NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A monument to Maryland’s secessionist state song and its writer will be rededicated Saturday in the Louisiana town where James Ryder Randall wrote “Maryland, My Maryland” 150 years ago.
Randall was teaching in New Roads — about 30 miles from Baton Rouge — and read that a Union Army regiment had killed his best friend in their home town, Baltimore.
The song opens “The despot’s heel is on thy shore.” After asking whether divided Maryland will follow Virginia into the Confederacy, it says, “Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!”
The Pointe Coupee Book Club dedicated the monument April 26, 1938, about a year before the song became Maryland’s official anthem.
It turned out that Randall’s friend had been wounded. He survived the war and outlived Randall.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)