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color, has been purposely omitted. I refer to his parting with his parents. It is my strong desire that this sketch shall not contain one word calculated to bring unnecessary pain to the heart of any relative of my dear friend under whose eye it may chance to fall. If being a Southerner you would pass just and charitable judgment upon his family, try for a moment to conceive what would have been the feelings of a Southern father and mother and family circle toward a son and brother who, in 1861, had proposed to go North for the purpose of fighting against his people and his State. My recollection is that Mrs. Beers did not long survive her husband. It gives me pleasure to say that, so far as I know, the family of Mr. Beers did their duty by his children. I tried to have the little girls adopted in the South, and came very near succeeding, yet perhaps it was, after all, well that their friends sent for them and that they finally returned to the North. It is well, too, that
eluctantly yielded and went to work. How long he was thus employed I do not know. My youngest brother went on to our relatives in Georgia, but soon after his arrival there insisted upon enlisting in one of the battalions for coast defense. My sailor brother and I enlisted in Richmond and joined the army at Manassas. I saw but little of Beers after this. Just when he entered the Army I cannot say, but it must have been some time before the battles around Richmond in the early summer of 1862; for on the battle field of Malvern Hill I met some of the men of the Letcher artillery, to which he belonged, who told me that my Yankee was the finest gunner in the battery and fought like a Turk. Between Malvern Hill and Chancellorsville I saw Beers perhaps two or three times — I think once i; Richmond, after his wife and children and my mother and sisters arrived from the North. I have seldom seen a better-looking soldier. He was about five feet eleven inches in height, had fine sho
May 3rd, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 3
the side of the open grave and holding a hand of each as the body of their hero-father was lowered to its last resting place. I remember, too, that not a muscle of their pale, sweet faces quivered as the three volleys were fired over the low mound that covered him. They were the daughters of a soldier. There stands to-day over the grave a simple granite marker bearing this inscription: James H. Beers, of Connecticut, Who Fell at Chancellorsville, Fighting for Virginia and the South, May 3, 1863. My story is done, and I feel that it is worthy of recital and remembrance. Indeed it embodies the most impressive instance I have ever known of trenchant, independent thought and uncalculating, unflinching obedience to the resulting conviction of duty-obedience unto death. Observe, Beers had never been South and had no idea of ever going there until the Southern States were invaded. Observe again, he was not a man without ties, a homeless and heartless adventurer; but a complete
n the habit of holding religious services with the men of his battalion on every fitting occasion-services which they highly appreciated. Just after the battle of Chancellorsville I was in Richmond, having recently received an appointment in engineer troops. I am unable to recall the details, but I was notified to meet poor Beers' body at the train. Colonel, afterwards General, R. L. Walker (Lindsay Walker), commanding A. P. Hill's artillery, hearing that Beers had been killed on the 3d of May and buried upon the field, had the body exhumed and sent to me at Richmond. It is strange how everything connected with the burial, except the sad scene at the grave, seems to have faded out of my recollection. I know he was buried in our family lot in Hollywood, and as no one of us was buried there for long years after this, we must have bought the lot for the purpose. I remember, too, that we laid him to rest with military honors, Captain Gay's company, the Virginia State guard, ac
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