Navigation Menu+

“Marching Through Georgia”

On the morning of the Fourth of July, Pa jumps out of bed after hearing the boom of gunpowder exploded under the blacksmith’s anvil, sounding like cannon-fire in battles that made America free. “Hurray! We’re Americans!”…… — Little Town on the Prairie, Chapter 8, “Fourth of July”

The song Pa sings part of the chorus from is a Union song from the American Civil War. It was written by Henry Clay Work in 1865, shortly after General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) began his famous march to the sea. It became so closely associated with Sherman in the years after the war that at a rally in 1890, he said that he would never attend another function at which “Marching Through Georgia” was to be played!

Henry Clay Work (1832-1884) was born in Middletown, Connecticut, and worked as a printer before composing his first song in 1857. He worked under contract to music publishers Root & Cady, ultimately publishing 75 songs. In 1876, he wrote “Grandfather’s Clock,” one of his songs most recognized today.


Bring the good old bugle, boys! We’ll sing another song,
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along.
Sing it as we used to sing it fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia.

[chorus] Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the Jubilee!
Hurrah! Hurrah! the flag that makes you free!
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.

How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound!
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found!
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Yes, and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years;
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Sherman’s dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!
So the saucy rebels said, and ’twas a handsome boast,
Had they not forgot, alas! to reckon with the host,
While we were marching through Georgia.

So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train,
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us for resistance was in vain,
While we were marching through Georgia.

CLICK HERE to listen.



Click on the above images to view a copy of original sheet music for “Marching Through Georgia.”    


“Marching Through Georgia” (LTP 8; PG)
     “Hurray! Hurray! We’ll sing the jubilee!”