“Hold the Fort”

Author: Philip Paul Bliss
Earliest date: 1880
Keywords: religious battle nonballad
Found in: US


"Ho, my comrades, see the signal, Waving in the sky; Reinforcements now appearing, Victory is nigh. 'Hold the Fort, for I am coming,' Jesus signals still...." The "great Commander" will defeat Satan's "mighty host."


Inspired by, though hardly based on, a Civil War event. After Atlanta had fallen to the Union, Sherman set up a supply dump at Allatoona. A Confederate force under General French attacked this base on October 5, 1864, and called upon Union General Corse to surrender. Soon after, General Sherman send a simple message to Corse: "Hold the fort; I am coming." Corse held out, and Sherman's troops arrived in time to drive off French. - RBW

Same tune

Cross references



  1. Silber-CivWar, pp. 82-83, "Hold the Fort" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 363, "Hold the Fort" (1 text)
  3. DT, HOLDFRT2*
  4. BI, SCW82