God Save the South

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
God Save the South
A rare music cover illustration, published by the composer, C. T. De Cœniél, in Richmond, Virginia

Unofficial national anthem of  Confederate States of America
Lyrics George Henry Miles
Music Charles W. A. Ellerbrock

"God Save the South" is a poem turned song by American writer George Henry Miles (as "Ernest Halpin") written in 1861. It is considered by some to be an unofficial national anthem of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.[1] The commonly heard version was composed by Charles W. A. Ellerbrock, while C. T. De Cœniél composed a different tune for the song.


"God Save The South" was written in 1861 by Miles as Ernest Halphim[2] with the music for it being composed by Charles Wolfgang Amadeus Ellerbrock. Halphim wrote it with the intent to inspire Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War that God would be with them. It was also written as an intent to counter the Union's usage of the newly-written "Battle Hymn of the Republic" as a rallying hymn.[3] It was also used as a way to develop a unique Southern national culture to distinguish the Confederate States from the United States.[4] When it was published in New Orleans, it was the first song published in the Confederate States since the Ordinance of Secession.[1] The hymn was later included in the Confederate hymnal, The Soldier's Companion given to all Confederate soldiers during the war.[5]

God Save The South was initially considered as the unofficial national anthem for the Confederate States and was published in Virginia with the subtitle of "Our national Confederate anthem" with the image of a Confederate soldier carrying the Stainless Banner with "God Save The South" on it.[6] Despite this there was no official announcement of any song being the national anthem of the Confederate States.[7] However, "Dixie" was popular amongst Confederate soldiers and citizens and thus was traditionally considered the anthem of the Confederacy. However, in 1950 Richard Harwell wrote: "[Dixie] can hardly be said to meet the requirements of a national anthem, [although] it has become a truly national tune, permanently enshrined in the hearts of Americans in both the North and the South. That honor rightly belongs to 'God Save the South' not just by virtue of its status as the new nation's first published song but also because of its stirring poetry and its outstanding musical setting."[8]


While the anthem mostly used Ellerbrock's music, it was also set to the tune of the British national anthem; "God Save the Queen".[9] Which "God Save the South" was also criticised in Southern Punch for not being original enough and because of the associations with "God Save the Queen."[10] C. T. De Cœniél also wrote another tune for "God Save the South" after Ellerbrock's original which gained popularity at the time.[7]

The fifth verse has been used by one writer as an example of the citizens of the Confederacy's perceived affiliation with George Washington as he was also a rebel during the American War of Independence.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Civil War Music: God Save the South". Civilwar.org. Archived from the original on 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  2. ^ "God save the south!". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  3. ^ Hilton, Don (2012). Murders, Mysteries and History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania 1800–1956. AuthorHouse. p. 53. ISBN 1477266151. 
  4. ^ Guezlo, Allen (2012). Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Oxford University Press. p. 411. ISBN 0199939365. 
  5. ^ Sundquist, Eric (2009). King's Dream. Yale University Press. p. 176. ISBN 0300142447. 
  6. ^ "Our national Confederate anthem". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  7. ^ a b "Confederate States of America –". Nationalanthems.info. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  8. ^ Harwell, Richard (1950). Confederate Music. University of North Carolina Press. p. 63. 
  9. ^ Cliffe, Peter (8 September 2006). "North and South Had Songs of Pride, Sorrow". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  10. ^ Bernath, Michael (2010). Confederate Minds: The Struggle for Intellectual Independence in the Civil War South. University of North Carolina Press. p. 231. ISBN 0807833916. 

External links

  • The Civil War Music
  • Halphin version
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=God_Save_the_South&oldid=819147875"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Save_the_South
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "God Save the South"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA