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

Samuel W. Kelly

Samuel W. Kelly was born at Albany, April 8th, 1842, and was the son of George W. and Julia A. Kelly. His father died when he was an infant. When a child he was bright and intelligent, with good moral habits. He was baptized in the Methodist church, the Sabbath School of which he attended. From his childhood up, he always respected religion.

At the breaking out of the rebellion, he was moved from patriotic motives to enlist in defence of his country. He joined the Thirty-fourth New York State Volunteers, and served with the regiment nine months, when he was discharged on account of sickness. After returning home, he enlisted May 31st, 1862, in Company A. N. Y. S. V. G. M., and served out his time of enlistment. When on his way home, he was shipwrecked, and suffered greatly for want of clothing. The ladies of Philadelphia kindly furnished him with the articles he needed. Notwithstanding all the sufferings and hardships which he had previously passed through, he again enlisted against the entreaties and persuasions of his friends. He felt it to be his duty to help to put down the rebellion. When asked by his friends, if he was not afraid of being shot, he replied that he was willing to lay down his life for his country.

In November he enlisted in the (Tenth N. Y. M.) One Hundred and Seventy-Seventh N. Y. S. V., Company A. He served with the Regiment through the Louisiana campaign of General Banks, and was at the siege of Port Hudson when it surrendered to the union forces. He was one of the first to carry provisions to the starving rebels.

Before his departure for home he was taken sick with a fever, and suffered greatly until he arrived at Rochester, where he was kindly cared for. He was taken to St. Mary's hospital, where he was met by his mother. He never for once murmured, or regretted having enlisted. He requested the prayers of his mother and friends at home, and appeared satisfied when told that his mother had always prayed for him. He died September, 1863, believing and trusting in the Saviour. His body was brought to Albany, and buried in the Rural Cemetery.

The following notice of him appeared in the Albany "Knickerbocker."

Death of a True Hero—Another Victim of Disease.—It becomes our painful duty, this morning, to chronicle the death of another member of the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh (Tenth) Regiment—another victim of disease—Samuel Kelly, of Company A, having departed this life on Wednesday afternoon. He died in the hospital at Rochester, and it is consoling to know a kind and affectionate mother, and doting brother attended him in his last moments. Young Kelly at first enlisted in the Thirty-fourth Regiment, and went off as a private in the first rank. He served faithfully for some eight months, when he was stricken down by disease, and, it being thought that he could not recover, he received an honorable discharge on account of disability. He came home, and with kind nursing and good care was soon able to leave his bed, and, shortly afterwards, recovered entirely from his sickness. His love of country would not permit him to remain at home, so that when the Twenty-fifth Regiment left for the seat of war the second time, prominent among its gallant boys was the subject of this sketch. He passed through the Virginia campaign, and returned with the regiment when its time had expired. Again, when the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Regiment started on its long and perilous journey through the "sunny south," young Kelly could not be prevented from accompanying it, and for the third and last time he bade farewell to friends and home, intent in his patriotic motives, if need be, to offer up his young life as a sacrifice in behalf of the rights of his native land.

We sincerely condole with the afflicted mother in her distress at the loss of her brave boy. His was a noble death, and though in his patriotism he dared its terrors on many battle fields, a gracious Providence willed it otherwise. He was spared the agony of death on rebel soil. His last moments on this earth were passed amid the kind attentions of a loving mother, whose presence rendered his dying moments easy. The kind words of a fond mother, were to him in his dying hours a consolation which made death's terrors less painful to the gallant youth; and those hands which first caressed him when a babe, now smoothed the pillow of the dying boy, and closed his eyes in death.

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