Ethelinda Lynn Beers (January 13, 1827 – October 11, 1879) was an American poet best known for her patriotic and sentimental Civil War poem "All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight".
Born Ethelinda Eliot in Goshen, New York, she was a descendant of Puritan missionary John Eliot. She published poetry as "Ethyl Lynn" and after her marriage at age 19 to William H. Beers appended her married name to her poems. Her most famous poem, "All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight", first appeared in Harper's Weekly on November 30, 1861 under the title The Picket Guard. Her poems, including other notable works like "Weighing the Baby", "Which Shall It Be?", and "Baby Looking Out For Me", appeared in many publications, most frequently the New York Ledger. In 1863 she published General Frankie: a Story for Little Folks. She feared publishing her collected works as she thought she would die after its publication, a premonition which came true. The day after the publication of All Quiet Along the Potomac and Other Poems she died in Orange, New Jersey.
Which shall it be? Which shall it be?
I look'd at John-John look'd at me
(Dear, patient John, who loves me yet
'All quiet along the Potomac to-night!'
Except here and there a stray picket
Is shot, as he walks on his beat, to and fro,
By a rifleman hid in the thicket.
'How many pounds does the baby weigh -
Baby who came but a month ago?
How many pounds from the crowning curl
Left for dead? I - Charlie Coleman,
On the field we won - and lost,
Like a dog; the ditch my death-bed
My pillow but a log across.