In the Congress of the Confederate States, on Wednesday, an eloquent eulogy was pronounced upon Col. Francis S. Bartow
, who fell at Stone Bridge
We copy the proceedings entire.
Th R. R. Cobb
, of Georgia
arise, sir, to announce the fact, too well known to this Congress, which saddens the faces of many convened here, and which is deeply felt by all. It is, that the mortal remains of our late colleague, the Hon. Francis S. Bartow
, now lie in the other end of this Capitol, temporarily made a charnel house for the illustrious dead.
, I confess it is one of the saddest duties I was ever called upon to perform I confess, moreover, my incompetency to perform it. To indulge in the formal generalities usual upon such occasions, would illy comport with your feelings or with mine.--To yield to the teachings of my own heart would, perhaps, be a sign as inappropriate to-day; for, sir, in every sense of the word he was my friend.
I believe I can say to-day, that as Jonathan loved David so loved he me. You all knew, and you all respected him.--You, sir, knew him intimately and long, and you loved him I knew him better than you did, and hence I loved him more.
Pardon me the relation of a little incident that transpired but a day or two before we left Montgomery
, and parted for the last time.
It will illustrate better than any words I can speak, the intimacy of the relationship that existed between us. Sitting by my side all the while during the sessions of that Congress, never differing with me on any important question, occupying as he did the important position of Chairman
of the Military Committee, perhaps the most important position of any connected with our Congress, bringing before us many measures for our adoption which I always voted for with confidence, and with all the feeble powers I had aided him in carrying out, it is not surprising that our friendship grew and strengthened.
It so happened, however, that on one single point I differed with him and his committee.
Afterwards, as we left the Capitol
and passed to our rooms, jestingly I made a remark to him. Instantly I perceived that it had wounded him, and as instantly I, with the frankness of a friend, begged he would never remember it. I supposed it had passed from his mind, but late in the evening, at a little social circle, where we had gathered together, he reminded you of the fact, that, during that day, for the first time in our lives, I had wounded his feelings. --Still, again, I tried to remove the impression, and assure him of my unwavering friendship.
We retired, but sleep would not come to my eyes, for my friend was wounded.
Silently, and in small hours of the morning, I passed from my room to his; quietly opening the door, I called his name, and found that he, too, had been sleepless.
Without a word of explanation, I went in the darkness to his bedside and leaned over him. He locked me in his embrace, and, shall I say it?
we wept without a word; and I retired.
Such, sir, was my friendship — such, his.
My friend, Mr. President
, was born on the 6th of September, in the year 1816, and consequently would have been forty five years of age on his approaching birth- day. A native of Georgia
, and educated in his native State, he afterwards graduated at the University
of our State with the highest honors that University can grant.
Immediately thereafter he proceeded to the study and practice of the law in his native city, and that profession he prosecuted, unremittingly, down to the time of his connection with this Congress.
He was seldom engaged in political life.
Once or twice — twice, I believe — his party almost forced him into the legislative halls of our own State.
Once I know he went cheerfully, because a great public interest, upon which is based much of the prosperity of Georgia
, not only lagged, but was abandoned by its friends.
A great effort was necessary to be made in order once more to push it on to completion.
With a generosity like him, with an earnestness his own, he went into the halls of our Legislature, and by, I might say, almost his unaided efforts, he once more brought the energies of our State to the completion of the road upon which so much of her prosperity is now based.
With these exceptions he never engaged in political life.
His party associations were always with that party whose distinguished leader, I see, is commemorated by a statue in these grounds, and a fit follower was he of a noble leader, and a high representative of a noble party.
This I can say, because I never belonged to it. With the exceptions I mention, he never was connected with political life until the commotions which the coming storm produced in the political atmosphere, convinced my friend that a great revolution was at hand.
The cloud, though no larger than a man's hand, and the lightning, though it was but the sheet lightning of the North
, convinced him that the storm was coming, and that it had to be resisted or the State
would be crushed.
