Our Battle Flag

by --H. L. Blanchard (Pensacola, FL) Confederate Veteran (1893)

Furl that flag, furl it gently,
Touch sacredly its tattered shred;
Blackened and riddled, it speaks silently
Drooping and sad, of our honored dead.
It speaks of men who fought so valiantly,
Now dead and forgotten, heroes unknown,
Who carried this flag, oh how bravely,
Until death claimed them his own.
It speaks of the heroes still living,
Who grasped this flag e'er it fell
From the clutch of a comrade falling,
Bleeding and dying from the enemy's shell.
It speaks of moments when all seemed lost,
From our ranks an unforgotten shout arose,
With maddened rush, at any cost,
We wrenched our flag from the hands of foes.
It speaks of combats desperately fought
From the dawn of day till the fall of night,
when in the darkness, with solemn thought,
We prayed for souls that had taken flight.
It speaks of that pure and unequalled fame,
And our hearts grow sad and proudest then,
As it utters that loved and cherished name
Of heroines true, our Southern women.
It speaks of that awful and bitter day,
Our hearts bowed down and broken asunder,
Unconquered we stood, standing at bay,
When suddenly came the word, "Surrender."
For then did Lee, our grand old chieftain,
Loving us well, he knew 'twas best
To bow to the will of God, not man.
Our struggle was o'er--history tells the rest.
Furl it brave, brave comrade, furl it with care,
This dear old flag, for which we bled,
That the ravages of the time never wear
This silent epitaph of a cause that is dead.