Autograph Album: Original full black leather binding, gilt lettering and design at spine and front cover. Octavo. Ownership signature in calligraphy of Annie E. Fairfield of the Merrimak Normal Institute. Collection of poetry of classmates at the M. N. Institute of Merrimack, New Hampshire, during the year 1855. Includes an original signed poem by Walter Kittredge, "To Annie", written well before the author became one of the most famous Civil War songwriters. The poem is nine lines including title and is dated and signed by Walter Kittredge of "Reeds Ferry". It reads as follows: To Annie / May virtue light thy way through life / Each fleeting hour cheer / Sustain and comfort thee when sad / And drive away each fear / As brightly shines the evening star / May heaven illume thy way / and sorrow find no access thee / or cause a gloomy day. Kittredge would go on to write Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground, one of the best remembered of all Civil War songs and was given voice by weary soldiers of both northern and southern troop camps. It has been written that commanders unsuccessfully tried to ban the song, so that the lively singing would not give away their location to the enemy. During the fall of 1857 Kittredge traveled throughout the Northeast and along the Connecticut River with Joshua Hutchinson of the famous Hutchinson Family Singers. The Civil War was in full development by 1863 when he received notice that he had been drafted to serve in the army and must report at once to Concord, New Hampshire. The night before he left a song began to take form. The music and words of Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground came together that night. Not a word or a note was ever changed later. Kittredge took his song to the Oliver Ditson Company, a Boston publisher and offered to sell it for fifteen dollars. He was told it was too sad and sentimental and that there was nothing to it. After Ditson was convinced to purchase the song by one of the Hutchinsons, within six months after the song's premier over ten thousand copies of the Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground had been sold. Over his career he wrote over 500 songs, many of them dealing with themes of the American Civil War. Autograph material by the poet is extremely scarce in nature. The autograph book also contains a poem by Luther Kittredge, Walter's younger brother. Includes a signed and inscribed copy of: Tenting on the Old Camp Ground. Boston: Joseph Kinght Company (1893). Early Printing. Octavo. Bound in stiff pink, 'plastic-like' wrappers that is stamped: 'Pat'd September 19, 1893'. Front free endpaper is incribed: "Compliments / of the Author / Walter Kittredge / Reeds Ferry / N. H." Both items in Very Good condition, some modest wear to leather edges of autograph album, book with string binding in need of relacing.