With a boldness like himself, with an earnestness which characterized all his conduct through life, he placed himself instantly in the very vanguard, and he remained there till he died.
Becoming a member of our State Convention, he was selected as a most proper chairman of our most important committee, the Military Committee.
When that Convention looked around for the purpose of selecting a proper Delegate to be sent to this Congress, he was unanimously chosen.
Afterwards, his history is known to you.
Many of you will remember when the Representatives
of the six States met together in the Capitol
of a distant sister State.
Many of you well remember how, even in that band of undivided brothers, there necessarily arose some difference of opinion as to what should be done to meet the rapid march of mighty events.
And you all must remember how boldly he stood up for instant and immediate action.
I will not trespass upon your time by rehearsing what is familiar to you all — You know what his life was in our midst; you know how undaunted and bold he was when the time came for him to act; how modest and retired under all other circumstances; you know how important the position to which he was assigned; you know how well he discharged the duties of that position.--These are historical facts; it is not necessary for me to enlarge upon them.
, I would not do his memory the injustice of attempting to portray his character, and reveal to you the estimable virtues of his head and heart.
I would say, however, sir, that his talents were not only of the highest order, but they were of that high order that could not descend to small things.
Details never could be attended to by him. Great thoughts he grasped as Jove grasped the thunder.
The consequence was, that as a lawyer, in his arguments, he took broad views, despising petty quibbles, and even the necessary researches of the black letters.
As a politician, or rather, I should say, as a statesman — you know well that these same characteristics were united in him. His heart, sir, was as great, and cast in a mould as gigantic as his mind hence a mean motive never entered his heart; hence a sordid interest was ever spurned with disgust.
His manners were to strangers rather cold and distant; to acquaintances, polite, but yet cordial.
In the secrecy of private life he was as tender as a child — as demonstrative as an affectionate woman.
As a son, a widowed mother weeps to-day over the loss of the pride of her heart.
Sisters weep to-day over a brother that was not only kind, but was tender in his affections towards them and towards their children — Need I speak of a wife?
Her devoted affections following him, as the beloved Disciples followed the master, until she could almost witness his crucifixion, is evidence of the affection which would draw forth such heroism as she has displayed.
, in one other relation of life I feel I ought to refer to my friend as a master.
He has poured out his life-blood defending the institution which he believed to be sanctioned by God.
How dwelt he and how acted he in his positions?
An incident or two will illustrate this better than many words can do. A faithful body servant (Jimmy his name,) attended him from his boyhood, when he was his playmate, even down to the moment when he left his home.
I have heard he was with him on the field of battle, and it may be so. A few years ago, when the terrible scourge, the yellow fever, visited the seaboard of my native State, my friend, along with others, was stricken down by the pestilence.
Although there were many nurses, yet there were many who could not be attended to professionally.
My friend relied upon his faithful servant.
Faithful he was to him, and by his bedside he sat until he was convalescent.
When he arose from that bed, it was merely to exchange places with the faithful watcher.
Jim was also stricken down by the fever, and my friend bathed his temples, and held his hand, and administered to his comfort even as the faithful servant had administered to himself.
A few weeks ago, passing through the city of Savannah
, and making his house my home, I noticed, sitting in his garden, several old decrepit slaves, I dared not ask him why they were there, but upon inquiring, I found that he had made the basement of his house, as it were, an alms-house for the decredid slaves of his deceased father.
They were valueless, and, therefore, must be taken care of by some one, and thus my friend took them under his own watchful care and protection.
This is a commentary, Mr. President
, upon the abuse heaped upon us by our enemies.
One reference to his military career, his connection with this war, and I have done. --Having devised and inaugurated many of the measures as Chairman
of the Military Committee, my friend was deeply impressed with the conviction that it was his duty to take his sword in hand and go to execute what he had thus devised.
He communicated to myself and to others at Montgomery
A company of volunteers of the city of Savannah
, learning that such was his feeling, urged that they might be entered along with his own service, and that they might go together to the field of battle.
