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

Brig. Gen. James C. Rice

Passing along, we come to another countenance radiant with christian hope and beaming with victory. The eyes reveal the inward intelligence; the lips whisper the peace of the soul. Upon the brow is stamped "heroism." In the hand is a commission addressed to "Brig. Gen. James C. Rice," a name which history will embalm and posterity applaud.

Six years ago this hero enlisted under the captain of our salvation, and professed his faith before angels and men, in the Madison Square Presbyterian Church, in the city of New York. Less than two years ago he took to his heart one who is now a widow. She looked and prayed for the brightness of serene skies, and received the thunderbolt that has shattered her spirit.

Although this christian soldier did not first enter the service of his country from Albany, yet his numerous family connections here, together with his being early and prominently identified with the Fourty-fourth N. Y., better known as the Ellsworth regiment, which was organized and sent to the field from this city, gives Albany the right to claim him, and to place his name upon the list with her own noble sons.

Gen, Rice was a native of the State of Massachusetts. He was born in the town of Worthington, Hampshire county, in the year 1828. The records of his ancestors trace them to Hertfordshire county, England. They were among the early settlers of New England, hwing immigrated to this country about the year 1636.

The paternal and maternal grandfathers of Gen. Rice were active participants in the Revolutionary war, and both served at several diflerent times during that long conflict, and endured many and great hardships. The father of Gen. Rice was a commissioned officer, and served several months during the last war with Great Britain. He is said to hwe been a man of true martial spirit, and a thorough and a brwe officer. The mother, who is now living at the advanced age of eighty-four years, has been a woman of great energy of character. Her long life of devoted purity and strong Christian faith, has deeply impressed itself upon all who hwe been subject to her influence; and it was from this source that the son drew his religious inspiration.

Gen. Rice graduated at Yale College, in the class of 1853, with distinction. Upon lewing college, he took charge of a seminary at Natchez, Miss., giving such spare moments as he had at command to the study of the law, hwing already decided to make this his profession. He returned to the north the following year and entered the office of Theodore Sedgwick, Esq., in New York city. Not long after he was admitted to practice in the courts of this State. He was here devoting himself to his profession, which was already becoming lucrative, when the first call was made for volunteers to defend the flag of the Union immediately upon the firing upon Fort Sumter, his ardent and patriotic nature was fully aroused to the magnitude of the offence against the government, as also to the urgent necessity of great determination and promptness on the part of the people to sustain and preserve their institutions. He believed that this could best be done by a general uprising of the north, hoping thereby to convince the insurgents, before blood should be spilled, of the futility of the attempt to subvert the government. He immediately offered himself as a private in one of the New York city regiment, but so rapidly were the ranks then filling up, that the regiment was already found to have a surplus of men, and he was transferred to the Thirty-ninth N. Y. S. V., known as the Garibaldi Guards. He received a commission as first lieutenant, and was appointed adjutant of this, then, splendid regiment, upon which large sums of money had been lavishly bestowed by the citizens of the metropolis. The regiment was early in the field, but from lack of discipline, did not meet the expectations of its friends. Insubordination soon began to manifest itself among the men, and on one occasion Lieut. Rice took such a determined and courageous stand, as to successfully quell a formidable mutiny. For his gallant conduct on this occasion he was immediately promoted to a captaincy. With this regiment Captain Rice was engaged in the first battle of Bull's Run. Soon after the return of his regiment to the defences about Washington, he became convinced that he could not, in this organization, be as useful to the cause, as he desired to be. He therefore made application to Gov. Morgan for a position in some of the new regiments then being raised, High testimony from his superior officers to his fidelity and bravery, secured for him the appointment of lieutenant colonel of the gallant Fourty-fourth, whose already full ranks were waiting to be officered. On receiving this appointment, Lieut. Col. Rice was the recipient of a beautiful sword, belt, &c., from the ladies and gentlemen of Albany. The following account of the presentation is taken from the Albany Evening Journal of October 19th, 1861:

"A large company of ladies and gentlemen met at the house of A. McClure last evening, on the occasion of the presentation of sword, &c., to Lieut. Col. Rice, of the Ellsworth regiment. Among those present were Gov. Morgan, Hon. Erastus Corning, John G. Saxe, Esq., and other distinguished citizens. The Presentation Address was made by Mrs. William Barnes, who spoke with great feeling and in a vein of patriotic fervor, which stirred the hearts of all who listened. It will be long before the recipient will forget her eloquent words and impressive counsels. Lieut. Col. Rice responded in an address marked at once by earnestness and scholarly finish. He pledged those present that the sword, of which he was the recipient, should return to its scabbard, when the war was ended, untarnished; and that no friend should have cause to blush over his record. He was deeply affected, and spoke with the pathos of earnest feeling.

