by Kevin F Dunn
John Lincoln Clem was the last surviving soldier who fought in the American civil war.
|Jonny Clem at the Battle of Chickamauga Creek.
On a cold September dawn just as the sun was rising
a boy of eleven summers rubbed the sleep around his eyes.
Crouched amid the willows with the Chickamauga sighing
Captain Keeler whispered “When I raise my sabre high.....
Beat your drum Jonny Clem, little Jonny Shiloh
Play for old glory and the souls of all good men.
Soon they'll come Jonny Clem, you'll see the bayonets gleaming
Charging through the jaws of Hell to the sound of a Gatling gun.
Here they come Jonny Clem, screaming like the Devils choir
That awful rebel yell's enough to set cold steel afire.
The battle raged around as the water stained with red
The Chickamauga creek filled up with Reb and Yankee dead.
Even the brave and the bold men had to fall
from musket and from bayonet and from thundering cannon ball.
When the battle was ore' and taps began to sound
They sent the word to Thomas how young Jonny held his ground.
How as the bullets whorled around they could hear the drum still sounding
as he played for old glory and the souls of all of them.
You beat your drum Jonny Clem, for the men of Chickamauga
you played for old glory and the souls of all good men.
Beat your drum Jonny Clem.
Note. John Lincoln Clem was the last surviving soldier who fought in the American civil war. Died May 13th 1937. He also drummed at the battle of Shiloh 4 Months before Chickamauga. At the time he was age 10 years. A true American hero