Sherman’s March to the Sea. Words by Adjt. S.H.M. Byers of Iowa. Music by F.B. Plimpton. [sheet music]
Printed during the last year of the Civil War, rare sheet music for voice and chorus and piano of Sherman’s March to the Sea, dedicated to Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–1891). General Sherman’s destructive march though Georgia during the Civil War is also known as the Savannah Campaign: “O, proud was our army that morning, / That stood where the pine darkly towers, / When Sherman said: ‘Boys, you are weary, / But to-day, fair Savannah is ours.’”
The lyrics were written by Adjt. Samuel H.M. Byers (1838–1933), known for composing Iowa’s state song, The Song of Iowa. Byers’ lyrics were used for a number of Union side Civil War songs including several different musical compositions of Sherman’s March to the Sea by various composers. Byers had been captured at the Battle of Chattanooga and imprisoned; he escaped but was recaptured and imprisoned again, at Columbia, South Carolina, where he wrote this song. Escaping again, he served on General Sherman’s staff for a time, hence his title here as Adjutant.¹
The music is by Ohio poet, journalist, and composer, Florus Beardsley Plimpton (1830–1886). Plimpton’s other Union side Civil War music compositions include In Splendor Advancing (with lyrics by him) and Hail to the Legions of the West.
Description: Sherman’s March to the Sea. Words by Adjt. S.H.M. Byers of Iowa. Music by F.B. Plimpton. [sheet music]
Cincinnati: Published by John Church, Jr. 66 West 4th St., (1865). 5pp. Musical Score. Approx. 13 x 10 inches. Removed. Scattered light foxing; Very Good.
Note. 1. Carman et al., editors, The World’s Best Poetry. Volume VIII. National Spirit (Philadelphia, 1904). OCLC records 4 copies of this Cincinnati edition: U. Alabama, Interlochen Ctr for the Arts (Michigan), Clements Library, and UVa. None in Iowa, Ohio, or Georgia. Nb. Other sheet music using Byers’ lyrics with a similar title as this example do not contain music composed by Plimpton.