The Ballad of Thomas Welch By: Mike Mezz Based on actual events (A Narrative Poem)
My name is Thomas Welch and I'm a fighting man And I come from County Clare The Brits would hang me for a Fenian* So I took me leave of there
I crossed the ocean in the 'Arrianne' It was the vilest tub afloat The captain's brother was a railroad man And he met us at the boat
But I joined up with the 20th Maine I couldn't stand by until justice reined We're marching south in the pouring rain We're fighting to end the slave trade
I am Tommy Welch of the 20th Maine And we fight for Chamberlain He stood right with us when bullets came And we charged right down the hill
When the smoke finally cleared at Gettysburg Many dear mothers wept Thousands of good boys died that day And the air smelled just like death
I am Tommy Welch of the 20th Maine And I'd march to hell and back again For Colonel Joshua Chamberlain We're fighting to free a race of men
I'm Tommy Welch of the 20th Maine And I damn all gentlemen Whose only worth is their father's name And the sweat of the working man
We come from farms and the city streets And a hundred foreign lands We spilled our blood in the battle's heat Now we're all Americans
I'm Tommy Welch of the 20th Maine And I'd march to hell and back again For Colonel Joshua Chamberlain We're fighting to stop the bondage of men
Thomas Welch(1826-August 16, 1864) was an Irish sergeant in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was from County Clare, Ireland. On July 2, 1863, Welch was a hero in the defense of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. Taking dozens of prisoners with an empty rifle.
He wrote home regularly. Tommy Welch was shot off his horse on May 6, 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness (Spotslyvania, Virginia.) On May 8, 1864 he was captured by the Confederate Army and taken prisoner himself. He was sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
Tommy died of starvation in Andersonville Prison on August 16, 1864.
*Fenian -- A member of a secret 19th century Irish organization dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland
Copyright © 2020 Mike Mezz (All rights reserved)