Around the Campfire:
A Civil War Songbook
Compiled by: Neil K. MacMillan

The men and boys who served during the Civil War were heroes and yet, they were ordinary people for their day. They came from farms and cities. They were brick layers, farmers, stevedores, glass blowers and firemen. And they were husbands, sons, lovers and brothers. A handful were women.
They saw horrors that this country hasn't seen in 136 years. American service men wouldn't see anything to compare with Andersonville or Elmira for eighty-one years. They would never again see a day as bloody as September 17, 1862. Over six hundred thousand of them would die of gunfire, bayonet and the myriad of diseases that ran rampant through camps on both sides and all theatres of the great conflict.
Like most other units, the 12th United States Infantry suffered what would be considered inordinate casualties today. When the regiment was formed in May of 1861 at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York, it numbered 1070 men and officers. Three and a half years later, when the unit was withdrawn from combat, there were 124. There had been several recruiting drives in the interim but the numbers speak for themselves. In that the Regulars of the 12th were no different from their Volunteer counterparts. The 12th is still serving with the United States Army.
The men swore, drank, fought and they sang. I have tried to put songs representing as many facets of the Civil War as possible. It is intended as first and foremost a songbook. Secondly, it is a brief glimpse into the horror and majesty that was the American Civil War.
This book is dedicated to the men and women of the 12th regiment of Infantry. I would like to acknowledge my Pards in the re-enacting community, especially in Company A, 12th US Infantry "Sykes' Regulars" and our Commanding officer, Larry Allen, a good mentor and a true friend. I would also like to thank the men and women affiliated with the 4th US Infantry, Company I including Dave Childs, Brian Webster, Col. NJANG and Frank and Jennifer Pullano.
To the 25th Massachussets Volunteer Infantry, thanks for the nights around the campfire. I'd also like to acknowledge Don, Martha and Stephanie Jeffery of the 157th New York Volunteer Infantry and lastly but never leastly my wife Peggy for puuting up with an old Infantry bummer like me.

Neil K. MacMillan
Syracuse, NY
January 10, 2001 is a wonderful place and I have included links to some of the songs that Sgt. MacMillan has included in the Civil War Song Book. Just click on the title and go to the artist's page for the song. There, you can listen, download and even purchase the CD.

The Battle Cry of Freedom Weeping, Sad and Lonely Santy Anno
Dixie's Land The Minstrel Boy Lincoln and Liberty
Rosin the Beau Marching Through Georgia Lorena
Soldier's Joy Listen to the Mockingbird The Siege of Vicksburg
Kemo Kimo Johnny is Gone for a Soldier Sweet Evalina
The Girl I Left Behind me Tom Dooley Kathleen Mavourneen
Just Before the Battle, Mother Tenting Tonight Goober Peas
Sweet Betsy From Pike All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight Beautiful Dreamer
Kingdom Coming I'm a Good old Rebel Roll Alabama, Roll
Jacob's Ladder Cumberland Gap Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (or The Prisoner's Hope)
Bard of Armagh Hard Tack  

Last Updated on 3/6/2018

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