“Think of Me”

 

005 (3)

Transcription


 

To Miss A.T.H.

If I could claim the richest gem,

That now lies in the sea;

I’d rather far, than have that pearl,

Have one kind thought from thee;

If all the joys of this bright world,

Were now spread out to me,

And I were told, to make a choice-

I’d ask one thought from thee

F

{W}ere these your true sentiments

Indeed they are

 

Notes on the Text


This poem is the last stanza of a longer work that was published in Godey’s Lady’s Book in January of 1852 under poetry. The longer version can be found here. It is entitled “Think of Me” and is attributed to “Jamie”. The last two lines after the poem appear to be a response from Alice and a further response from Fletcher. He is apparently using the lines of this poem to announce his feelings to Alice.

Dublin Core

Title
“Think of Me”

Subject
Love

Description
Last stanza of poem copied from Godey’s Ladys Book

Creator
Fletcher Mulkey

Source
UNT Special Collections

Date
1861-1863

Contributor
Civil War Museum

Relation
Civil War Collection

Format
Document

Language
English

Type
Text

Why These Documents Matter

Participation in a Tradition


In the documents presented here Alice Hawkins and her soon to be husband Fletcher Mulkey participate in a cultural phenomenon of copying and repurposing documents from others.  Ellen Garvey notes in the introduction to her book Writing with Scissors that in the nineteenth century “goods and messages traveled at unprecedented speed and volume across the growing country, spreading information in ways that made news central to economic and political life. National news entered into conversation and fueled ordinary social interaction.” The quick transmission of information was aided by soft and/or non-existent copyright laws in this period. The lack of laws allowed newspapers to reprint text without changes and often without noting the original source creating little need to rewrite stories and therefore speeding up the publication process.

This is what happened with the two articles detailing the event during which the original Untitled Poem was recited. In comparing the two copies I can see a two minor changes in the poem itself although the description of the event is identical. These differences make it clear that Alice copied her poem from the Texas Republican because her version is the same as the one published in that newspaper.

You can view these differences here: Versions of Untitled Poem.

The differences most likely occurred during the copying process itself. There was no copy and paste option in 19th century printing and even though the “development of stereotyping…allowed composed type forms to be duplicated so that material could be reprinted without having to be reset” the original still had to be set by hand. This was time consuming and allowed for mistakes and changes (both deliberate and accidental) in the copying process.

Both of Fletcher’s poems are a part of this tradition as well. He takes poems that we see in many texts of the time, makes small changes, and employs them to display how he feels about his fiancée. Both Alice and Fletcher are following in a tradition of taking information from other sources and using them for their own purposes. In continuing this cultural practice they add to the larger framework of information being disseminated around the country at this time.

Further Research Questions:

Burning and flame font query mark

Burning questions I still have…


With more time I would like to consider the following questions:

Who are the girls listed in the Untitled poem? Were they girls that Alice knew? Important families in the area? Women with links to the war effort?
Where was Alice born and when did she move to Waxahachie? When/where did she meet Fletcher?
How do the other documents (the letter from her father, the very hard to read letter from Fletcher) found in Alice Mulkey’s folder connect with the ones already displayed here?
What information in these other documents can help to expand how we look at the documents here?

 

“A Soldier’s Heart”

The Soldier’s Heart

This poem was written (or more accurately-copied) by Fletcher Mulkey during his stint as a soldier and sent to Alice Hawkins.

The Transcription


The Soldier’s Heart

It is not on the battle Field
That I would wish to die
It is not on a broken shield
I’d breath my latest sigh
And tho a Soldier knows not how
To dread a Soldier’s doom
I ask no laurel for my tomb {brow?}
No trophy for my tomb

It is not that I scorn the wreath
A Soldier proudly wears
It is not that I fear the death
A Solider proudly dares
When slaughtered comrades round me lie
I’d be the last to yeald
But yet I would not wish to die
Up on the battle field

When faint and bleeding in the fray
Oh still let me retain
Enough of life to crawl away
To this sweet {vale?} again
For like {?} wounded wary dove
That flitters to its nest
I fain would reach my own dear love
And die upon her breast

A true copy of a Soldiers heart that
is in love. Sent from the Army to Miss Alice H

Notes on the Poem


The first version of this poem I have found was published in 1842 in a collection of poetry called Book of the poets: the modern poets of the nineteenth century, attributed to Thomas Haynes Bayly and titled “It is not on the Battlefield”. It was also published under the title “The Soldier’s Wish” in 1850 in a book entitled Songs of Love and Beauty and the authorship is listed as unknown. However, the title as published in Rufus W Griswold’s Gift of Affection: A Souvenir for 1853, was “It is not on the Battlefield” and it is attributed to TH Bailey[sic]. As the document here is undated it is difficult to know whether this was copied from one of these collections or from some other source.

From the evidence it appears that the title was “It is on the battlefield” and it was originally written by (or at least mostly attributed to) TH Bayly. The other fact I can gather is that, although the rest of the text appears not to be changed from these published versions, Fletcher changed the title to “The Soldier’s Heart” himself because while it did have multiple names “The Soldier’s Heart” is not one that I found anywhere.

The document above was folded in fourths and sent (presumably) by mail to Alice Hawkins. Below is the back side of this document which is addressed to her.

It is fairly common to see Civil War letters written on blue paper. Color had been used in American printing since about 1815, but because the vatman had his hands in the pulp to the elbows, colorants were used sparingly. Because of the expense of adding color in other ways, colored paper did not become widely used until closer to mid-century. However, by the beginning of the Civil War it was quite common to see blue paper such as this. Later in the war, around 1864, the blue paper was even used to wrap the cartridge of a certain type of bullet, the Williams Cleaner Type III.

Untitled Poem: Side 1
Untitled Poem: Side 2
A Soldier’s Heart
Why These Documents Matter

 

Dublin Core

Title
A Soldier’s Heart

Subject
Confederacy

Description
A poem copied and sent from Fletcher Mulkey to Alice Hawkins

Creator
Fletcher Mulkey

Source
UNT Special Collections

Date
1861-1863

Contributor
Civil War Museum

Relation
Civil War Collection

Format
Document

Language
English

Type
Text

Untitled Poem: Side 1

 

This is a scan of the front side of the document

This is a scan of the front side of the document

Notes on the Text


This poem, which has been copied from its original with the names of the girls changed, was found in a folder labeled Mulkey, Alice Hawkins at the University of North Texas Special Collections. An article in the TEXAS REPUBLICAN (Marshall, Texas), July 13, 1861, p. 4, c. 1 describes the event in which this poem was first used.

“At a flag presentation on the 25th of May, at Bellefonte, Ala., to the Jackson Hornets, the following young ladies stepped forward, one by one, representing the seceded States as they left the old Confederacy carrying with them all those rights and liberties bequeathed to them by our ancestors of the Revolution, repeating the following beautiful, appropriate, and patriotic lines, written and composed by Laura Lorrimer, one of Tennessee’s most-gifted poetesses:”

 

The Transcription


Miss Nannie Champ- South Carolina
First to rise against oppression;
In this glorious Southern land;
Home of dead and living heroes,
South Carolina takes her stand

Miss Mattie Parker- Florida
And I come with greeting sisters,
Where, amid her orange [bowers],
Wave fair Florida her scepter,
Browned with rarest, sweetest flowers

Miss Ella Slater- Georgia
Lo! ^and Georgia uprising,
Burning with the blood of yore,
Sends her children forth to conquer
Peace from haughty foes once more

Miss [Sara Wyman]- Alabama
In the new-born arch of glory,
Lo! where shines the central star,
Alabama and her radiance
Never cloud of shame shall mar.

Miss Mattie Sweatt- Mississippi
Sisters! room for Mississippi!
Well she knows the martial strains;

(Cont. on Untitled Poem: Side 2)

The poem can also be found in a compilation of works entitled Personal and Political Ballads edited by Frank Moore and published in 1864 in New York. The work contains ballads from “various sources, Rebel as well as National, and are presented to the reader without note or comment.”

Dublin Core

Title
Untitled

Subject
Confederacy

Description
Poem Copied from Original Newspaper source with names changed

Creator
Alice Hawkins Mulkey

Source
UNT Special Collections

Date
1861-1863

Contributor
Civil War Museum

Relation
Civil War Collection

Format
Document

Language
English

Type
Text

Untitled Poem: Side 2

This is the back side of the Untitled Poem

This is the back side of the Untitled Poem

 

The Transcription


She has marched of old to battle;
She will strike her foes again!

Miss Fannie Parks- Louisiana
A voice from Louisiana,
Lo! her brave sons arise,
Armed and ready for the conflict,
Stern defiance in their eyes!

Miss [Sarina] Parks- Texas
Texas, youngest amidst her sisters,
Joins her earnest voice to theirs;
Forth she sends her gallant Rangers,
With her blessings and her prayers.

Miss Alice T Hawkins- Virginia
Wave, wave on high your banners,
For the “Old Dominion” comes,
With the lightning speaks the thunder
Lo! where sounds her armys drum

Miss [Sara] Smith- Arkansas
Long Arkansas waited, [hoping],
Clinging to the flag of stars,
Now she tears it down for ever,
Ho! away then for the wars.
Alice

Notes on the Text


Laura Lorrimer, the original author of this poem, whose birth name was Julia Finley Shelton, was born in Tennessee in September 1829. She married and lived in Bellfonte, Alabama until about 1877, when her husband died. A volume of her poems entitled A Voice from the South was published in 1882. Her poems were published in the North as well as the South in magazines such as Godey’s Lady’s Book, Field and Fireside, and the Louisville Journal. The event for which she specially wrote a version of the above poem occurred on May 25, 1861 in the manner described by the newspaper article quoted on the previous post. Mary Lee Cooke notes in her 2007 dissertation: Southern Women, Southern Voices: Civil War Songs by Southern Women that the event was recorded in two newspapers. These were the Semi-weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC) on 6 July 1861 and the Republican (Marshall, TX) on 13 July 1861. (More on these here)

It seems likely that the latter is the source for Alice Hawkins’s edition of the poem both because Marshall is in the area where she could have been at the time and because that version has a few changes from the Raleigh edition that are reflected in Alice’s copy. Although she has placed herself in the spot for Virginia, there is no evidence she lived there for any amount of time, if at all. She has removed the stanzas of both North Carolina and Tennessee. These are the last two stanzas of the original poem and it is written right to the end so I might speculate that Alice simply stopped copying when her paper ran out.

Dublin Core

Title
A Voice From the South

Subject
Confederacy

Description
Poem Copied from Original Newspaper source with names changed

Creator
Alice Hawkins Mulkey

Source
UNT Special Collections

Date
1861-1863

Contributor
Civil War Museum

Relation
Civil War Collection

Format
Document

Language
English