SATURDAY | I found today's poem in a book titled Campaign Songs. It was published in 1864 to help McClellan's run for the presidency and is among the McClellan papers. No author is credited.
The meter is reminiscent of The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore which is believed to have been written in 1822; "The Night" appeared anonymously in a Poughkeepsie paper in 1823. There is some controversy over whether Moore is the author; the Livingston family, Hudson Valley patroons with a New Jersey branch, claim one of their own authored the Christmas verse.
This is not to get Christmasy in May, but to suggest that submitting poems for publication anonymously was more common then than now.
Here's one for Decoration Day.
The Veteran's Story
"Crack! crack! went the rifles, and sharper each crack:
We heard a quick gallop - up rode Little Mac.
'Twas "Forward my lads!" We went in with a dash,
There was cheer upon cheer, then a vollying crash,
A rush, a blind tumult, a shattering peal,
A thundered "Charge bayonets!" the clash of cold steel,
A sharp, sudden pang, and still clutching my gun,
As I fainted, I heard a "Hurrah, boys! They run!"
So the old veteran spoke, and forgetting how much
His lame leg would pain him, he flourished his crutch.
The twinge stopped him short, and across his scarred face
There wrinkled a something, half smile, half grimace.