Well I don't remember where
Or just how long ago,
But they speak of San Vicente--
'tis a town in Mexico
A place where death came marching
As a company of men;
A hundred and fifty soldiers came
To fight the Mexican.
Now the walls of San Vicente
Loomed high, were guarded well,
But adobe and mortar soon would fall
To a pounding cannon shell.
The Union Captain sent a man
By truce to the City's gate;
"Lay down your arms, don't fight," he cried
But a rifle sealed his fate.
Spurred by a dying comrade
Every soldier raised his gun
Hell bent for blood, the cry went up
"Kill them, every one."
Cannon and rifle fire
Broke the stillness of the day,
As blood within the city flowed
The Mexican now would pay.
The battle raged on through the day
And into a frozen night;
Yet with the dawn, the captain saw
A truely awesome sight.
For the walls of San Vicente
Still held up somewhat true,
And only at the city's gate
Were there holes completely through.
With daylight deadly cannons aimed
at the gate, to knock it down.
Within the hour a cheer went up,
A great door lay on the ground.
The charging soldiers would recall
Until their dying day--
Old San Vicente, a city held
In a very special way.
In the rubble of the city
Lay small children. T'was a sign--
Brave San Vicente had been held
By boys from the age of nine.
These young boys were soldiers
Defending their Mexico;
Taught at tender ages
To fight with heart and soul.
The Union captain on that eve
In his dairy wrote his plight;
Then a single shot rang out
On that cold and dreary night.
Well now you've heard the story
Of San Vicente. Heed it well.
It was a place where Union soldiers
Fought men, ages nine to twelve.
by Goyo Oswald Hathaway