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[447] filled an honorable grave—when the bereaved father chanced, in passing through a hospital, to find this friend of his youth, who had come thither to die. But he was no longer a debauchee, for his eye kindled as he told of the solemn promise he had made and, by the grace of God, kept until then; of the sustaining trust in the merits of the Redeemer, which filled him with peace and fitted him for the hour of death, now so near. All this he attributed, so far as human agency is concerned, to the labors and kindness of French Bibb, who, boy though he was, “talked to me,” said he, “like a father.”

As he was borne from the field he said calmly to one of his comrades: “I am willing to die for my country; and I think it had better be myself than you.” Lingering for some days in the hospital, he bore his sufferings with Christian fortitude, and gave indubitable proof that he died in the full assurance of the Christian faith.

His company, in formal meeting, gave expression to their feeling at the death of one, who—to use their own words— “ distinguished for the mild firmness of his bearing, the courtesy of all his intercourse, his attentiveness to every duty, his conspicuous gallantry in action, had secured, to a rare extent for one so young, the admiration, the esteem, the love of the whole company.” The Sunday-school in which he had both been pupil and teacher, added its tribute to his memory, and thanked God that “there was so much to mitigate the bitterness of the sorrow in the hope of reunion in heaven.” And when the body was carried home to be buried, and the solemn toll of the church bell, whose gladder tones he had loved so well in life, summoned his friends to the funeral ceremonies, “every place of business in the town was closed,” and the whole community united in giving honor to their young townsman, who, dying in his country's service, was no less a true soldier of the Cross. The funeral services were conducted by his pastor, Rev. Wm. F. Broaddus, D. D. On his coffin were laid the following lines, written by a lady friend for the burial hour:

Strew flowers on his coffin'd breast,
His noble heart is now at rest;
The young, the beautiful, the brave,
We will not mourn his early grave.
Faithfully his duty done,
On earth a noble name he won;
But, nobler far than earthly fame,

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William F. Broaddus (1)
French Bibb (1)
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