By: Major Sidney A. Jonas, C.S.A., Mississippi.
This poem was written on the back of a $100.00 Confederate Note,
at the old Powhatan Hotel, Richmond, Virginia, May, 1865.
Representing nothing on God’s earth now,
And naught in the waters below it.
As the pledge of a Nation that’s dead and gone,
Keep it dear friend and show it.
Show it to those who will lend an ear
To the tale this trifle can tell,
Of a Liberty born of the patriot’s dream,
Of a storm-cradled Nation that fell.
Too poor to possess the precious ores,
And too much of a stranger to borrow,
We issue to-day our promise to pay,
And hoped to redeem on the morrow.
The days rolled on and the weeks became years,
But our coffers were empty still;
Coin was so rare that the Treasury’d quake
If a dollar should drop in the till.
But the faith that was in us was strong, indeed,
And our poverty well we discerned,
And this little check represented the pay
That our suffering veterans earned.
We know it hardly a value in gold,
Yet as gold each soldier received it;
It gazed in our eyes with a promise to pay,
And each Southern patriot believed it.
But our boys thought little of price or of pay,
Or of bills that were over-due;
We knew if it brought us our bread today,
’twas the best our poor country could do.
Keep it; it tells all our history over,
From the birth of the dream to its last;
Modest, and born of the angel, Hope,
Like our hope of success, it passed.
From: Confederate Veteran Magazine, Volume I., No. 3., March, 1893, Page 77.