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[434]

The death of Lieutenant William Fauntleroy Cocke, of Cumberland county, Virginia, has been thus touchingly described by the facile pen of Mrs. Margaret J. Preston:

Captain Carter Harrison, in a letter to his brother, thus speaks of him:

My intimate acquaintance with your noble brother, William, dates from the commencement of the war, when I had the honor to command the company in which he served; for it was an honor even to belong to that glorious army in which such men enlisted as privates.

His modest and retiring disposition rendered it necessary to know him long and well to properly appreciate his great worth, that rare union of literary and cultivated tastes with sturdy manliness which so remarkably characterized him. Over and above all this were the Christian faith and sense of duty which rounded and completed his character. These were daily illustrated in the cheerfulness and alacrity with which he discharged any duty assigned him by his military superior. I remember that soon after going into the service, he was detailed with a large party on fatigue duty, involving severe labor—a service at that time peculiarly obnoxious to men unused to labor, for the most part, and strangers to the requirements of military rule. The officer in command of the party, entirely unacquainted with your brother, remarked that ‘if all the men worked like that man’—pointing to him—‘the task would be quickly finished.’ What an example to the rank and file of our volunteer army! A man reared in wealth and luxury setting himself to work with such will and alacrity as to make himself conspicuous among his fellow-soldiers and call forth such commendation, doing ‘with all his might whatsoever his hand found to do’ at the call of duty.

At the battle Manassas, while charging the enemy, he bethought him that his ammunition was expended; and stooping over a dead soldier, he gathered from his belt a handful of cartridges and transferred them to his own box with such quickness and dexterity as not to be thrown out of his place in the ranks— a remarkable instance of coolness in a young volunteer for the first time under fire. When I related this to Colonel Robert Preston, of the Twenty-eighth, ‘God bless the boy,’ said the gallant old soldier.

You were not present on the night when we contemplated

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