The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

III. Poets of the Civil War II

§ 20. F. F. Browne; Later Anthologies

In 1882 Francis F. Browne of Chicago carried out the purpose that Richard Grant White had expressed by publishing Bugle Echoes—a collection of poems of the Civil War, Northern and Southern. Drawing upon the anthologies that have been discussed and upon separate editions of Southern poets, such as Hayne’s edition of Timrod (1873), of Ticknor (1879), of Hayne (1882), he finds a much larger number of Southern poems that fit into his plan of suggesting the story of the Civil War by poems written at the time. Thus for the first time a systematic arrangement was made of this material. The result is altogether striking. The Southern poems, while slightly fewer in number (the proportion is 60 to 85), measure up well with those of the North. Side by side in this volume appear Bryant’s Our Country’s Call and Timrod’s A Cry to Arms, Whitman’s Beat, Beat Drums and Randall’s My Maryland, Pike’s Dixie and The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Holmes’s Voyage of the Good Ship Union and Ticknor’s Virginians of the Valley, Lowell’s Commemoration Ode and Timrod’s Ode to the Confederate Dead, and at the very end Finch’s The Blue and the Gray and Lanier’s The Tournament—both of them prophetic of a new national era. Not only was Browne’s idea happy and well executed; his introduction and notes are invaluable. He established the fact that the author of Stonewall Jackson’s Way was Dr. J. W. Palmer. He printed in connection with the poems valuable letters as to the circumstances under which were written My Maryland and The Conquered Banner. The volume as a whole was so marked by a careful critical judgment and good taste as to distinguish it from the hastily prepared anthologies by Southerners.

Two books of similar nature are Eggleston’s American War Ballads and Burton E. Stevenson’s Poems of American History, in both of which the poems are published in chronological order, and in Stevenson’s book with the historical setting which interprets many of the individual poems. In later years selections from Southern writers by Miss Manly and Miss Clarke and Professors Trent, Kent, and Fulton, and biographical sketches by Baskervill and Link, have brought the best poems and poets within the reach of a larger circle of students and readers. The Library of Southern Literature is a valuable mine of selections and biographical material.