Charleston Daily Courier
Dec. 6, 1864
SUGGESTED BY THE DEATH OF BENJAMIN
R BOSTWICK, COMPANY E, 4TH GA CAVALRY, AT THE GENERAL MILITARY
HOSPITAL, WILSON, NORTH CAROLINA
Around his death bed are gathered a
mournful, friendly few,
Who knew alas! The hour approached
for a long and last adieu.
No longing sister is near him to
soothe the pressing pain,
And chase away the shadow, now
darkening o’er his brain.
No mother’s form bends o’er him
with maternal tender grace,
To shed the tear of agony and kiss
the paling face.
For far away from happy home his
spirit took its flight,
And a gentle stranger watched him
through that last tearful night.
A sound disturbed the stillness, it came from a footfall light,
And o’er the sheeted cot there
stood a vision of calm and bright.
that of lovely woman, in her work of trust and love,
Radiant with the favoring beams,
which shine in Heav’n above.
And as she slowly fanned his brow,
and gently stirred the breath,
A soft and cooling sephyx floated ‘round the bed of death,
feelings filled her heart-with hopes and fears oppress’d,
When mindful of
her gallant boy, then battling in the West.
The feeble pulse-the nervous
start-the hard and labored breath-
Came heralding the near approach of
stern relentless death!
Oh look! This glaring eye is fixed,
and broken is his tone,
A short spasmodic struggle, and the brave young soldier’s gone.
She bent in humble meekness, but
not a word she said,
She only looked a sad farewell
toward the handsome dead;
Then placing her soft hand upon the
quiet sleeper’s breast,
Her trembling lips breathed forth a
prayer- “Oh may he be at rest!”
She wiped away the last cold drop
and pillowed soft his head,
And in his blood-stained uniform,
there lay the sleeping dead;
over now,” she sadly sighed, then turned to leave the place,
Her steps were slow and measured,
and “care furrowed o’er her face.”
God bless thee, Oh gentle lady! In
whom all good doth ____,
Earth’s minister to suff’ring men, the wounded soldier’s friend!
We’ll bless thee with our latest
breath, and when “Grim Death” is near,
We’ll think of thee, whose pleasure
is to dry the soldier’s tear.
While countless hosts of mortal men
are struggling now for fame,
And striving amidst blood and death
to win a lasting name;
Thou has a
blessed heritage, which never will depart,
grateful love of the wounded soldier’s heart.
November 24th 1864
[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]