"The sword is beautifully finished, and bears the following inscription: 'Lieut. Col. Rice, Forty-fourth Regiment N. Y. S. V. Presented by his Albany Friends.' Among the articles presented, in addition, were a pair of revolvers, belt and sash, &c."

After the appropriate and eloquent Presentation Speech by Mrs. Wm. Barnes, Col. Rice made the following reply:

"Respected Madam: Be pleased to accept for yourself, and for those Whom you have so eloquently represented here this evening, my grateful thanks, for these precious testimonials of your and of their regard.

"Aside from the intrinsic value of these martial gifts, so rich and beautiful in themselves, the thought that they are the generous oflerings of friends whose esteem long years of absence from their midst has not dinnned; the thought that the fair and patriotic channel of their conveyance is, at this moment, recalling to the mind of each one present the distinguished source from which you spring; the thought that they are presented here, surrounded by my kindred and family friends; and, above all, the thought that they are so soon to be used for the defence of a beloved country, in whose preservation each of our homes and firesides, our families, and all the kindliest relations and blessings of life are so intimately allied, will ever enhance to me the value of your gifts—adding, whether upon the tented or battle field, joy to duty—tenderly touching to their finest issues the sacred love and devotion I bear to my country, and causing me more fully than ever before, to realize:

'How home-felt pleasure prompts the patriot's sigh,
And makes him wish to live, yet dare to die.'

"The manner, Madam, in which these martial gifts have been presented to me—coming as they do from the hands of one of the gentler sex, and surrounded as I am by so numerous an assemblage of fair women and brave men—naturally calls to my mind those chivalric days of England's earliest kings, when around the Round Table of the good and gallant Arthur, valorous knights modestly told their loves, and feats of arms; when the fair Countess of Brittany and Montford stooped to bind the sash and sword around the waists of the bold Sir Tristam, and the generous Knight, Sir Lancelot; when the fair Lady Isabella, and the beautiful Eloisa, beside prancing steeds, gracefully knelt and fixed the spurs to their gallant knights; when the brave Templar of Ivanhoe won his fair Rowena by his faithful arms; when love was the crowning grace—the grandeur of the soldier's toils and bravery in woman's eyes the dearest quality of the manly mind. In accepting this sword, on this occasion, from your fair hands, I Would not entirely forget the noble examples of those chivalric times; but I will remember their many virtues, their mercy towards the helpless, and their kindness towards the oppressed. Be assured, Madam, that this sword, now entrusted to me by you, shall never be tarnished with one ignoble or ungenerous action; that as it now comes from your hands, bright and unsullied, so shall it be sheathed, when this war shall have ceased and peace shall have been restored throughout the land. When the skillful armorers of Saragossa presented their new made swords to the brwe knights of old, they first plunged them, hot from the forge, into the river Stalo, and thus tempered, baptized them with a sacred name, and dedicated them to some noble cause. This night I receive this sword, tempered by your eloquent and burning words, and forever dedicate it to the freedom and preservation of my country. Inspired by your commands, I receive this sword, and with the Trojan hero, as the Greeks threatened his beloved Troy, confidently exclaim:

* * * 'Si Pergama dextra
Defend! possent, etiam hac defensa fuissent.'

"If the Union can be defended by any right hand, even by this, it shall be defended.

"In the sentiments which you have so eloquently and feelingly expressed in regard to this war, I fully concur. I have long and confidently believed that God, looking down from His Eternal Throne of Justice upon the American people, from the formation of our Government, and despairing, after a long and faithful trial, that justice and right would ever be done to the down-trodden slave, either by the North or the South, at last has taken their emancipation upon Himself. I believe that it is God's divine purpose, having used the wrath of the South to commence this war, to cause that wrath to praise Him by the freedom of every slave. And I also confidently believe that this war, under his Providence, will be made just severe enough to effect this object; and that it will he ended by God only when we, as individuals, both North and South, shall see and realize this Divine object. Be assured, Madam, that in this war

'There is a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them as we will.'

Bearing no unkind or ungenerous spirit towards the South, but at the same time determined to defend my country to the last, on this Divinity, in conducting this war to a happy and glorious peace, I alone rely.

"With feelings thus inspired, I receive these military arms and equipments from your hands. But be assured that in doing so, I accept them relying not boastingly or confidently upon my own strength. I receive them, feeling deeply the responsibility of the sacred trust imposed upon me by your kindness, and trusting for their unsullied keeping entirely to that Being who never forsakes the brave and the faithful, who in the day of battle and of trial, put their trust in Him alone. I accept them as a Christian, feeling that they are to be used in a most holy cause—a cause that God will bless, and in His own wise time and way bring to a happy and glorious issue. I accept them as a patriot, proudly remembering the blessings and the glory of our country's past, and anxiously trusting that the same glory and blessings, so abundantly shared by us, may be transmitted to our children. I accept them as a soldier, willing to leave all, sacrifice all (save a Saviour's love), willing to offer up my life, if need be, for my country; for in the loss of our country all is lost, and whoever of us shall be so unhappy as to survive his country, can but feel that he has already lived too long."

The subsequent history of this regiment, and the glorious record made by it, are well known. Young Rice was shortly promoted to its command, and led it through all the hard fighting of the seven days' battles before Richmond, in the campaign of 1862. It was here that the soldiers learned, in their hardships and sufiierings, that they had in their Colonel, a friend whose heart was ever open to their needs, and that their comfort was ever his first solicitude. The noble men of this splendid regiment, who have escaped the dangers of the battle field, uniformly bear grateful testimony to the constant kindness and sympathy of Col. Rice. At the battle of Gettysburg he had charge of a brigade, and here, in the language of an eye-witness of that day's terrible conflict, "he again distinguished himself by his gallantry and skill. He was highly spoken of by Gen. Meade, for his conduct on this occasion, and earnestly recommended by him, as well as by Generals Hooker and Butterfield, for an appointment of brigadier general of volunteers. The President acquiesced in the wishes of these officers, and Col. Rice was presented with his commission, dating from the day of the battle of Gettysburg." Gen. Rice was now assigned to the command of a brigade, and had a part in all the battles of the "Army of the Potomac," till the fatal bullet closed his earthly career, at the close of a desperate day's fight at Spottsylvania, Virginia.

Gen. Rice's last letter, addressed to his aged mother, reveals the inner thoughts and workings of his soul. He said:

"We are about to commence the campaign, the greatest in magnitude, strength and importance since the beginning of the war. God grant that victory may crown our arms; that this wicked rebellion may be crushed, our Union preserved, and peace and prosperity again be restored to our beloved country. My faith and hope and confidence are in God alone, and I know that you feel the same. I trust that God may again graciously spare my life, as he has in the past; and yet we cannot fall too early, if, loving Christ, one dies for his country. My entire hope is in the cross of my Saviour. In this hope I am always happy. We pray here in the army, mother, just the same as at home. The same God who watches over you also guards me. I always remember you in my prayers, and I know that you never forget me in yours. All that I am, under God, I owe to you, mother. Do you recollect this passage in the Bible: 'Thou shalt keep, therefore, the statutes, that it may be well with thee, and thy children after thee.' How true this is in respect to your children, mother. I hope that you will read the Bible and trust the promises to the last. There is no book like the Bible for comfort. It is a guide to the steps of the young—a staff to the aged. Well, my dear mother, good bye. We are going again to our duty to bravely offer up our life for that of our country, and, through God, we shall do it valiantly. With much love and many prayers, that whatever may betake us we may meet in Heaven at last,
I am, your affectionate son,

They will meet again where sorrow and parting are no more. We regret that after several efforts we have not been able to obtain a fuller account and more minute details of the career of this distinguished soldier and eminent Christian; but the following papers, from those who knew well the departed hero, afford a just and clear view of his pure and lofty character, and of the valuable services that he rendered to our country.


Correspondeuce of the New York Evening Post.

Near Culpepper, April, 1864.

Well, after dinner my hosts fulfilled their promise; one of them guided me several miles to the quarters of the General.

The General is a Massachusetts Yankee, and was a New York lawyer. He entered the war as a private; became afterwards lieutenant colonel of the finest regiment our State has ever sent out; rose to be colonel of it, and was made brigadier general for a brilliant deed at Gettysburg. He has fought his way up, having neither family nor political influence, and has the reputation, with the commanding general, of holding tenaciously what is given him to hold, and going, over all difficulties, to the spot which he is ordered to take. His men say of him that he never says "go," but always, "come;" they are sure of hard fighting under him, but they are certain, too, to see him leading in the hottest part of it. He will blush when he reads these praises of him, but as I do not call him by name, and as what I tell is the simple truth concerning the simplest, purest and bravest soldier I ever knew, there is no need of his blushes.

