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

Sebastian Pearse
of Watervliet

Sebastian Pearse was the son of Richard S. and Eve Pearse, and was born in Watervliet, on the 26th day of November, 1840. He attended school until he was seventeen years of age, when he removed to Albany, and became engaged in the lumber business with his uncle John Ward, Esq.

At the very first call for soldiers to defend the republic against the attacks of rebels, he, like so many others whom we have sketched, cheerfully offered his services, and enlisted in April 1861, in Company E, Third Regiment of New York Volunteers, under Col. Townsend. He went to Fortress Monroe and remained with the regiment a short time, when on account of his superior intelligence and excellent character, he was transferred to the Signal Corps, and stationed at Fortress Monroe, under Capt. Seward F. Helpburn. Here he remained until his death.

The following account of him appeared in the "Christian Intelligencer," soon after his burial:

"Died, at Fortress Monroe, August 22d, 1862, Sebastian Pearse of the Signal Corps.

"Mr. Pearse was a young man of noble promise, and possessed the unqualified respect of all who knew him. A year and a half ago, when the country made an earnest call upon her patriotic and loyal sons, he left his business which was opening before him prospects of speedy and lucrative advancement, and volunteered in the Third New York Regiment. He fought in the battles of Little and Big Bethel, through which he passed unscathed and with honor. Soon after he was detailed to the Signal service.

"He joined the army and remained in it only from a pure sense of duty. Nearly a year ago he was offered an honorable discharge on account of a tendency to vertigo, from which he occasionally suffered; but he scorned the idea of leaving his post. His reply, on that occasion, displayed the whole principle of his life as a soldier: 'I came here,' said he, 'to serve my country, and as long as my country needs my services, I shall remain.'

"During his last illness, his comrades, the officers and the nurses, vied with each other in their tender attentions to him. The Captain declared that he loved him as a brother, and the mourning over his loss was universal."

Through the kindness of the members of the corps to which he belonged, his body was embalmed and delivered to his friends. He was buried from the Reformed Dutch Church of Niskayuna, Rev. John A. DeBaun, pastor, on the last day in August, 1862. A detachment of the Tenth Regiment New York State Militia, acted as pall hearers. A very large concourse of friends followed the remains to the grave, and mingled their tears with those of his bereaved, but not comfortless, parents. May the Almighty Father, whom they have long trusted and served, bind up their broken hearts, and may his rod and staff comfort them.

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