“Across the Danube” (1877)
Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 39. Used by permission.
The Danube River was one of the borders of the Ottoman Empire, which was regularly at war with czarist Russia. In their fourth extended war, the Russians gained one decisive victory by crossing the Danube in June and July, 1877. Sousa credits the inspiration for “Across the Danube” to one such victory of Christendom over the Turks, and it was probably the news of this particular battle which caught his fancy.