He fell in battle at Yellow Tavern
, in a heroic and successful effort to save Richmond
's raid in May, 1864, and in the full tide of a brilliant career.
But though thus cut down when full of life and hope, he said, when the surgeon expressed the belief that he would ultimately recover: ‘Well, I don't know how this will turn out; but if it is God's will that I shall die, I am ready.’
He reached the house of his brother-in-law, Dr. Brewer
, in Richmond
, and began to sink so rapidly that it was very evident to his friends and to himself that he must soon pass away.
He calmly made disposition of his effects, and gave necessary directions.
Hearing the sound of artillery, he said to his gallant and trusted adjutant, Major H. B. McClellan
, who was with him, and whose valuable services in the field he so highly appreciated: ‘Major, Fitz. Lee
may need you,’ and expressed interest in how the battle was going.
But he quickly added, with a sigh: ‘But I must be preparing for another world.’
About noon President Davis
visited his bedside, and tenderly taking the hand of his great cavalry-man, asked him how he felt.
‘Easy, but willing to die, if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty.’
To the surgeon later in the afternoon he replied, when told that he could not live long: ‘I am resigned if it be God's will.
I would like to see my wife.
But God's will be done.’
His noble wife had been sent for, and was hastening to him, but she did not arrive until after his death.
To the doctor, who was holding his wrist and counting his pulse, he said: ‘Doctor
, I suppose I am going fast now. It will soon be over.
But God's will be done.
I hope I have fulfilled my destiny to my country and my duty to God.’
Turning to Rev. Dr. Joshua Peterkin
, of the Episcopal Church, of which General Stuart
had long been a consistent member, he asked him to sing:
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee,
and he himself joined in the song with all the strength he could summon.
He joined with fervor in prayer with the ministers present, and again said, just before he passed away: ‘I am going fast now; I am resigned; God's will be done.’
And thus the dashing