Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer
Loyalty to the Flag
In the love of home and country and the flag of Uncle Sam,
Can the loyalty be doubted of a dusky son of Ham?
Wheresoever duty calls him, as a freedman or a slave,
The response is ever hearty when 'Old Glory' he would save.
'Twas the war of Revolution, when a Negro's blood was first,
To be shed for independence, when a yoke the land had cursed;
Crispus Attucks died in Boston, on State street he paid the debt,
Liberty his blood has planted and the tree is growing yet.
Ask the spirit of Pitcairn how he came to meet his death?
Where and who it was that brought him down to breathe the dying breath?
'Twas the Negro Salem's bullet at the charge of Bunker's Hill,
Bringing to the whites their freedom but to Negroes naught but ill.
In the battle of New Orleans, eighteen fourteen was the year,
When the Negro fought with valor till the victory was clear;
Jackson paid this glowing tribute—may the spirit never lag—
'None more strong and none more useful, none more loyal to the flag.'
O, how brave the Negro soldiers when the Civil war was fought!
Shall they fight such noble battles in the nation's cause for naught?
Hark! the battle cry of Charleston! at Fort Wagner is the place!
At Port Hudson and Fort Pillow how the rebel guns they face!
Fifty-fourth of Massachusetts—may such regiments be praised—
By its valor at Fort Wagner, North and South became amazed!
Hall began as color-bearer but was killed on duty grand,
To the spot went William Carney and the colors took in hand.
Wounded many times was Carney, shot in head, in arm and thigh,
On one knee he fell and crawling kept the colors flying high,
Blood upon the banner streaming while his words the action crowned;
'Boys I've kept aloft 'Old Glory' and it never touched the ground!'
Colonel Stafford was disabled, Dwight his men to battle led,
With great feeling at New Orleans, Stafford to the sergeant said,
'Guard, protect defend these colors,' 'Yes,' he answered, 'though I die
I will bring them back in honor or to God report the why.'
All the world has heard the story of the Cuban war with Spain,
Ah! the sound of Negro valor falls upon the ear again,
At Elkaney and San Juan how they helped to win the day,
Near the town of Santiago, held the enemy at bay!
Side by side with other soldiers being in complexion white,
Negroes died to take San Juan in the thickest of the fight,
Thus they gained the worthy plaudit from the loyal, brave and true;
'Negroes on the field of battle, dignify the nation's blue.'
Shall the prejudice existing in the country now, increase,
While the Negro's patriotism merits rest at home and peace?
Nay, the hydra-headed monster in the end will surely die,
We expect the right to triumph over evil by and by.
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Comments about this poem (Loyalty to the Flag by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer )
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