Ballads of the Blue and Gray

Civil War poetry by Griffith H. Williams.

This chapbook, printed on a letterpress in 1992, contains original poems about the American Civil War. Set in 6, 10 and 24 point Modern type and printed on the old family press (an 1888 Golding Pearl) at East Point in North Idaho, Ballads of the Blue and Gray contains 16 pages and is illustrated with four original linoleum block prints.

Not Perish From This Earth

I wore the U.S. Army blue.
At Gettysburg I fell
But the reason why I gave my life
I find is hard to tell.

Did I die to stop Johnny Reb
From thrusting farther north?
Or was it because some preacher man
Said “Slavery is abhorreth!”

Did I bleed to oblivion
To keep the Union whole?
I shake my ghostly head “No,” but look,
It’s there upon my soul.

The generals blundered into town
So soldiers had to die
But a tall man in a black frock coat
With simple words said why.

He gave my death a new meaning.
He blessed the bloody earth.
He addressed the ground of Gettysburg;
Rebellion became rebirth.

He gave notice of the good
For which, oh God, I paid
With words that walk among the living
While with the dead I fade.


Letterpress Edition: $20

(in-person only)