Until within two days of his death, he had been considered safe from danger by his physician. But the treacherous fever suddenly assumed a fatal form. He died February 13, 1863. His sorrowing comrades gave him a soldier's funeral on the 14th, and followed his remains on their voyage to his Massachusetts home with letters of tribute to his character and earnest sympathy with his friends.
We shall remember him as a leader among us, always recognized as such for his acknowledged talents, even though he was only a private. We shall delight to remember him as a true, fearless, resolute, patient soldier, setting an example of fidelity, bravery, and unyielding pluck. None will forget his generosity, and the many ways he devised to keep up the morale as well as amuse the company.He was himself always his own best biographer; and in one brief sentence, in which he pays a tribute to a friend broken down in war, he discloses the plan of his own life: ‘He has played a man's part and lived a man's life.’ The two phases of his own life and character are here exactly, though unconsciously, presented. Until the war, his life was hardly real. His ‘champions’ were of wood, his heroes fabulous, his favorites fictitious; even his friends, a study for characterization; and he could hold off the deepest experiences of his own heart and view them with a dramatic purpose. He was eminently an artist. He played a man's part. But when the war came on it rolled over him like a terrible prairie fire, trampling out flowers and grass, and leaving only the hard, burnt earth behind. Yet already a brighter, better growth was greening above the sod, when last we looked his way. We picked the first snowdrop of the season the day Frank's body was laid away in Mount Auburn. He had ‘lived a man's life.’
‘Believe me, dear friend,’ Frank wrote, ‘I am content with my work and cheerful at the thought of what lies before us as our share of the grand advance. I was never in better health; never, I hope, better prepared to die or to live, if my life is spared. I feel as if I had reached a halting-place in my life, as if it would close now with a roundness and completeness, not of achievement, but of being.’