“The Southern Wagon (Confederate)”


"Come all ye sons of freedom and join our Southern band; we're going to fight the Yankees and drive them from our land." The song describes the state of the Confederate government and declares "The South is our wagon, we'll all have a ride."


This song, or at least Brown's version, has historical problems. (Hudson's version, of only two stanzas and chorus, is hardly significant.) It refers to Jeff(erson Davis) and "(Alexander) Stephens by his side," which is accurate enough (except that the two quickly fell out), and Beauregard, while never the senior Southern general (in fact, he was #5), was certainly the best-known early in the war.

But there was never a date when the Confederacy had exactly the states listed. The author says (South) Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi are in (forgetting Louisiana), but "Missouri, North Carolina, and Arkansas are slow... There's old Kentucky, Maryland, each hasn't made up their mind."

Note that Virginia is not mentioned, and that Tennessee (seceeded June 8, 1861) is "in" when Arkansas (May 6) is still "out." It could be argued that Tennessee ratified an agreement with the South before Arkansas, but both states saw their governors turn south immediately after Sumter and broke free of the Union soon after.

Plus, Missouri, like Kentucky and Maryland, would not join the Confederacy (except in their dreams and the stars on their battle flag), though Missouri in particular did supply partisan troops to the south. - RBW

Cross references


  1. BrownIII 374, "The Southern Wagon" (1 text plus a fragment)
  2. Hudson 121, p. 262, "Wait for the Wagon" (1 short text)
  3. Roud #3716
  4. BI, Br3374


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1889 (The Civil War in Song and Story)
Keywords: Civilwar political
Found in: US(SE)