previous next
“ [453] his conviction that he was to be executed contrary to the laws of civilized warfare. He accepted his doom as the will of God.”

Dr. Weston, chaplain of the Seventh New York Regiment, visited him on the 18th of February, the day whence a respite deferred his execution to the 24th of the same month, and Beall received him “with marked courtesy.” He found him provided with a Bible, but without a prayer-book. Yet (as he tells us in his diary), as early as the 29th of December, the doorman of the police Headquarters had bought him “a Book of Common Prayer, for $1.00.” What, then, had become of it, that on the morning first appointed for his execution he had no prayerbook? It is almost too sadly sacred to relate. He had sent it, a gift of life from the hands of death, to his betrothed!

His Bible had been obtained in prison; upon opening it at random his eyes fell first upon these sublime verses: “For our light affliction, which is but for the moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, while the things which are not seen are eternal.” He had written on the margin several hymns—old hymns, which stand in relation to the prayer-book collection as the essential oil to the remainder of the plant.

The morning of the 24th of February opened fairly. Mr. Ritchie had spent the preceding night in the fort, and until midnight had remained in the cell with Beall. On Wednesday night he had slept soundly, and happy dreams of home and childhood had visited him. But on Thursday night the toothache, to which he was subject, and with which he was suffering when arrested, attacked him again, and to some extent robbed him of his last night on earth. He would have liked some laudanum, he said, to still the pain, but declined to ask for it for fear of being misunderstood. Nothing, however, disturbed the tranquillity of his soul.

The execution was ordered between twelve and two. Messrs. McClure and Ritchie were left in the cell with the prisoner alone uninterruptedly for about an hour. This time was spent in calm, quiet, pleasant conversation. Old friends were inquired after, old scenes recalled, and the circumstances connected with his own participation in the raid on Lake Erie, and on the Dunkirk and

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Lake Erie (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Ritchie (2)
John Y. Beall (2)
Weston (1)
J. R. McClure (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 29th (1)
February 24th (1)
February 18th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: