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Relic Post © Jennie Avila

Guitar, Vocal, #3 Ubang and Clay Chimes - Jennie Avila · Resophonic and 12 String Guitars - John Turner

Battlefield souvenirs were mounted on wooden Relic Posts. The Boonsborough Museum of History exhibits a Relic Post that was owned by Samuel Wright of the 57th Massachusetts. He is famous for clearing a section of worm fence that trapped Union troops in the direct fire of Confederate sharp shooters during the Battle of Antietam. The fence lined The Sunken Road, consequently renamed 'Bloody Layne'. Jacob Miller was a farmer with southern sympathies whose fields were over run in the conflict. Edie Wallace provided Park Service copies of Jacob Miller's Civil War era letters to his family. He wrote things I would not want to repeat. However, I could empathize with the plight of a farmer whose crops and fences were being decimated by war. I used details from his letters in this song. *Please note: Antietam souvenirs and relics were mounted on posts that were not necessarily retrieved from battlefield fences.

Chorus: Relic Post Relic Post
Relic Post Relic Post
Souvenir of war
Hang your medal on a relic post
And let me grow my corn

We have nine acres of wheat on our land
It would have been a hundred more
If the soldiers let our fences stand
Summer will be ripe with corn


Samuel Wright was wounded five times
Twice he was left for dead
He wears a medal of honor on his chest
And an eye patch on his head
He wears the bullet that took his eye
On the chain of his watch for a fob
He kept the bullet the bullet keeps time
And time keeps marchin' on


'Cross't Antietam Creek they attacked from the woods
To make the Rebs repent
But the sunken road ran red with blood
Where the Yanks got caught in the fence
The Massachusetts volunteers
Charged into a hail of lead
To tear down the fence, take the bloody lane
And roust the Confederates

Samuel Wright was shot in both legs
The fence was shot from his hands
So how can it be the fence came down
And Samuel Wright still stands?


They burn our fences in campfires
The canons knock them down
There was some fence left when the main army left
But the pickets burned the rest to the ground