They were thus tendered — they were thus accepted.
Before he reached this city his merits had already appointed him where the Executive
authority of this Confederacy soon placed him, at the bead of a regiment Subsequently, a brigade was placed under his command.
When he determined thus to take his life in his hand, solemn thoughts passed through his mind, and coming events casting, as it were, a shadow before the sight of my friend, premonishing him he would never return to his home.
This he communicated to several, as you and others around me know to be true.
He communicated it also to his wife, as she has told me. This conviction became very strong upon him; but with a bravery heroic in itself, and heroic in the manner in which it executed its purpose, he marched straight forward to the death that he believed certainly awaited him. It was not a death that he feared — rather a death that he coveted. --His wife has communicated to me the fact that several times he told her his desire was to die on the battle-field defending the liberties of his country.
Of the manner of his death, Mr. President
, I can only speak from rumor; but I have taken pains to inquire from those who were nearest to him on that memorable occasion, and therefore I may speak with accuracy.
During the day his own command had suffered much.--Towards noon, it became necessary, as I understand, for the left wing of our army, to keep from being flanked by the enemy, to fall back further and further towards its original position, occupied in the morning.
About this time, the exact hour I cannot tell, my friend approached Beauregard
, the General
commanding, and said, ‘"What shall now be done?
Tell me, and if human effort can avail I will do it!"’ The reply was, ‘"that battery should be silenced." ’ Seizing the standard of his own regiment, and calling the remnants of his command to rally and follow him, he led the van in the charge of battle.
A ball wounded him slightly and killed his horse under him. Still grasping the standard and rising again he mounted another horse, and waving his cap around his head, he cheered his boys to come on. They followed.
The next wound was from a ball that entered his heart.
He spoke afterwards to the few of his brave boys who gathered around him. His words will ever be memorable.
He said, ‘"they have killed me, but never give up the field.
"’ That last command was gallantly obeyed, and his boys silenced the battery of which he died in the charge.
, in a few days or weeks I expect to follow the footsteps of my friend to the field of battle; and I confess to you, sir, that my natural heart prompted me to desire that upon the first battle field I might meet and recognize his slayer, and with the bold eye and never arm of the avenger of death, I could strike him to the dust and almost gloat over his dying agonies.
But a voice within me lays all such feelings low, the words of Holy Writ come to me: ‘"Vengeance is mine;"’--and I thank God for the promise--‘ "I will repay saith the Lord
."’ Let us then, sir, wait on the Lord
, ‘"for the Lord Omnipotent
To human knowledge, my friend and I are apart forever; but I thank God, yea, I would praise him, that to both of us he hath given a faith that pierces through the gloom of the grave and enters futurity, where it pictured the bright hope of a glorious meeting in an unending eternity, where clasped again in our friendly embraces, we may bask forever in the sunshine of God's love.
In that hope may I live, in that faith may I die.
I offer these resolutions:
That Congress has heard with unfeigned sorrow of the death of the Hon. Francis
, one of the Delegates
from the State of Georgia
; that the natural exultation for a glorious victory achieved by our arms, is checked by the heavy loss sustained by the Confederacy
in the death of one of her most efficient counsellors; and that, as his colleagues, we feel a peculiar loss to ourselves, in one who had won our esteem, and gained much of our affection.
That with pleasure we record our admiration of his heroic defence on the field of battle, of the action of Congress, in which he participated so largely, and find some crenelation for his death in the conviction that his noble self-sacrifice will serve to establish the work which he so boldly aided to begin.
That we appreciate the loss which Georgia
, his native State, has sustained in the death of one of her noblest sons, and that we tender to the bereaved family the sympathy of hearts, to some extent, stricken by the same blow which has crushed their own.
That a copy of these resolutions be communicated to the family of the deceased.
That in testimony of our respect for his memory, the Congress
do now adjourn.
The resolutions were unanimously adopted.