Richmond a Hard Road to Travel (1862)

SOURCE: “Richmond a Hard Road to Travel, or, The New Jordan”

An annotated look at an epic parody:

1.RichmondIsAHardRoad-Verse1 By 1862, the Army of the Potomac was well into a long (and unsuccessful) campaign to capture the Confederate capitol at Richmond and bring an early end to the war.This epic parody of “Jordan Is a Hard Road” documents Summer 1861 – Fall 1862 of that failed campaign.

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  • “Woolly-Horse” = John C. Fremont, a.k.a. “The Pathfinder”
  • “the Valley” = Shenandoah Valley, a fertile farmland route to Richmond
  • Battle of Cross Keys = Fremont Vs. Jackson
  • “Commissary Banks” = Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, so-called because Jackson captured so much of his supply depot at Manassas Junction that the confederate soldiers felt they were being drawing supplies from Banks himself!
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  • Gen. Pope = Lincoln’s next pick to lead the Army of the Potomac!
    Pope famously said to his troops:
    “I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases, which I am sorry to find so much in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of “taking strong positions and holding them,” of “lines of retreat,” and of “bases of supplies.” Let us discard such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy.”
    Within a month Pope was retreating from 2nd Bull Run, and Lincoln sacked him.
  • “seceder” = Battle of Cedar Mountain = Jackson forced Union forces to withdraw from the Shenandoah Valley
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