Hold the Fort (2)
Ho! My comrades, see the signal
Waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing
Victory is nigh!
cho: "Hold the fort, for I am coming!"
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to Heaven
"By Thy grace, we will!"
See the mighty host advancing,
Satan leading on;
Mighty men around us falling
Courage almost gone.
See the glorious banner waving
Hear the bugle blow!
In our Leader's name we'll triumph
Over ev'ry foe.
Fierce and long the battle rages,
But our Help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander
Cheer, my comrades, cheer!
From Singing Soldiers, Glass.
Note (ibid) :In the 1880 edition of this song, the incident upon
which is is based was recorded by Major Whittle. During October,
1864, a strategic position at Altoona Pass was being held by
General Corse of Illinois. The Union Garrison was outnumbered and
surrounded, and the Confederate General French summoned the
Yankees to surrender. When Corse refused, fierce fighting ensued,
and he was forced to the crest of the hill. The situation seemed
hopeless, until a Union officer caught sight of a signal flag
across the valley atop Kenesaw Mountain. The signal was answered,
and soon the message was waved from mountain to mountain: "Hold
the fort, for I am coming W.T. Sherman." Cheers went up and,
under murderous fire, the position was held. Within three hours,
Sherman's advance guard had forced the Confederates to retreat.