Wlliam Gilmore Simms
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''Stonewall'' Jackson's Way

Poetry | Richardson & Company | 1866

Introduction

           In his study of the role of guerilla warfare in the Civil War, historian Daniel E. Sutherland observes that Southern authors, including William Gilmore Simms, played a significant role in promoting and advancing guerilla tactics as both a patriotic duty and a means of achieving victory; Sutherland notes that Simms had explicitly “promoted and sanctified partisan warfare.”[1]  While the author’s works about Revolutionary War figures like Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion were certainly repurposed and newly understood in the context of the Civil War, Simms wrote new poetry like “The Border Ranger,” and reworked old poems, like “In Memory of Italian Patriots,” now republished as “The Guerrilla Martyrs,” to “rally the Confederacy’s guerilla defenders.”[2]  In the aftermath of the Civil War, Simms began to collect southern poems that expressed the ardent, fiery, and unapologetic sectional patriotism exemplified by guerrilla warriors; this collection, which featured many of the well-known poets of the day including several of Simms’s own poetic works, was published in 1866 by Richardson and Company of New York as War Poetry of the South.

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