“Early One Morning in the Month of July”


"Early one morning in the month of July We finished our crops and laid them all by." The singers depart from their girls. They exhort their patriots to fight hard: "We're bound to whip the Yankees, we'll do it or die." They praise Lee and insult Butler


This is, perhaps, a reference to recruiting some (Civil War) regiment or company: Companies usually formed when an eminent person (usually a man who hoped to be an officer) signed up all the willing men in an area to form a unit.

What unit, though, cannot be told from Brown's fragment. The natural assumption is that it is July 1861, but this renders the reference to Lee and Butler mysterious; Lee did not assume command of the Army of Northern Virginia until 1862, and by that time Butler was in New Orleans.

The closest Lee and Butler came to crossing swords was in the 1864 campaign, when Butler commanded the Army of the James which miserably failed to capture Petersburg by surprise. But by that time, the Confederacy had every man it could find under arms -- by means of a draft. No summer soldiering! - RBW


  1. BrownIII 377, "Early One Morning in the Month of July" (1 text)
  2. Roud #11749
  3. BI, Br3377


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1923 (Brown)
Found in: US(SE)