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Contributing Musicians

Clark Hansbarger
Rob Remington

Tiger in the Valley / May 24, 1862

Lyrics and Story:

Coming up the Valley,
Up from New Orleans.
I’ll be home by Christmas time,
Don’t you worry bout me.
Don’t you worry bout me.

Water for the horses.
I’ll drink a sass’frass tea.
Chase the Federals back up north,
Where they ought to be.
Where they ought to be.

Been down to Grenada,
with William Walker’s boys.
Smelt a little powder
and we made a lot of noise.

Came on back to Baton Rouge
To work down in the hole.
Broke an arm a year ago,
So they let me go.
So they let me go.

Now were pushing up the Valley,
Got em on the run.
Knocked em back from Cedarville
And out of Front Royal.
And out of Front Royal.

Now, they’re gathering up in Winchester
But I don’t give as damn.
I’ve seen em fight and now I know
I’ll soon be home again.
I’ll soon be home again.
I’ll soon be home again.

The Battle of Front Royal and Tiger in the Valley

Civil War Songs Tiger in the Valley Battle of Front RoyalOne the most colorful units on either side of the war was The Louisiana Tigers, a company that included many rough laborers from the docks and warehouses of New Orleans, most of them Irish immigrants.   Formed soon after Louisiana’s secession, the brigade was filled with seasoned fighters, veterans of the Filibuster Wars– William Walker’s adventures in Mexico and Nicaragua in the 1850’s.

Led by Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat, The Louisiana Tigers were with Stonewall Jackson’s Army of the Valley as they moved north in the spring of 1862.  On May 23, they and the 1st Maryland Infantry routed Union forces under the leadership of Colonel John Reese Kenly, taking Front Royal Civil War Songs Tiger in the Valley Battle of Front Royaland its river and railroad junctions. From here, Jackson’s Army moved northwest to Winchester. Eventually, they pushed the Union forces temporarily out of the Shenandoah Valley, establishing Jackson’s reputation for swift, forceful movement against the enemy.

The narrator was a screwman, who worked in the holdof cargo steamers pressing cotton bales. A dangerous job done mainly by Irish immigrants and other poor whites, he was a “disposable” tool, much less valuable to the cotton merchants than a Negro slave. His story hints at the Southern caste system that places him near the bottom.  He was also with Walker in Nicaragua and has seen battle before and feels still, as did many Southerners early on, that this will be a short war.

He was wrong, of course, and, if he lived, fought again and again, even to the siege of Petersburg.

The Louisiana Tigers

The Terrifying Tigers

The Saga of the Original Louisiana Tiger: Chatham Roberdeau Wheat

Wheat’s Tigers: Confederate Zouaves at First Manassas

Anti-Immigrant Prejudice and the Louisiana Tigers

Jackson’s Valley Campaign of 1862

Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862

Maneuver Warfare at its Finest: Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862

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