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This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Jesse D. Van Hagen

Jesse D. Van Hagen was born in Cohoes, Albany county, on the 8th of November, 1839, and was the son of Peter and Mehitabel Van Hagen. As a youth he was kind, obedient, and truthful. At the age of eighteen years, he became deeply interested in the subject of religion, and residing at that time in Albany, he became a teacher in the Sabbath school, connected with the Pearl Street Methodist Church. In February, 1858, he made a public profession of his faith in Christ, and united with that church.

When the President of the United States called for troops, he felt that his country needed his services, and he enlisted in Company K, Thirty-fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, commanded by Captain John Beverly, of Little Falls, Herkimer county, New York. On the 1st of June, 1861, the regiment received orders to start for the seat of war. Jesse having made preparation for the march, came home to bid his mother good-bye. He was remarkably cheerful, and seemed to be full of patriotic enthusiasm for the cause to which he had devoted himself. He said to his mother: " Do not be anxious about me, I shall be at home again one of these days." How little he thought, while uttering those words, that he was then looking upon that mother, and his other kind relatives, for the last time on earth !

Obedient to the orders received, the regiment hastened to the seat of war, and was at once stationed in the front, as a line of skirmishers. In the morning, just as the light began to appear, a startling and crashing fire came from the concealed enemy, and Jesse fell, pierced through the left lung, by a bullet. The Captain seeing that he was wounded, ordered two men to take him from the battle-field. As his comrades were lifting him from the ground, he received another wound, just below the first. He tried to speak but could not. He lingered in great pain for nine hours, when his brief, yet brave military career, was ended by death.

Captain Beverly, to whom the youthful patriot had endeared himself, thus wrote home to the brother of the departed, Mr. William L. Van Hagen: "Your brother while with me was a good christian soldier. He was always ready to fill his place in the ranks at a moment's notice. Therefore, you may well be proud of him. Do not weep for him, but remember that he died for his country's flag. He was very kind to his associates, and always took pleasure in doing them a favor." Thus early in the war, at the battle of Fair Oaks, passed away this noble youth, in the twenty-second year of his age.

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