be the heal of many a bleeding wound,
And many a Southland song shall yet to that same oath be tuned!

"The oath 'Joe' swore has done the work of thrice a score of years --
Ay, more than oath -- he swore away mistrust and hate and tears!"

"Yes, yes," says Phil, "he was, indeed, a right good worthy foe,
And well he knew, in those fierce days, to give us blow for blow.

"When 'Joe' came round to pay a call -- the commissaries said --
Full many a swearing, grumbling 'Yank' went supperless to bed:

"He seemed to have a pesky knack -- so Sherman used to say --
"Of calling, when he should by rights be ninety miles away!

"Come, Stonewall, put your hand in mine, -- 'Joe's sworn old Samuel's oath --
We're never North or South again -- he kissed the Book for both!"

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