Divie Bethune Duffield

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(1821-1891)

D. Bethune Duffield, son of Rev. George Duffield and Isabella Graham Duffield, was born August 29, 1821 in Carlisle, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, where he resided until his parents moved to Philadelphia. He was reputedly, an accomplished scholar in ancient and modern languages. He graduated at the Yale Law School in 1842 and was admitted to the practice of his profession at Detroit, Michigan, the following year. Duffield practiced law with George V.N. Lothrop, who later served as U.S. minister to Russia. Duffield's poetry appeared in various periodicals including Knickerbockers.

He took an active part in the establishment of the free common school system in Detroit and served as President of the Board of Education for some time. Besides his efforts along education and literary lines, he excelled as a lecturer. His poems were the spontaneous productions, performed in the midst of an active professional life. Among his poems might be mentioned 'The Maid of Chamouni,' 'The Sounding Sea,' and 'A Sabbath Sunset Prayer.'"
He died in Detroit, Michigan in 1891.

Poem by D. Bethune Duffield, Esq.



The following poem was written by D. Bethune Duffield, Esq., a longtime "friend of the 24th". It was read on the occasion of the presentation of new flags on April 27, 1864. These flags were to replace the one damaged at Gettysburg, which the poem alludes to. The photographs depict the current state of these flags. The poem comes directly from Curtis, p. 226-227. The original title of this poem is currently unknown.

Several have suggested the possibility that this poem was actually put to music and sung. This is a very intriguing notion. If it had been set to music I have no idea what the tune might be. Many Civil War songs used the tunes of popular period melodies. In fact, many used traditional Irish or Scottish airs. If anyone has a suggestion as to what tune the words might fit, I would be most interested.

1. What tho' fair maids be sighing, and what tho' wives are crying,
As they buckle on the belt;
Our flag is up and flying, and soldier buys are dying,
Where the battle's blows are dealt.

CHORUS -- So march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
And o'er each hill and glade, where our noble boys are laid,
We'll sing the priceless Worth of the Triple State Brigade,
The Ironclad Brigade and the gallant Twenty-fourth.

2. You know the stormy waking when day was slowly breaking,
'Round Frederick's cloudy height;
How like the thunder quaking, our guns the hills were shaking,
And how bloody was the fight.

CHORUS -- Then march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
And on Frederick's Esplanade, where our noble boys are laid,
We'll sing the priceless Worth of the Triple State Brigade,
The Ironclad Brigade and the gallant Twenty-fourth.

3. At Fitzhugh's bloody crossing, how dark those waves were tossing,
As our boats rushed on their way.
With oar and musket clashing, and bullets round us splashing,
How we stormed on to the fray.

CHORUS -- Then march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
And along the river's shade, when the cannon on us played,
We'll sing the priceless Worth of the Triple State Brigade,
The Ironclad Brigade and the gallant Twenty-fourth.

4. Then through the midnight marching, our tongues all dry and parching,
To Chancellorsville we prest;
When, from the dead fast piling, the noblest souls were filing,
To the soldier's final rest.

CHORUS -- Then march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
.And through that dreary glade where those hero boys are laid,
We'll sing the priceless Worth of the Triple State Brigade,
The Ironclad Brigade and the gallant Twenty-fourth.

5. Next, thro' Gettysburg we trod; and still trusting in our God,
Thro' those Independence Days,
With our blood we soaked the sod, and o'er hundreds heaped the clod,
Their holy mound of praise.

CHORUS -- Then march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
And when that grassy glade, by our blue coats was o'erlaid,
We'll sing the priceless Worth of the Triple State Brigade,
The Ironclad Brigade and the gallant Twenty-fourth.

6. Then Peck our colors grasping, tho' death his form was clasping,
Still held them up in sight,
Till other hands were reaching, and other boys beseeching,
To bear them thru' the fight.

CHORUS -- So march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
And where they all were laid, Grace, Dickey, Safford, Speed,
We'll sing the priceless Worth of the Triple State Brigade,
The Ironclad Brigade and the gallant Twenty-fourth.

7. That flag now rent and tattered, by shell and bullet shattered,
Is sacred in our eyes;
For when the Captain found it, five brave ones were lying around it,
Who fell to save the prize.

CHORUS -- Then march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
Since by each broken blade, that on their breasts were laid,
They won immortal birth, for the Triple State Brigade,
For the Iron Clad. Brigade and our gallant Twenty-fourth.

8. What tho' fair maids be sighing, and what tho' wives are crying.
As they buckle on the belt,
Our flag is up and flying, and soldier boys are dying,
Where the battle's blows are dealt.

CHORUS--So march, boys, march with the gallant Twenty-fourth,
And if by hill or glade, in our blanket robes we're laid,
Still our land shall see the worth of our Triple State Brigade,
The Iron Clad Brigade and the gallant Twenty-fourth.