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

August 30

“Our Left”

By Francis O. Ticknor (1822–1874)

  • The Confederates under Lee defeated the Federals under Pope at the second battle of Bull Run on August 30, 1862.

  • FROM dawn to dark they stood

    That long midsummer day,

    While fierce and fast

    The battle blast

    Swept rank on rank away.

    From dawn to dark they fought,

    With legions torn and cleft;

    And still the wide

    Black battle tide

    Poured deadlier on “Our Left.”

    They closed each ghastly gap;

    They dressed each shattered rank;

    They knew—how well—

    That freedom fell

    With that exhausted flank.

    “Oh, for a thousand men

    Like these that melt away!”

    And down they came,

    With steel and flame,

    Four thousand to the fray!

    Right through the blackest cloud

    Their lightening path they cleft;

    And triumph came

    With deathless fame

    To our unconquered “Left.”

    Ye of your sons secure,

    Ye of your dead bereft—

    Honor the brave

    Who died to save

    Your all upon “Our Left.”