[for the Richmond Dispatch]
the gallant dead.
Shepherds Town, Va., Aug. 1, 1861.
The remains of the late Capt. William F. Lee
, of the Confederate Army who fell mortally wounded in the battle of Bull Run
on Sunday, July 21st. were brought to this place yesterday and interred It was a solemn, quiet and unobtrusive burial There was no pomp nor show, nor glitter of vain glory; ‘"not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,"’ as the last sad tribute of respect was paid to the lamented dead.
He died one of Virginia
's heroes, and his corpse was followed to the grave by a large concourse of weeping relatives and friends, and quite a number of his school associates.
The death of one so young, whose future bid fair to be one of usefulness to his country, brings with it a train of melancholy reflection.
Stretched out before him lay fields of glittering promise; the brilliant star of glory and renown lighted his pathway to fame, and just in the or set of achieving victorious lancets for his valor he was felled to the earth by a leaden messenger of death!
We are prone to stop and reflect that ‘"all is vanity and vexation of spirit,"’ and that
‘"The paths of glory lead but to the grave."’
was born in Alexandria
, and his ancestry dates beyond the Revolution.
He was a lineal descendant of the celebrated Lee
family of the Old Dominion, with whom every reader of the country's history is certainly familiar.
He was related to the present Major General Lee
, now in command.
In his youthful days he resided in this place, where he received a primary education; after which, he received the appointment of State student, from the Alexandria district, to the Virginia Military, Institute, at which seat of learning he graduated in due time with all the honors of the craft.
Endowed with a splendid military education, familiar with the ‘"arts of war,"’ possessing a resistless and fiery spirit, added to which was a temperament becoming a soldier and a fondness for the profession, he deemed it his duty to offer his services to his country.
The application was made, and he received an appointment in the United States army with the rank of Second Lieutenant
, in which capacity he served with credit alike to himself and the army.
During his connection with the Federal
army he was stationed most of the time on the Western
frontier, where he had been in one or two desperate engagements with hostiles Indians
, and acted with that coolness and bravery so characteristic of the name Latterly he was stationed at the United States Arsenal, St. Louis, Mo.
, and was in command of that important post for a short time.
continued at his post until Virginia
severed her connection with the late Union, and then, as becoming one of her sons, he resigned his commission in the U. S. Army, and linked his fortunes with those of our infant Republic.
He received an appointment in the regular Confederate Army, with the rank of Captain
, and entered into the recruiting service.
At the time he received his death wound, he was acting Lieut.
Colonel of Col Cummins
' Regiment of Virginia Volunteers By his self-sacrificing devotion to a cause in which was enlisted his all; by his eagerness and intrepidity on the field of action — his destitute daring and gallantry — he lost his life Willingly did he immolate himself on the alter of his country in defence of Southern rights and independence.
It was in a desperate and dangerous charge, which he led without awaiting orders, that he won his death!
And to die thus — at his post — is to die like a hero; to die brave!
He made Virginia
's cause his cause, and poured out his life blood a libation to constitutional liberty.
The subject of this feeble tribute (from one of his early schoolmates,) was eminently possessed with those social qualities of head and heart that naturally attract a large circle of admiring friends;
‘ "Yet, trained in camps, he knew the art
To win the soldier's hardy heart,"
and he at once became popular as an officer, and respected by his brothers-in arms
— for a such he was more familiarly known — was cut down in the flower of his manhood, not being over 30 years old — About two years since he was married in this place, to one of Virginia
's most estimable and accomplished young ladies — a daughter of the late Dr Richard Parran Therefore, by his untimely demise, he leaves a fond and affectionate wife and one child to mourn their irreparable loss; society is deprived of a brilliant ornament, and our army sustains the loss of a gallant and efficient soldier.
With the solemn and impressive services of the Episcopal Church, of which he was a consistent member, he was interred in the family burial-ground at Bedford
, the country seat of his uncle; and there we let his remains repose to mingle his dust with the earth from which he sprung.
This consolation survives; He fought bravely, and died becoming a soldier.
He is one of Virginia
's heroes, and his memory will be enshrined and live forever in the hearts of all true Virginians
‘ "Soldier, rest!
Thy warfare o'er,
Dream of fighting fields no more.
le p the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toils and nights of waking"