Root Abe, or Die

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Melody - "Root Hog, or Die", Anonymous, 1856; Seq. by Benjamin R. Tubb
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The Dutch came to Missouri,
As well you all do know,
To subjugate the rebel boys
But couldn 't make it go.
They can't whip the rebel boys,
And I'll tell you the reason why,
The Southern boys made them run:
Root hog, or die.

2. Colonel Sigel came to Carthage
To whip the rebel crew,
To feed us to the buzzards,
And hang Claib Jackson too.
But they couldn't make the riffle;
And I'll tell you the reason why,
The Southern boys made them get:
Root hog, or die.

3. Then Lyon came to Springfield
To take another stand,
He said he'd whip us this time
And drive us from our land.
He found us down on Wilson's Creek,
To whale us he did try ;
But the Southern boys made them get:
Root hog, or die.

4. 'Twas on the tenth of August
We heard the Lyon roar,
The grape-shot and minnie balls
Around like hail did pour.
But our shotguns did the work for them,
And I'll tell you why,
The Southern boys made them get:
Root hog, or die.

5. 'Twas there Lyon bit the dust
And Sigel ran away,
Just as he did at Carthage
Upon a former day
They left their wounded on the field,
And I'll tell you the reason why,
The Southern boys were after them,
Root hog, or die.

6. It's now we've cleared the Dutchmen,
And to Jefferson we'll go
To reinstate our government
And let old Abram know
That when he wants to thrash us
He gets the chance to try,
And the Southern boys will learn them how
To Root hog, or die!


General Franz Sigel, a German-born American, helped recruit a large number of Missouri Geman immigrants into the Union Army. In a fight at Carthage, Missouri, he engaged a much larger Confederate force, led by Gov. Jackson and General Raines, and withdrew with minor losses. Captain Nathaniel Lyons was killed in 1861.

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