Hot! My God, the day was hot-
Our throats were caked with dust-
We knew that once we started out-
To take the hill- we must.
Like burnished steel, without a cloud-
The perfect summer sky-
Arched above our sweating heads-
That third day of July.
General Pickett drew his sword-
And spun it in the air-
Cried, "Take the military crest-
I'll see yall boys up there!"
Reynolds died the day before-
To give the Yanks a blow-
They had numbers and position
On us down here below.
Almost a mile of grassy plain-
Before our army lay-
The flower of the South land-
Would be cut down today.
The cannon flamed and still we charged
A fence, a wall of stone-
Each foot of ground was bought with blood
And some of it my own.
We fell by scores, then hundreds-
A rousing rebel yell-
Chilled the Yankee gunners-
As valiant Rebels fell.
The saddest part of all that day-
Which most forgot, I guess-
Was not the fact we charged and failed-
We reached the sought for crest-
But once attained we could not hold-
Our number too depleted-
So back across that tract of Hell-
We once again retreated.
Brave Pickett wept a sea of tears-
To see his unit slain-
And though he lived to fight again
He never was the same.
Of all the costly foolish feats-
Which history paints large-
There's not a one to quite compare-
With Pickett's futile charge.
Live large, people!