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[Detail] I'll sing thee songs of early days - sheet music

Songs and Autobiography: Perspectives on the Civil War

Ballads commemorating Civil War soldiers' actions such as A Knot of Blue and Grey can be compared to autobiographical works in some of the Library's other collections. Students can discuss the ways in which autobiography might not be the most historically accurate form of narrative while examining the war imagery of songs and the more mundane descriptions in works such as Leon Louis' Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier might serve for an interesting contrast in genres. Questions to keep in mind include:

  • What is intended goal of a songwriter?
  • How does that compare to the writer of a diary or journal?
  • Who are the intended audiences?
  • How does this explain the difference between the two accounts?