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[369]

Captain Dwight was one of the most upright and exemplary young men of his country. Never, in a single instance, in his short but brilliant career, had he failed to recognize what was due from a high-toned and brave officer. On our march to Opelousas, and while in occupation of that town, he exerted himself to the utmost to restrain lawless men from infringement upon the personal rights, or the appropriation to their own use of the property of citizens of that town, and contributed much to bring to the punishment of death men who had violated alike the laws of war and of property. His name and character were without blemish. The man does not live who can charge upon him the commission of a dishonorable act, or the omission of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of humanity or of honor. It is deeply to be regretted that such a man should lose his life under such circumstances; but it illustrates too strongly the conduct of the troops in that and other campaigns, to allow it to pass without permanent correction. And if the sacrifice of his life shall result in suppressing so flagrant an abuse of the rules of war, he will have achieved as great a good as other men accomplish in the longest life. His career will have closed with the evidence of his untiring efforts to restrain lawless men from the commission of crimes; and the sacrifice of his life will illustrate the open and flagrant disregard of these principles by the men in arms against his country.

His funeral, in New Orleans, was attended by some of the best and highest in the land. From old and young he had won affection and esteem. The church was thronged with those eager to pay him the last tribute of respect. At the request of a friend, classmate, and brother officer, his favorite hymn which he so often sang, ‘I would not live away,’ was given a place in the funeral services. When they were concluded, a large concourse of people followed the funeral procession to the steamship which was to convey his body to the North; and as the box containing it was about to be lowered into the hold of the vessel, flowers were strewn upon it by the hands of those who knew Howard Dwight only as he would most wish to be known, as a true patriot and soldier, ready, as he had more than once declared, to give his life for his country.


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