Kate Brownlee Sherwood (1841-1914). "Poetress of Congressional Circle".

donna

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Kate Brownlee Sherwood was born in Poland, Ohio in 1841. She was the daughter of Judge James and Mrs. Rebecca Brownlee. At the age of 18 she married Isaac Sherwood. They moved to Bryan, Ohio where they published the Williams County Gazette.

When President Lincoln issued the call for volunteers for the war, Isaac Sherwood left the newspaper business and enlisted as a private in the Fourteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was sent to West Virginia and fought at Laurel Mountain, Cheat River and Carrick's Ford. Later he took command of the 111th OVI with the rank of Colonel and participated in many of the battles around Atlanta. President Lincoln made Sherwood a Brevet Brigadier General for his long and faithful service and gallantry at the battle of Franklin. He was mustered out on July 15, 1865.

While her husband was at war, Kate Sherwood was busy at home writing and publishing patriotic poems. Her poems were treasured by soldiers, veterans and all the wives and mothers of soldiers. Most popular of her poems were "Drummer Boy of Mission Ridge', "Forever and Forever", and "The Old Flag".

isaac Sherwood later went on to be member of Congress. Kate was known for her poetry and writing. She was of "invaluable assistance in helping her husband to gain political honors". She contributed to many leading periodicals and published many other poems. One of her best known writings was "Democratic Salad". This salad, she wrote, "was composed of a handful of hospitality, a heartful of good cheer, a headful of common sense; mix with the oil of joy, flavor with faith, hope and charity; serve liberally at the festive board, and keep the door wide open to all comers".

She died in 1914.
 

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Glorybound

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Thanks for the post Donna, she sounds like an interesting lady who had a positive impact on Union troops with her poems.

Lee
 

donna

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Another wonderful poem by Kate Sherwood is "Ulric Dahlgren". It is about the son of Admiral Dahlgren, U.S.N., distinguished by his dashing exploits with the Army of the Potomac. He lost a leg at Gettysburg, and, while still on crutches, led an expedition to free Union prisoners in Libby Prison at Richmond and fell in a midnight ambush on March 2, 1864 at the age of twenty-two.

"A Flash of light across the night,
An eager face, an eye afire!
O lad so true, you yet may rue
The courage of your deep desire!

Nay, tempt me not; the way is plain-
'Tis but the coward checks his rein;
For there they lie,
And there they cry,
For those dear sake 't were joy to die!

He bends unto his saddlebow,
The steeds they follow two and two;
Their flanks are wet with foam and sweat,
Their rider's locks are damp with dew.

O comrades, haste! the way is long,
The dirge it drowns the battle-song;
The hunger preys,
The famine slays,
An awful horror veils our ways!

Beneath the pall of prison wall
The rush of hoofs they seem to hear;
From loathsome guise they lift their eyes,
And beat their bars and bend their ear.

Ah, God be thankedl! our friends are nigh;
He wills it not that thus we die;
O fiends accurst
Of want and thirst,
Our comrades gather,-do your worst!

A sharp affright runs through the night,
An ambush stirred, a column reined;
The hurrying steed has checked his speed,
His smoking flanks are crimson stained.

O noble son of noble sire,
Thine ears are deaf to our desire!
O knightly grace
Of valiant race,
The grave is honor's trysting-place!

O life so pure! O faith so sure!
O heart so brave, and true, and strong!
With tips of flame is writ your name,
In annaled deed and storied song!

It flares across the solemn night,
It glitters in the radiant light;
A jewel set,
Unnumbered yet,
In our Republic's coronet!"
 

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