Walt Whitman in the Civil War Hospitals [Poem]

James SchminckeUncategorized

— David Ignatow, 1970

Prescient, my hands soothing
their foreheads, by my love
I earn them. in their presence
I am wretched as death. They smile
to me of love. They cheer me
and I smile. These are stones
in the catapulting world;
they fly, bury themselves in flesh,
in a wall, in earth; in midair
break against each other
and are without sound.
I sent them catapulting.
They outflew my voice
towards vacant spaces,
but I have called them farther,
to the stillness beyond,
to death which I have praised.

Collected from PoemHunter | Link to Source

To Walt Whitman, The Man [Poem]

James SchminckeUncategorized

— John James Piatt
Washington, May, MDCCCLXIII

Homeward, last midnight, in the car we met,
While the long street streamed by us in the dark
With scattered lights in blurs of misty rain;
Then, while you spoke to me of hospitals
That know your visits, and of wounded men
(From those dread battles yonder in the South)
Who keep the memory of your form and feel
A light forerun your face where’er it comes,
In places hushed with fever, thrilled with pain,
I thought of Charity, and self-communed:
“Not only a slight girl, as poets dream,
With gentle footsteps stealing forth alone,
Veiling her hand from her soft timid eyes
Lest they should see her self-forgetful alms,
Or moving, lamp in hand, through glimmering wards
With her nun’s coif or nurse’s sacred garb:
Not only this,—but oft a sun-burnt man,
Grey-garmented, grey-bearded, gigantesque,
Walking the highway with a cheerful stride,
And, like that Good Samaritan (rather say
(This Good American!), forgetting not
To lift the hurt one as a little child
And make the weakest strong with manly cheer,
On Red Cross errands of Good-Comradeship.”

Published in The Cosmopolitan (November 1892)

Shiloh, A Requiem — John M. Tarrh [Audio, Score]

James SchminckeUncategorized

Collected from Tarrh.com | Link to Source

From the artist’s website:

The premiere of my new piece for orchestra titled Shiloh, a Requiem was a big success. Commissioned by the New Philharmonia Orchestra for the celebration of their 20th season, it was performed twice in Newton Center the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Read the program notes, see the score, or download to a recording of the premiere performance of the piece.

Shiloh – Michael Rickelton [Audio, Score]

James SchminckeUncategorized

Song of America Project

from the Library of Congress | Link to Source

Melville’s “Shiloh: A Requiem” depicts one of the bloodiest battles in the history of American warfare. Fought near Pittsburg Landing in southern Tennessee, the two-day battle (April 6-7, 1862) left over 23,000 men killed, wounded or missing.

The misery of the battle is vividly represented in James Lee McDonough’sShiloh: In Hell Before Night: “The rain came slowly at first, then gradually fell harder and harder until it beat against the ground in torrents. Continuing through most of the night, the downpour was accompanied by a cold, chilling wind that swept the battlefield. An intense darkness was broken only by flashes of lightning and the fuses of shells in the sky momentarily illuminating scenes of wasted humanity. Every fifteen minutes, all night long, a gun on each of the Union gunboats roared from the Tennessee River, sending two giant 8-inch shells arching toward the Confederate lines, their red fuses lighting up the starless night for a brief instant before they came screaming down, exploding and scattering fragments of iron in all directions…Many of the wounded, Confederate and Union, were spending an agonizing night–the last night some would ever know–in the blackness between the lines of the armies. As the flashes of lightning lit the fields and the rolling timberland, they found themselves alone, except for the other wounded and innumerable bodies of the dead.” (pp. 184-185).

Michael Rickelton

“Shiloh” is the third song of Rickelton’s cycle Battle Songs.

Shiloh (2006)
Music by Michael Rickelton


Battle Pieces — Warren M. Swenson [Album]

James SchminckeUncategorized

Shiloh: A Requiem — Hugo Weisgall [Audio]

James SchminckeUncategorized

Song of America Project

from the Library of Congress | Link to Source

Melville’s poem “Shiloh: A Requiem” was written about the Civil War, but Weisgall’s song dates from the post-World War II era. “Shiloh: A Requiem” is a song from Weisgall’s song cycle Soldier Songs.

Shiloh: A Requiem
by Herman Melville

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the fields in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh –
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh—
The church, so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there –
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve –
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.

Memories of Lincoln (1920)
Music by Hugo Weisgall
Text by Herman Melville

War and Reconciliation – Theodore Morrison [Sheet Music]

James SchminckeUncategorized

from theodoremorrisonmusic.com


Theodore Morrison began composing at the age of forty-two, more than twenty years after he was well established as a conductor specializing in large works for voices and orchestra, as well as music for chamber orchestra. Over the past three decades he has composed an epic choral symphony and a number of other large works. He has created a substantial body of shorter pieces including an overture for wind ensemble, chamber works for woodwinds and strings, a sonata and a set of variations for organ, several works for chorus and organ, four song cycles, and many smaller choral pieces and songs. His music has been performed throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand.


Commissioned by the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the five-movement symphony War and Reconciliation on American Civil War poems by Walt Whitman was the most extensive of Morrison’s works prior to his opera Oscar. The piece is scored for large orchestra, tenor and baritone soloists with symphonic chorus, and was reviewed in The Baltimore Chronicle as “delicately sculptured with a decisively pungent harmonic language … (War and Reconciliation) wended its way from moments of great tranquility to the savage encounters of drum-beats, blaring brass, and choral forces driven to the ultimate in terms of dynamic nuances. There were moments of almost mystical beauty.”


War and Reconciliation (1992)
Music by Theodore Morrison