John Hartford’s Shiloh

150 years ago today, the war changed irrevocably. Seeing the elephant was a kind of Scared Straight for the Western armies and the nation in general. No more would the boys pretend at playing soldiers, and gone were the thoughts of a swift end to the conflict.

I thought it fitting to commemorate the anniversary with a John Hartford song. The song is hard to trace – best I can tell is it’s a Mexican War song that was updated. Regardless, it’s my favourite war song, and I thought its jaunty tone and prescient lyrics would be a good way to mark the day a lot of similarly innocent boys became men.

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