[Merrimack, NH: nd]. Single sheet, printed with musical notation lines, completed in manuscript with notes, clefs and lyrics, and signed by the author, "Resp Yours / Walter Kittredge / Merrimack NH Post Office - Reeds Ferry NH." Verso contains a manuscript note in different ink: "Rec'd Nov. 30 / 82." The lyrics in this manuscript version, which has a few stray line breaks in order to allow the words to fit on the notation lines, include the first verse, chorus and a portion of the final chorus: "We're tenting tonight on the old camp ground. Give us a song to cheer our / weary hearts a song of home. And friends we love so dear. / Many are the hearts that are weary tonight / Wishing for the war to / cease. Many are the hearts looking for the right To see the dawn of / peace. Tenting tonight. Tenting tonight. Tenting on the old camp / ground. Last verse Dying tonight. Dying tonight (omit) / Dying on the Old Camp Ground." Item #61472
The song was originally composed in 1863 by self-taught musician Kittredge, a New Hampshire native, who wrote several songs inspired by the Civil War conflict. It became, according to Russell Sanjek's reference work "American Popular Music and Its Business: the First Four Hundred Years," [NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 1988, pp.244-5]: "one of the most loved pieces of Civil War music sung at annual encampments of the Grand Old Army of the Republic and of the veterans of the Armies of the Confederacy."