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[245] and provided the means necessary to bridge over that almost fatal calamity.

And before I pass from this line of remark, I would not fail to pay a tribute to that innate modesty that so adorned his character, and I had almost said achieved his greatness. He shrank from the gaze of men. He invariably took the lowest seat until invited to go up higher; and his whole life has been a beautiful commentary on that word of holy Scripture which says: ‘He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ His worth more appreciated by his fellow-citizens than by himself, he is by them brought forward and honored with the highest positions of confidence and trust that they could confer upon him.

During a transfer of a portion of the army with which he was connected in Virginia, they came to a stream greatly swollen by continued rains, and upon his arrival he was invited to join in council with his superior officers, concerning the situation, as there was no time for delay and no means of bridging the stream. Declining to counsel his superiors he simply requested that he be allowed to act at his discretion with his immediate command. The permission was granted, he plunged into the threatening stream with orders for his men to follow, and in a few moments his brigade was safely over. And immediately there went up a shout from the troops on the other side, applauding the daring but successful deed, and as soon as General Humphreys discovered that he was the subject of such applause, he put spurs to his horse and was soon out of sight in the woodland, his modest spirit carrying him away.

And likewise when he united with the church he sought an occasion that would be free from all notoriety. It seemed that he had heard his Master say to him, as He so often said to those who sought His grace when on earth, ‘See that thou tell it no man.’ Abundant in good deeds—the very synonym of charity, kindness and brotherly love—yet he would have scorned as unworthy and distasteful the publication of such acts, or the assumption of any merit on account of them.

But nowhere, perhaps, did he manifest so clearly his power and wisdom as when called to the Governorship of his State. It was a perilous time; the sound of arms had scarcely ceased its echo; all the disorganizing and demoralizing influences of war had to be met; a revolution had been affected. Pre-existing institutions having been swept away, every fortune gone, and every home in mourning, a new beginning must be made. From every quarter there came the inquiry,

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Benjamin G. Humphreys (2)
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