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 He was little influenced by the opinions of others; but, having formed his own, he adhered to them without obtrusion or argument. Genial in temper, fond of society and mirth, he maintained strictly temperate habits. When the circle of his friends was hilarious with wine and revel, this boy with the beardless chin and the steady, brown eyes, the gayest of the company, was never flushed. Genuine self-respect and principles deeply implanted kept him pure amid the extraordinary temptations to which his beauty, kindness, and universal popularity exposed him. Of one thus richly endowed with bright faculties and instinctive virtues, which were still further recommended by the charm of fine demeanor, the impartial judgment becomes spontaneous praise. He was buried by his father's side at Hampton, the old homestead of the Fitzhughs, near Geneseo, Livingston County, New York. A posthumous daughter, born in November, bears his name. Of the five sons of James G. Birney living at the outbreak of the war, four entered the Union Army, of whom three died in the service. Noblesse oblige. Major-General David B. Birney, long commander of the famous Kearney's division of the Third Corps, promoted to the command of the Tenth Corps, won a battle, October 7, 1864, and died eleven days after, in Philadelphia. Brigadier-General William Birney, as Inspector-General of Colored Troops in Maryland and at Washington, sent seven thousand into the field. He served with distinction in Florida, and was in Virginia, commanding the Third Division, Twenty-fifth Corps, at the time of the surrender of Lee. Lieutenant Dion Birney died of exposure in the Peninsular campaign of 1862. By his father, Fitzhugh Birney was first-cousin of the Confederate General Humphrey Marshall; by his mother, a more distant relative of the Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee.
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