"Was the 80th in the Fight?"

[Close this window to return to the previous page]

This poem refers to the 80th's role in the bloody battle of Perryville, which took place near the town of that name in Boyle County, Kentucky, on October 8, 1862, during the American Civil War.  The 80th entered the fight with 738 men and suffered 157 killed, wounded, and missing during 2 hours of combat.

The poem is written from the perspective of the families and friends of the soldiers in the 80th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  The 80th had been formed and trained at the Town of Princeton, in Gibson County, Indiana, and a number of its soldiers were residents of that area.

Source:  Clarion newspaper (Princeton, Ind., Nov. 1, 1862),  as re-printed in the Daily Express newspaper (Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 20, 1862).  Transcribed and contributed by Mark D. Jaeger. 

"There were anxious hearts in Gibson,
When the news first came to light,
Of the battle fought at Perryville;
That desp'rate, bloody fight.

Oh, how oft was asked the question,
From morn 'till weary night:
Have you any news from Perryville?
Was the 80th in the fight?"

But news at first came slowly
From the "dark and bloody ground,"
For although 'twas sought for eagerly,
But little could be found.

Till the lightning began to flash,
And then it came to light,
That the 80th _was_ in battle--
In the _thickest_ of the fight.

There were saddened hearts in Gibson,
When the horrid truth was found,
That six that lately left us,
Were mouldering in the ground.

Wilson, Glick and Parmenter,
Triplett, true and brave,
Montgomery and Kimball, died
Their Country's flag to save.

Yes, the 80th was in the battle,
And like veterans they fought,
Determined on a victory,
Although 'twas dearly bought.

The gallant Jackson cheered them on,
  And proud was he to say:
"I've Indiana soldiers
To fight with me to-day."

'Twill be many days in Gibson
Before we cease to feel
The loss sustained in battle,
On the field of Perryville.

Be we wait a brighter dawning,
Of a day which, come it must,
Shall see our Country's enemies
All leveled in the dust.

When the Stars and Stripes wave proudly,
Over every sovereign State,
And our nation still be recognized
The greatest of the great."

[Close this window to return to the previous page]

This Page Copyright by Scott Cantwell Meeker of Deep Vee Productions.
All rights Reserved. Created February 22, 2002. Last updated February 22, 2002.