JFM (09/28/1954 / Flushing)

To The Last Man

Sickles' corps had broken; the Rebels had them on the run.
Hancock foresaw disaster; perhaps a worse one than Bull Run
How could he plug the gap in the line and rally men to stand?
"What Regiment is this? " he asked of Colville, in command.
The First Minnesota volunteers- they were sorely undermanned.
They were Lincoln's first volunteers, staunch Union men in Blue
Hancock ordered them to charge; a death sentence, they knew.
With bayonets fixed they made their charge outnumbered twelve to Two.

The Rebel regiments were shocked, disbelieving what they saw;
The company sized regiment who'd come through three years of war.
Canister ripped through their lines; there was no time to weep.
Five minutes Hancock needed; for that long their grief would keep.

This field knows many heroes; so many fought and bled.
But let us pause and honor these brave Minnesota dead.
They bought time for the General; the Union held the Ridge.
We might not have a country had they not done what they did.

by John F. McCullagh

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