• Confederate Rebel Song Celebrates Geneva Girls Who Aided Wounded And Sick

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    “Geneva Girls” was apparently a title given to Confederate women who were devoted to helping wounded and sick soldiers regardless of the side they were fought for.


    2 pp, 5 ¾ x 14 ¾, E.R. Manron, writes to W.C. Morrison “Right out of the rebel camp...Well, Mr. ‘Billy’ here is the song you wanted. You must excuse the bad writing for I write in great haste. If you are out of the notion of wanting this song yourself please give it to one of the boys who know the Geneva Girls.


    “Yours ever...Geneva Girl No. 2.”


    On the verso, Manron, titles the song, “Geneva Girls/Air of Fairy Belles”


    The song, “Now please give attention to what I am going to say about our Geneva Girls in my own peculiar way; Now pretty girls one by one everybody knows, that you are always taking on about your precious beaus; Chorus. Geneva Girls, Geneva Girls so gay, Long may you to it in your own peculiar way; Tis Jennie with her good looks, The prettiest girl in town, Now Miss Roach beware of hooks for your Tisher is coming down; Next comes Miss Cassie. You all agree she is pert, Oh she is a pretty lassie. But she is such a flirt; Miss Helena is a pretty maid, Her manners are so endearing, But she is a goner I’m afraid, For she is very fond of Herring; Now Virgie is on the lookout, And she says it is all in vain, There is no use to look about, There is none like Alex McLean; Miss Sophia is a lovely girl, She is happy as a clam, [next line difficult to read], Just like her darling Dan, Miss Durlie tho’ it matters not, She is bound to have her fun, Lookout Durlie you may be shot, By that young Danie Gunn; The widow I’m afraid she’d blame Me if I were to confront her, Oh! My what precious game she’d be for the hunter. So girls go it while you are young, But remember what I say, It was always best to hold your tongue, in its own peculiar way.”


    Hospital services in the Confederacy were dire, typically without medicine or surgical appliances.  Treatment would have been much worse were it not for the Southern women who devoted themselves to the sick and injured. Every woman available was a nurse if she were needed and every house, if needed, a hospital. To them a wounded man was sacred regardless of the side he was fighting for.


    At one point, the Red Cross Society was established and the Geneva Conventions, whose founder, Henri Dunant, focused on the amelioration of the wounded in time of war in 1864. The convention provided for immunity from capture and destruction of establishments for the treatment of wounded and sick soldiers and their personnel; the impartial reception and treatment of all combatants; the protection of civilians providing aid to the wounded; and, the recognition of the Red Cross symbol to identify persons and equipment covered by the agreement.


    Written on ledger paper, not uncommon during the Civil War especially in the Confederacy as paper was scarce.  Splits repaired with archival tape. Even toning, soiling. Address leaf is light.


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