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This article examines the transatlantic poetic exchanges between Herman Melville's Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War and the Crimean war poetry of Melville's British contemporaries such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Sydney Dobell, and Alexander Smith, who wrote a civilian war poetry based on news reports from the front. Melville was aware of the events of the recent Crimean War, and he defended the most famous poem that emerged out of it, Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade." As this article argues, Melville adapts and transforms the poetics developed by Victorian poets of the Crimean War in order to represent the American Civil War. Melville's Battle-Pieces is a heteroglossic work of a non-combatant poet that thematizes its own reliance on news reports and visual representations of the war. Melville is a Victorian war poet, whose work emerges out of the experience of civilians in wartime to create a many-voiced panorama of the war.