"Battle Cry of Freedom" (by George F. Root) and some history most don't know





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Uploaded on Feb 5, 2012

My Album: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hoopiejohn
For all of, you out there playing this song, it is not the sad, sweet lament as played by Ry Cooder, or Jacqueline Schwab. No, it is a soldier's strident marching song; marched and sung to by both Confederate and Union soldiers, and should be played to the tramp of feet. I've been a soldier, and I know.

Back during the end of Carter's term, when the economy here went to Hell, I went up North to work for a while. So far North in fact, that the next counties were in Canada. I enjoyed my time there, made many friends, fished the Great Lakes, (even on the ice!), and so forth.

But the one thing my new northern friends said that always pissed me off, was to refer to me as "Rebel", "Reb", and especially hated - "Dixie Boy". ("Hillbilly", I don't mind). They said this because I was from Kentucky-Tennessee. They were also constantly needling me about the South losing the war.

But those dumb Polacks, Bohunks, Squareheads, Wops and Greasers up there didn't know what they were talking about. They didn't much get to this country until the turn of the last century - long after the Civil War was over. Both Hollywood and our school systems have been conveying a revised version of U. S. history, that's left out a lot of important shit.

I'm from Appalachia (either Eastern Kentucky or East Tennessee - I'll claim either), and during the Civil War, the region known as Appalachia was largely Pro-Union.

For example, when Virginia seceded from the Union, the western mountainous counties, seceded from Virginia, becoming the modern state of West Virginia.

East Tennessee wanted to do the same, but was completely surrounded by the Confederacy, and couldn't, while West Virginia had strong allies and neighbors in Ohio and Pennsylvania. And besides, the Confederacy wasted no time in sending an army of occupation to East Tennessee to subdue the "Lincolnites", and to maintain control over natural resources, minerals, and key transportation routes like the Cumberland Gap, and the rail lines and roads connecting Virginia with the Deep South.

But up on the higher ground, mountain folks didn't want much to do with this secession. They were fiercely independent, and morally convicted to hard work. They were too poor to own slaves, and had nothing in common with the decadent and entitled "Southern gentleman" down in the lowlands. They saw the Confederate cause as not only illegal, but as a "rich man's war, and a poor man's fight". Unlike the mountain folk, those "Southern gentlemen" didn't know a thing about hard work - like which end of a hoe to stick in the ground. Those "gentlemen" might spend their day in a fox hunt, riding to the hounds on cavalry chargers; and in the evening, escort Miss Emily to some lavish Cotillion Ball; and still later, have forced sex with their slave girls (or boys if the truth be known).

Hell, if you handed me a musket, I would knock one off his high horse right now!

Pro-Union were Western Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and even the mountainous north counties of Georgia. Appalachian volunteers from these areas had to evade capture and conscription by the Confederate Army, sometimes running away as far north as Ohio just to enlist in Union ranks. Just from the sparsely populated area of mountainous East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, more men served in the Union army, than from either New Hampshire, or Vermont.

And though many have pointed out that the common Confederate foot-soldier owned no slaves, remember that those flat-land rednecks who obediently and recklessly followed their aristocratic landed gentry into battle, were just serfs, either conned or coerced, and never have been that smart anyhow.

Notes: "Mark Time, March!" is a military drill command to march in place, without forward movement. If you've ever heard someone say, "I'm just marking time", the expression was borrowed from this parade step.

Although much has been made of a fingerstyle guitarist's abilities to play a bass or rhythm with thumb, and a melody with fingers, one understated advantage of the fingerstyle guitarist, is the ability to accent one note within a chord. Near impossible to do with a flat pick, and I hope I have successfully demonstrated that technique.

I decided not wear the ski mask this time so as to dignify the uniform, and be more authentic.

Played fingerstyle on my 12-string National Delphi resonator guitar, because of all my guitars, it sounds the most like a band instrument.


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