Dave Paraclassical guitar, vocal; Cathy Bartonvocal; Bob Dyervocal;
Norma Puntneypiano; Dave Wilsonmandolin; Knox McCroryharmonica
In early 1861 there was much nationwide concern over whether Missouri would stay with the Union or join the Confederacy. Although Missouri was a slave state, and many of its citizens had roots in Kentucky, Virginia, the Carolinas and Tennessee there was no general sentiment for secession in the state, and there was a very strong Unionist sentiment among the many German immigrants living in and around St. Louis. Citizens living in the western and central parts of the state, especially areas bordering the recently admitted Free State of Kansas, and areas along the Missouri River, expressed the most overtly secessionist sympathies.
Missouri governor in exile, Claiborne Fox Jackson, and a small group of legislators loyal to him met in Neosho, Mo., in October 1861 and announced the passage of an Act of Secession (penned by Sen. George Graham Vest) that was acknowledged by the Confederate government in November 1861. But Unionist legislators in Jefferson City and other loyal government officials declared the governorīs office vacant and appointed provisional governor Hamilton Gamble who did not recognize the Act of Secession.
Composer Harry Macarthy (spelled McCarthy in some sources) is addressing Missourians of Southern persuasion in this propaganda song meant to induce the state to secede. The song, written in 1861, became popular for a time, but never achieved the fame of Macarthy's other 1861 composition, The Bonnie Blue Flag, second only to Dixie in popularity throughout the South. Although Macarthy later added another verse to the Bonnie Blue Flag announcing that Missouri had joined the Confederacy, this was more wishful thinking than fact:
We cast our eyes far northward and lo! Missouri comes,
Macarthy was an English-born actor, singer and songwriter popular on the vaudeville circuit in the South. Billing himself as The Arkansaw Comedian, he gave impersonation concerts where he was able to popularize his own compositions as well as other Southern songs. He apparently joined the Confederate Army in Arkansas for a period of time, but went North before the end of the war and eventually moved to California where he died in 1888.