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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Sergeant Smith Prentiss and his career. (search)
Sergeant Smith Prentiss and his career. An estimate of the man by a contemporary. John G. Baldwin. Sergeant Smith Prentiss was born in Portland, Me., September 30, 1808, and died at Natchez, Miss., July 1, 1850. Forty-four eventful years have come and gone, and yet the name and fame of Prentiss is as green in the memory of those who admire talent and love chivalry as when he was here in the flesh. With one or two honorable exceptions, his contemporaries are all dead. Much has been written and printed of this wonderful man. Every reminiscence, however, with which his name is connected is eagerly read, not only in Mississippi but throughout the Union. Not one Mississippian, perhaps, in 10,000 ever saw a likeness of Prentiss. The one contained in several metropolitan papers last year was a miserable caricature—no more like Prentiss than Prentiss was like Hercules. Of all the sketches written of Prentiss, the following, from J. G. Baldwin, a contemporary of Prentiss, who af