Home | Songs By Year | Songs from 1861
All Quiet Along the Potomac TonightBuy All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight now from Amazon
First, read the Wikipedia article. Then, scroll down to see what other TopShelfReviews readers thought about the song. And once you've experienced the song, tell everyone what you thought about it.
"'All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight'" is an 1861 poem by American writer Ethel Lynn Beers.
The poem was first published as "'The Picket Guard'" in the 'Harper's Weekly' issue dated November 30, 1861.Garrison, Webb. 'Curiosities of the Civil War: Strange Stories, Infamous Characters, and Bizarre Events'. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2011: 367. It attributed only to "E.B." It was reprinted broadly both with that attribution and without, leading to many spurious claims of authorship. Among those claiming authorship was Lamar Fontaine, then a private in the CSA. On July 4, 1863, 'Harper's Weekly' told its readers that the poem had been written for the paper by a lady contributor whom it later identified as Beers.Davidson, 'The Living Writers of the South', p. 201: "Dr. A.H. Guernsey, editor of 'Harper's Magazine' wrote to Mr. Harris a letter, dated 'Franklin Square, New York, March' 22, 1868, in which he says:— 'The facts are just these: The poem bearing the title 'The :Picket-Guard', appeared in 'Harper's Weekly' for November 30, 1861. I send you a copy of the paper of that date, which will establish this fact. It was furnished by Mrs. Ethel Beers, a lady whom 'I think' incapable of palming off as her own any production of another."
The poem was based on newspaper reports of "all is quiet tonight", which was based on official telegrams sent to the Secretary of War by Major-General George B. McClellan following the First Battle of Bull Run. In September 1861, Beers noticed that one report was followed by a small item telling of a picket being killed. She wrote the poem that same morning.Beers, 'All Quiet Along the Potomac', p. 350.Sargent, 'Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry', p. 818: :In a private letter Mrs. Beers wrote: 'The poor 'Picket' has had so many 'authentic' claimants and willing sponsors, that I sometimes question myself whether I did really write it that cool September morning after reading the stereotyped announcement, 'All quiet,' etc., to which was added in small type, 'A picket shot!' '"
In 1863, the poem was set to music by John Hill Hewitt, himself a poet, newspaperman, and musician. Sung by Efram Zimbalist Jr. in the Season 2 Episode 8 of the TV show "Maverick" entitled, "The Jail at Junction Flats". This song may have inspired the title of the English translation of Erich Maria Remarque's World War I novel 'All Quiet on the Western Front'.
"The Picket-Guard", 'Harper's Weekly', 1861:
, illustration for poem.Matthews, 'Poems of American Patriotism', p. 90.
* List of anti-war songs
*Beers, Ethel Lynn. 'All Quiet Along the Potomac, and Other Poems'. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates (1879).
*Davidson, James Wood. 'The Living Writers of the South '. New York: Carleton, Publisher (1869).
*Fontaine, Lamar; J.H. Hewitt (m.). "All Quiet Along the Potomac To-night" (Sheet Music). Columbia, S.C.: Julian A. Selby (1863).
*Graham, C.R. (ed.). 'Under Both Flags: A Panorama of the Great Civil War'. Veteran Publishing Company (1896).
*LaBree, Ben. 'Camp Fires of the Confederacy'. Louisville, KY: Courier-Journal Job Printing Company (1898).
*Matthews, Bander (ed.); N.C. Wyeth (illus.) 'Poems of American Patriotism'. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons (1922).
*Sargent, Epes (ed.). 'Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry'. New York: Harper & Brothers (1882).
Buy All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight now from Amazon
<-- Return to songs from 1861
This work is released under CC-BY-SA. Some or all of this content attributed to http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=1075569288.