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Contributing Musicians

John Friant
Clark Hansbarger
Mike Jewell
Allen Kitselman
Gary McGraw

Feast at Manassas Junction / Aug. 27, 1862

Lyrics and Story:

 

We struck at Bristoe Station and fought em down the line.
Trimble told us get up boys we’re marching on tonight .
He said “give me my two 21s and I’ll capture hell itself.”
We grumbled and we cursed the night, loaded up and left.

Came up through the Thoroughfare Gap as fast we could walk.
Caught them in the moonlight, with their nightcaps on.
The Yankee train was waiting there, 100 wagons long.
We took three hundred captive and drove the others off.

A thousand tins of oysters and good whiskey for our heads,
We’ll eat the Yankees’ supper and wear their boots to bed.

Taylor came back for a fight, we ripped his line apart.
They took a terrible killing of canister and shot.
In mercy, Jackson raised a flag and ordered us to stop.
But I picked another one or two just to watch em drop.

We tore the boxes open, starving worn out tired.
We sat and ate a holiday meal in the morning light.
Lemons, cakes, and skivies ,  salt pork and leather shoes,
Corn beef, flour, and bacon,  Potted ham and lobster, too.

A thousand tins of oysters and good whiskey for our heads,
We’ll eat the Yankees’ supper and wear their boots to bed.

We loaded up as much as we could carry on or backs.
Burned the rest in boxcars, turned the blue sky into black.
I look back now with half smile remembering what to come
With bloody Bull Run up ahead and on to Antietam.

I’ve loved a dozen women and seen a thousand sights,
But the memory of that stolen feast will last me all my life.

A thousand tins of oysters and good whiskey for our heads,
We’ll eat the Yankees’ supper and wear their boots to bed.

 

Feast at Manassas Junction : The Confederate Raid on Pope’s Supplies

Second Manassas - Civil War Songs - Feast at Manassas Junction

Manassas Junction, Va., as it looked after Jackson’s raid.
War time photograph. Courtesy National Archives.

 “ To see a starving man eating lobster salad and drinking Rhine wine, barefooted and in tatters was curious; the whole thing…indescribable.”   –an eyewitness at Manassas Junction (from nps.gov)

On August 27, 1862,  just days before the Battle of Second Manassas, Stonewall Jackson’s famous “foot cavalry” plundered the huge Union supply depot at Manassas Junction, Virginia, after having circled to the rear of General John Pope’s forces.  In a colorful moment for the South (but one costly for the North) hundreds of hungry, exhausted Confederate soldiers gorged on the vast bounty they found there.

After the depot’s capture by Southern cavalry, Jackson ordered a

Civil-War-Songs-Feast-at-Manassas-Junction-2

Jackson’s troops pillaging Federal supplies at Manassas Junction.
From “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.”

regiment under Isaac Trimble on a night march to hold the junction. His forces overran a thin Union line of defense, capturing some 300 soldiers. When

Jackson’s main force arrived the next day, they rested and ate, filling their haversacks with supplies, fighting one brief engagement when a small Union force led by Gen. George Taylor attempted to retake the depot.

Concerned for the order of his troops, Jackson ordered casks of whiskey poured to the ground, much to the dismay of his soldiers, some of whom were seen on hands and knees trying to save the spirits.   After they had eaten their fill and replenished their stores, the Confederates burned the supply trains, along with the depot. From here, Jackson and his men marched to Bull Run, where they faced Pope’s forces from August 28-30 in the Battle of Second Manassas.

Links

Northern Virginia Campaign /  July-Sept. 1862

Overview of Northern Virginia Campaign

Second Manassas ( from The Civil War Trust)

Battle of Second Manassas: Official Report of Lieut. General Thomas J. Jackson (from The Civil War Trust

The Raid on Manassas Junction

Raiding Pope’s Pantry (from 2nd Battle of Manassas, National Park Service)

Account of the Feast from John Hennessy’s Return to Bull Run

Account of the Feast from James Gannon’s Irish Rebels, Confederate Tigers: The 6th Louisiana Volunteers, 1861-1865

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