As French Bibb was borne from the field of Chancellorsville he was met by his most intimate friend, Willie M. Abell (son of A. Pope Abell, Esq., of Charlottesville), who belonged to the Fifth Virginia Cavalry. The two friends had not met before since they entered the army, and their meeting under the circumstances was so tender and touching that bronzed veterans who stood by with uncovered heads could not restrain their tears. But the two Christian boys could only grasp hands and exchange a few words of tender affection, as French Bibb was carried on to a few days of suffering, followed by his glorious end, and Willie Abell galloped on in the discharge of the soldier's stern duty. But these loving friends, who grew up in the same Sundayschool, were members of the same Church, and had so much in common, were not long divided. Willie Abell gallantly rode with his regiment, the Fifth Virginia Cavalry, through the stirring campaigns which followed, proved himself a very hero in the fight, and at the same time illustrated the power and influence of the Gospel in his intercourse with his fellows, until he fell in the discharge of a delicate and important duty, and left behind the name of a hero who, though a beardless boy, was as true to country and to duty as any plumed knight who figures in the world's history. The Charlottesville Chronicle thus told the story of his death, and Rev. Dr. J. C. Hiden, then post chaplain at Charlottesville, founded on it the following poem.
He bore his Saviour's holy name.
His early days to God were given,
His record in the Books of Heaven.
Then let him rest, till that glad sound
Which calls the nations from the ground
Full on his raptured ear is pour'd—
“Come forth, ye blessed of the Lord.”
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