officer to the private; of all ages,--from the gray-haired veteran of fifty years service, to the beardless youth; of all degrees of cultivation,--from the man of science to the uneducated boy. It is not necessary, nor is it possible, to repeat the mournful yet illustrious roll of dead heroes whom we have met to honor.
Nor shall I attempt to name all of those who most merit praise,--simply a few who will exemplify the classes to which they belong.
Among the last slain, but among the first in honor and reputation, was that hero of twenty battles,--John Sedgwick
,--gentle and kind as a woman, brave as a brave man can be, honest, sincere, and able: he was a model that all may strive to imitate, but whom few can equal.
In the terrible battles which just preceded his death, he had occasion to display the highest qualities of a commander and a soldier; yet, after escaping the stroke of death when men fell around him by thousands, he at last met his fate, at a moment of comparative quiet, by the ball of a single rifleman.
He died as a soldier would choose to die,--with truth in his heart, and a sweet, tranquil smile upon his face.
Alas! our great nation possesses few such sons as true John Sedgwick
Like him fell, too, at the very head of their corps, the white-haired Mansfield
, after a long career of usefulness, illustrated by his skill and cool courage at Fort Brown
, and Buena Vista
, John F. Reynolds
, and Reno
, both in the full vigor of manhood and intellect,--men who have proved their ability and chivalry on many a field in Mexico
and in this civil war,--gallant gentlemen, of whom their country had much to hope, had it pleased God to spare their lives.
fell in the prime of life, leading his little army against superior numbers, his brief career affording a brilliant example of patriotism and ability.
The impetuous Kearney
, and such brave generals as Richardson
, strong, Saunders
, and Hayes
, lost their lives while in the