Feb 14, 2007
B Troop 2nd of the 17th Cavalry Regiment Assocaition
The Legend of Fiddlers' Green is performed by LT Bobby Ross
with a new musical arrangement by Mike Stidolph
This page is dedicated to all B Troop KIA's
THE LEGEND OF FIDDLERS' GREEN
Half way down the trail to Hell,
Marching past straight through to Hell,
Though some go curving down the trail,
And so when man and horse go down,
(The origin and author of Fiddlers' Green is unknown. It was believed to have originated in the 1800's and was composed as a song sung by the soldiers of the 6th and 7th Cavalry. Its first known appearance in published form was in a 1923 Cavalry Journal.)
This must be a story that was written during the Indian War in the later 1800's. The last stanza concerns suicide. I know the drill. Never be taken alive. Always save one bullet to shoot yourself in the head to prevent capture.
When I was in Armor OCS at Fort Knox in 1967, we learned about what an officer should wear at formal parties. Dress Greens, of course, on the field ceremonies. Dress Blues at formal get-togethers on base. But, there is a Dress White uniform for Calvary Officers when they meet at the White House with the President. Part of that uniform is a very shiny belt and brass buckle. On the belt is a very small pouch that "must" be worn. It signifies the tradition of the Calvary in its HeyDay back in the Indian Wars after the Civil War. An officer out there was issued this small pouch to wear on his belt by his Supply Sergeant. It had a very practical purpose. The officer also carried a pistol in a holster on his belt. It was a six-shooter of the Old West. In this little pouch, was kept one bullet for that six-shooter. The officer always knew he had that one bullet left should he have to make his final decision. He had the option to load that last round and shoot himself in the head rather than be taken captive by the enemy. It was an honest option. It was an honorable option. And, to the best of my knowledge, it was only offered during that one war and only to our Calvary officers. So, this poem was written by someone who knew this fact of history.
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