WE CONQUER OR DIE.

By James Pierpont, 1861. Permission of Henri Wehrman.

The war drum is beating; prepare for the fight,
The stern bigot Northman exults in his might,
Gird on your bright weapons, your foeman is nigh,
And this be your watchword, “We conquer or die.”

The trumpet is sounding from mountain to shore,
Your swords and your lances must slumber no more.
Fling forth to the sunlight your banner on high,
Inscribed with the watchword, “We conquer or die.”

March on to the battlefield, there do or dare,
With shoulder to shoulder, all danger to share,
And let your proud watchword ring up to the sky,
Till the blue arch re-echoes, “We conquer or die.”

Press forward undaunted, no thought of retreat,
The enemy’s host on the threshold to meet,
Strike firm, ’til the foemen before you shall fly,
Appalled by the watchword, “We conquer or die.”

Go forth in the pathway our forefathers trod;
We too fight for freedom, our Captain is God,
Their blood in our veins, with their honor we vie;
Their’s too was the watchword, “We conquer or die.”

We strike for the South: mountains, valley and plain,
For the South we will conquer, again and again,
Her day of salvation and triumph is nigh,
Our’s then be the watchword, “We conquer or die.”