October 30, 1862
Proceedings of a Meeting
the members of the Guilford Bar, Commemorative of the death of the late Julius
L. Gorrell and Capt. William Adams.
motion of John A. Gilmer, Hon. James T. Moreland was appointed Chairman, who
explained the object of the meeting in a few feeling and touching remarks.
motion of Robert F. Armfield, William J. Long was
appointed Secretary; whereupon Robert P. Dick moved that a committee of three
be appointed to draft resolutions, when the chair appointed Robert P. Dick,
Robert F. Armfield, and William L. Scott, who, after
retiring, reported, through Mr. Robert P. Dick, the following resolutions:
Death has entered our professional circle, and taken away our much-esteemed
friends and brothers, Julius L. Gorrell, Esq., and
Capt. William Adams, and as we desire to pay just tribute to their memories,
Resolved, That we deeply deplore the
loss of those who had endeared themselves to us by many ties of association and
friendship, and who had so many high hopes of future honor and usefulness.
Resolved, That we ever bear testimony to
their eminent worth. As citizens they
were exemplary and upright; as friends, they were courteous, high toned and
honorable. They were well prepared to
discharge right the duties of life, and they had so lived as to leave names
Resolved, That we feel it to be our duty
to pay a tribute to Capt. Adams as a soldier.
He promptly answered the first call of his country. He left all the endearments of home and
kindred; with patience he endured the hardships and privations of the camp and
the march; with cool and determined valour he met the
dangers of the battle; and he died among heroes in the deadly charge at Sharpsburg. His memory as a soldier deserves to be
cherished and honored by his patriotic and grateful countrymen.
Resolved, That we tender our heartfelt
sympathies to the parents and kindred of our deceased brothers, and we request
the Secretary of this meeting to send them a copy of these resolutions.
Resolved, That the chairman present
these resolutions to the Ho. William W. Osborne in open Court, and request that
the same be put upon the Minutes.
the reading of the Resolutions, Mr. Dick payed a very
eloquent tribute to the memory of the deceased, a copy of which was requested
by the meeting for publication.
resolutions were then unanimously passed.
They were also presented bby the Chairman to
Hon. James W. Osborne, and ordered to be spread upon the Minutes of the Court.
J. T. MOREHEAD, Chm.
W. J. LONG, Sec.
of Robert P. Dick Esq., on the Death of Julius L. Gorrell,
Esq., and Capt. William Adams, made at a meeting of the Guilford Bar.
MR. CHAIRMAN: My regard for our departed brothers, and the
peculiar relation which I occupied to one of them, require me to say something
on this sad occasion. I am glad that I
can say in the sincerity of my heart, that they were both worthy of our high
esteem. I knew them when they were
little boys, the idol and joy of their homes, and I saw them grow up to manhood
with many fond hopes and bright promises clustering round them. They have left us now! Their work on earth is done, and we have met
to pay a last tribute to their memories.
L. Gorrell was a Christian gentleman. If he were living, he would desire no higher
eulogy. He was remarkable for his
methodical habits, and his fidelity and unwearied energy and perseverance would
have rendered much service to society and obtained high honor for himself. I knew him well in all the positions which he
occupied—as a Sabbath-school teacher, as a member of the Legislature, and as a
lawyer. And if he was faithless to any
of the high obligations which those positions imposed, I am glad that I know it
last few weeks of his life were clouded with great sorrow. His gallant brother, Capt. Henry C. Gorrell, had fallen in the vanguard of the noble army that
drove the Vandals from the very gates of our Capital. It is manly to weep for loved ones and the
brave! With an all absorbing grief our
friend was mourning for his noble brother, when the summons came to join him in
the spirit-land. The attachment of these
two brothers was unusually intimate and strong.
It seemed to grow with their growth and strengthen with their
strength. Death did not separate them
long. The hands of sorrowing affliction
have laid them side by side, beneath the shadow of the church, where from
childhood they had worshipped, and where they were consecrated to Him who now “giveth His beloved sleep.”
William Adams was my law student and for some time, we were intimately
associated in the profession. I had the
most unbounded confidence in his integrity and friendship, and I am sure that
there was no one outside of the circle of my immediate kindred for whom I had a
more affectionate regard. He was a noble
and chivalrous young man. He had many of
the qualities calculated to inspire strong friendship. He was brave almost to rashness. His generosity was without a taint of
selfishness; and his open-handed and open-hearted liberality was almost a
fault. His handsome intellect enable him
to acquire knowledge with great facility—perhaps too easily for his own good,
as he trusted rather to genius than to labour. He was very fond of the society of friends,
and spent much time in social intercourse; but I always felt sure that he had a
strong ____ anchor that would keep him safe from the temptations and dangers
which so often beset the path of warm hearted and generous youth, and that was
his devoted attachment to his Christian mother.
a soldier he was brave and faithful to duty.
He was but seldom on furlough. He
was among the first to enter the service and his whole mind and heart and soul
were enlisted in the cause of his suffering and struggling country; and he
sealed his devotion with his blood on the sad field of Sharpsburg. I am informed that his last request was to be
buried among his brave men on the field where he fell. He had won a soldier’s fame and he wished to
fill a soldier’s grave.
young and gallant friend is gone! The
last sound that greeted his ear was the sound of the battle; the last sight of
his fading eye was the affectionate sympathy of his brave comrades in arms! His noble heart, once so kind, so noble, and
so brave, now lies cold and still, far from his home; but his memory will long
be cherished by his friends and his country, and I sincerely trust that a
merciful God has given him Peace in the bright and better Land.
Chairman, the unwritten history of this war would make a terrible record of
sorrow. It has destroyed many warm
friendships, blighted many bright and beautiful hopes, and with bloody and
remorseless hands has sundered thousands of ties of the holiest love. It has made this fair land of ours—once the
abode of peace and contentment, of prosperity and plenty, the scene of carnage
and desolation, and the dwelling-place of want and anguish. It has filled our hearts with sadness, and
our homes with gloom; for many of the young, the noble and brave, who have gone
forth will return no more. Everywhere is
heard the voice of lamentation and weeping and great mourning—many a Rachel
weeping for her children. But I trust
that all those who mourn may be comforted with the blessed hope that though
“weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning.”
[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]