Barbara Fritchie House “Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag.” - Frederick, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Don.Morfe
N 39° 24.838 W 077° 24.870
18S E 292135 N 4365498
Quick Description: As the Confederate army marched through Frederick on September 10, 1862, feisty local Unionists—mostly women—showed their defiance by waving the Stars and Stripes.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 3/18/2020 3:55:21 PM
Waymark Code: WM1277G
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 3

Long Description:
Barbara Fritchie House-“Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag.”— Antietam Campaign 1862 —As the Confederate army marched through Frederick on September 10, 1862, feisty local Unionists—mostly women—showed their defiance by waving the Stars and Stripes. The poet John Greenleaf Whittier immortalized one of them in “The Ballad of Barbara Fritchie” about a year later. Spoilsport historians have since pointed out that Stonewall Jackson’s column never passed her house and that the story of the aged Fritchie—who did wave such a flag from her porch when the Federals marched through town—probably was conflated with that of Mrs. Mary Quantrell, who shook a United States flag at Confederates who ignored her. Nonetheless, the poem raised patriotic spirits throughout the Union when it appeared.

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland,

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach-tree fruited deep,

Fair as a garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall,

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind; the sun
Or noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Fritchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten,

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag that men hauled down;

In her attic-window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet,

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced, the old flag met his sight.

“Halt!”—the dust-brown ranks stood fast,
“Fire!”—out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf;

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

“Shoot if you must this old gray head,
But spare your country’s flag,” she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman’s deed and word;

“Who touches a hair on yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!” he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet;

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill gaps sunset light
Shown over it a warm good-night.

Barbara Fritchie’s work is o’er.
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall’s bier.

Over Barbara Fritchie’s grave
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!
Type of site: Historic Home

Address:
154 West Patrick Street
Frederick , MD USA
21701


Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Phone Number: Not listed

Driving Directions: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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Searcher28 visited Barbara Fritchie House “Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag.” - Frederick, MD 5/24/2020 Searcher28 visited it