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

William Snell

What we have been able to learn of this patriot is communicated in the following letter from one of his parents:

"William Snell, son of James and Eliza Snell, was born in Albany, November 24, 1838. At the commencement of the rebellion, he felt it to be his duty to offer his services in defence of his country. Being a member of the Tenth Regiment, he voted, with the company, to offer their services to the Governor, and they were accepted. They were sent to New Orleans, and there he served as Quartermaster's clerk. After the battle of Port Hudson, they started for home, having been absent ten months. He arrived in Albany on the 1st of September.

"The regiment lost most of their men, and those who survived were in a sick or dying condition. He remained, home about three months, until he recovered from the fever, of which he had a severe attack. Very soon there was another call for three hundred thousand men to join the army. Our dear son returned to the war, giving as his reason for doing so that it was the duty of unmarried men to be foremost in the defence of their country.

"He went to Brooklyn and joined the Seventh Heavy Artillery, Company H, which was sent to Fort Reno, D. C. Being a ready writer, he was detailed for bookkeeper for the Colonel. While at Fort Reno his leisure moments were spent in teaching his comrades mathematics and war tactics.

"On the 2d of June, they received orders to go down to the front, to a place called Coal Harbor, near Petersburg. I need not inform you that the fight was terrific, and there fell several hundred of our men. Many were wounded, and those who remained, were captured.

"William Snell was among the captured. Three days after the battle of Coal Harbor, which was on the 3d of June, he was missing. Nothing further was heard of him until we were informed by the Second Auditor of the settlement of his affairs, and we ascertained he had died on the 10th day of October, 1864, in a rebel prison. When he died, his age was twenty-five years, ten months and fifteen days.

"He corresponded with each of the family in turn until the 31st of May. His letters were very affectionate. He had a pleasing way with him, which gained friends wherever he went. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which his parents and sisters belong. While he was absent, he used to say in his letters that he was striving to attend to his religious duties.

"He was very strongly attached to the Sabbath school, and as a teacher, he was much beloved and respected. He was benevolent to the poor, and was naturally kind and sympathetic to those who were in trouble, and to the sick. We hope to meet him among the angels, where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and where parting shall be no more."

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