In a tin can is a letter I penned,
On the Tennessee River near Shiloh,
While laying mortally wounded.
Shot by a Yankee in a uniform of blue,
In a peach orchard...
As I cast my eyes on Heaven above,
Waiting for the last cord of a harp,
I feel your breath upon my soul,
Carrying me home to Old Dixie
And the pecan fields of home.
Now I pass from Johnny Reb to dust,
But with this letter I send my love,
Enclosed with a button off my gray.
Delivered by a mule pulling a caisson,
With a tear inside and an old pewter can.
And when you taste the nectar of a peach,
Remember me as the soldier who cried,
When they lowered my bones in my alone,
Whispering Amen, doing the best I should.
On the Tennessee River near Shiloh...