Singing the Songs of Zion
Soldiers' Hymn Collections and Hymn Singing
in the American Civil War

Mark D. Rhoads

"Every night the holy songs of Zion go up on this balmy spring air, a sweet incense, I think,
to the throne of the Eternal.
" Rev. William Hauser, chaplain of the 48th Georgia

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Am I a soldier of the cross C.M.
Isaac Watts, 1707




A charge to keep I have
All hail the power of Jesus' name
Am I a soldier of the cross
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
Come thou fount of every blessing
Come we that love the Lord
Gently Lord O gently lead us
Guide me O thou great Jehovah
How firm a foundation
I would not live always
I'm a pilgrim and I'm a stranger
Jesus lover of my soul
Just as I am without one plea
Mid scenes of confusion
My days are gliding swiftly by
Nearer my God to thee
O happy day that fixed my choice
O sing to me of heaven
Rock of ages cleft for me
Say brothers will you meet us
There is a happy land
There is a fountain filled with blood
There is land of pure delight
When I can read my title clear
When I survey the wondrous cross
Why should we start and fear to die

Am I a soldier of he cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own his cause
Or blush to speak his name?

Shall I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While other fought to win the prize
And sail through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vain world a friend of grace,
To help me on to God

Sure, I must fight, if I would reign:
Increase my courage, Lord!
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by thy word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war,
Shall conquer, though they die;
The see the triumph from afar,
By faith they bring it night.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be thine.

I witnessed, last Sunday afternoon, a beautiful baptismal scene.  Assembled on the bank of a little pond just near the trenches was a large crowd of bronzed veterans from Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  The great heart of the congregation united in singing . . ., some passages of Scripture were read, and prayer offered for the presence and blessing of the Master, and then, . . . “Am I a soldier of the Cross?” was sung with the spirit and understanding. . . . (from William Jones, Christ in the Camp or Religion in Lee’s Army, Richmond: B. F. Johnson and Co., 1887, p. 384