[New York]: 1863. [1 pp]. 9 1/2 x 7 inches. Very good, margins offset, a few marginal tears and one small hole at the bottom margin, period notation of the author at the border. Item #43844
A rare broadside of a forty-line poem, on the death of a soldier at the Battle of Chancellorsville, signed and dated in print: "P. Sunday evening, May 10, 1863" with the additional notation: "The above was written when it was supposed that the remains of Lieutenant Crosby could not be recovered." Though only signed with a "P", the work is by Elizabeth Payson Prentiss [Mrs. George L. Prentiss] (1818–1878) a "writer of children's stories and spiritual literature... [whose] works for children were popular, and her Little Susy books in particular attracted a following... " But she is best known for the adult spiritual works: "Her sense of detail paints a vivid image of her times. In her novels, stories, letters, and verse she shows the inward life of a nineteenth-century evangelical Christian. This insider's look into the culture of evangelicalism remains significant" (Kimberly Dawn Lutz. "Prentiss, Elizabeth Payson" anb.org/articles/16/16-01326, American National Biography Online). The death of Franklin Butler Crosby (1841-1863), First Lieutenant, 4th Light Artillery, U. S. Army, was celebrated in verse, not only by Prentiss, but by Mary A. Lee, in Harpers' Monthly in a poem with the same title, and by C. A. Vosburgh & Jabez Burns in music in "Tell mother, I die happy: the last words of Lieut. Crosby, who was killed in his battery at Salem Heights in the fight of Sunday evening, May 2d, 1863" and also published as an illustrated song sheet by Charles Magnus. "In Memoriam" was later published in "A Memorial of Lieut. Franklin Butler Crosby, of the Fourth regiment U. S. artillery who was killed at Chancellorsville, Va., May 3, 1863" by Robert Russell Booth and George Lewis Prentiss[her husband] (New-York : A.D.F. Randolph, 1864; pp. 58-61). Not in NUC. Not at AAS. OCLC locates only one copy of the broadside, and that unattributed to Prentiss, at NYU (OCLC: 60951524).