By the time I got to him he was already dead, supported in Lieutenant Howland's arms. He was in the act of rising to transmit to the regiment General Paine's order, when the fatal bullet struck him in the left shoulder, and thence, passing obliquely down through his heart, made its exit at the right side. He only said, “My God, I am hit,” and then I have no doubt life was extinguished instantaneously. We remained in the causeway until six o'clock, in close proximity to his dead body, when, the order to fall back having been given, the men of his old company put their muskets under him and carried him to the hospital, where Dr. N. Ward had all the necessary arrangements made. He was laid in a box, wearing, except the coat, the clothes he wore when slain,—wrapped in a blanket, and the coffin filled and covered with green leaves. Our good Quartermaster Mason endeavored to have him carried to New Orleans, to be sent North from that city, but found this was forbidden at this season by general orders. So he was laid in a beautiful little space near our camping-ground of a few nights previous, and by his side Captain Bailey, of the Fifty-third Massachusetts, and Lieutenant——of the——. Our Quartermaster and Dr. Thompson were the only officers who attended the funeral; all the others being compelled, by their duty, to be at the front. Lieutenant Mason tells me that his face had its most natural expression,— one of perfect tranquillity and repose. At the grave a few remarks were made by the chaplain of the Fifty-third Massachusetts, Mr. Whittemore. . . . . Your affectionate nephew,
Headquarters, defences of New Orleans, New Orleans, June 5, 1863.dear Sir,— I had hoped to obtain some of the details of your son's death in time to send by the last mail, knowing that it would be a comfort, though a sad one, for you to know how and where he fell. It is, however, only since the steamer sailed that I have heard anything which I could venture to write as reliable. The regiment was lying down in a line of rifle-pits, to protect itself from the fire of sharpshooters. A messenger rode up with orders; and as Colonel Rodman impulsively rose to receive them, he was shot through the heart, dying instantly and without pain.
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Ode recited at the Harvard commemoration, July 21 , 1865 .
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