The Civil War Connections Blog

Timeless Literature

Taken from the September 1861 edition of Southern Literary Messenger: A Magazine Devoted to Literature, Science and Art, “Unknown Heroes,” written by William Howard Perrigo, is a timeless poem.  This poem, fitting to the time period in which it was written and is certainly relevant today as many continue to make the ultimate sacrifice.


By W. Howard Perrigo

Many are there great and noble—

On the list of fame unknown,

Worthy of as deathless honours—

As those, who have shook a throne;

But their deeds, though great and noble,

Ne’er have filled the trump of fame;

And a breathless world hath never—

Listened spell-bound to their name.

Think ye, they alone are worthy

To be classed among the great?

Deem ye they alone are noble

Who have held the reins of State?

No! he that has gained a victory,

However humble, o’er some wrong;

Triumphed o’er some sin: unto him

Justly honours doth belong.

Yes, there are many unknown heroes,

In the common walks of life,

Who have won immortal honours—

Victories, in the daily strife!

Noble Spirits, unknown heroes;

Crowns are theirs forevermore.

(Pure as angels ever dreamed of)

Wove upon a brighter shore.

Stephensport, Ky.