Civil War Music: Just Before the Battle, Mother

George Fredrick Root (1820-1895)

"Just Before the Battle, Mother," written by George F. Root, was popular during the Civil War.

Just before the battle, Mother, I am thinking most of you,
While upon the field we’re watching with the enemy in view,
Comrades brave are round me lying fill’d with tho’ts of home and God;
For well they know that on the morrow some will sleep beneath the sod.

Farewell, Mother, you may never
Press me to your heart again;
But O, you’ll not forget me Mother
If I’m number’d with the slain.

Oh, I long to see you, Mother and the loving ones at home,
But I’ll never leave our banner till in honor I can come.
Tell the traitors, all around you that their cruel words, we know,
In ev’ry battle kill our soldiers by the help they give the foe.


Hark! I hear the bugles sounding, ‘tis the signal for the fight,
Now may God protect us, Mother as He ever does the right.
Hear the “Battle Cry of Freedom.” How it swells upon the air,
Oh, yes we’ll rally round the standard or we’ll perish nobly there.