James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

September 24


By Charles Fenno Hoffman (1806–1884)

  • A city in Mexico taken by the United States troops, under Taylor, from the Mexicans, under Ampudia, on Sept. 24, 1846, after three days’ fighting.

  • WE were not many,—we who stood

    Before the iron sleet that day;

    Yet many a gallant spirit would

    Give half his years if but he could

    Have with us been at Monterey.

    Now, here, now there, the shot it hail’d

    In deadly drift of fiery spray,

    Yet not a single soldier quail’d

    When wounded comrades round them wail’d

    Their dying shout at Monterey.

    And on—still on our column kept

    Through walls of flame its withering way;

    Where fell the dead, the living stept,

    Still charging on the guns which swept

    The slippery streets of Monterey.

    The foe himself recoil’d aghast,

    When, striking where the strongest lay,

    We swoop’d his flanking batteries past,

    And braving full their murderous blast,

    Storm’d home the towers of Monterey.

    Our banners on those turrets wave,

    And there our evening bugles play:

    Where orange-boughs above their grave

    Keep green the memory of the brave

    Who fought and fell at Monterey.

    We are not many,—we who press’d

    Beside the brave who fell that day,—

    But who of us has not confess’d

    He’d rather share their warrior rest

    Than not have been at Monterey?