I proposed a walk before dark, and we lit our cigars and sauntered through the brigade, that I might see how soldiers live in their winter quarters. It is not such an uncomfortable life as many of us at home feared. What we call tents are in fact huts; a frame-work of logs is built up to the height of four feet, and tightly sealed with mud; over this is spread a canvass tent as a roof. A broad, backwoods fireplace extends nearly across one side of this little house, on which the great logs are heaped to make a warm and cheerful fire. Some tents have boarded floors, in others the ground is beaten down hard; all are kept dry by a ditch surrounding the outside. Within are two "bunks" or berths, in which two or four men sleep; the walls are decorated with pictures cut from illustrated papers, with scraps from the country weeklies, patriotic songs, here and there an army hymn, and perhaps a photograph. You enter by a door, but there are no windows, the canvass roof admitting abundant light. This was the home of our soldiers during the long winter months. Here they read, slept and discussed; for these men are inexhaustible disputants, having brought with them from home all their curious love of political discussion.

"There is the chapel," said the General to me; "the chaplain is an excellent man—plain, rough, but full of fervor, and with a spirit of a Christian soldier. There is a prayer meeting to-night, and we will go in presently."

The chapel was a long building of logs, somewhat higher than the ordinary tents, and covered with canvass given by the Christian Commission. The seats were fence rails, firmly fixed in crotches driven into the ground. A little ledge, with two candles, answered the purpose of a pulpit and reading stand. When we entered, the meeting was about to begin. The house was full, about one hundred and twenty-five men having gathered together. I shall not soon forget this remarkable evening. The chaplain opened the meeting with a hymn, sung to a familiar, old-fashioned Methodist air, then asked the General to pray, who did so, fervently and simply. After more singing, such of the men as chose were called upon to speak or pray, as they wished. A number rose, one after the other, some speaking a few words, others offering a prayer. Those who spoke, urged in simple, direct, earnest words the necessity and happiness of a Christian life; those who prayed, called upon God, with touching appeals, to bless their country, the President, their generals and their families, from whom they had been so long separated. They spoke and prayed as men feel who have been long upon the sea, and whose port is yet far off; as men troubled with the yearnings of a lonely life, yet strong in their sense of duty fulfilled, and earnest to continue even unto death, if God so willed, in the cause for which they have so long battled. I am not ashamed to say that my heart filled, and tears came to my eyes, as I listened to them and saw what greatness of endurance, what fortitude and patient self-sacrifice, was found here in the camp. At the close of the meeting the General spoke: "You know well," said he, "and I rejoice that you know the importance and sacredness of the contest in which we are engaged. This is God's war; we who fight it are God's soldiers; we are God's people—the plain people whom he loves and cares for. This is God's war; everything that is holy and good on earth is at stake in it; we are fighting for law, for free government, for the liberty and equality of all men; we are fighting to maintain all that ever or can keep this Nation pure and happy and prosperous; not only our laws and our liberties, and those of our children, but even the religion of Christ would be corrupted if the enemies of the Union could triumph. They are autocrats, hating the plain people, despising the workingmen, corrupting religion, snatching at our liberties. We are God's servants, engaged in his work; and because we are that, because it is His service we do, therefore we are bound to be honest, to be faithful, upright, enduring, brave, pure of life, devoted in all things to Him who is our master; therefore it belongs to us, before all other men, to serve God in every act of our lives, to love Him, to follow His commands, to restrain our passions, to be in all things moderate, virtuous soldiers of God."

"You have been told," he went on, " how the soldiers of the Union are thought of at the north; how they are cared for, loved, looked up to. You know how, in your own homes, a soldier of the Revolution was reverenced, because he fought in the great battles which first gave us liberty; but your reward will be greater and more enduring than theirs. When this war is over, and you go home, you will be received with shouts, and hosannas, and tears of joy; you will be honored and cherished as man never was before you in the world; your children and children's children, to the latest generation, will make it their proudest boast that their fathers fought in this great and holy war. You will found families in the land; the greatest in the land will be proud to say, 'my ancestors served in the great war;' and if we die on the field of battle, as many of us must, do you think we shall be forgotten? Ah! don't believe it. When the war is over, be sure every smallest incident of its history will be traced, every name will be recorded, every brave deed will be searched out, and for a century to come your trials, your sufferings, your constancy and bravery will be the chosen theme of the most finished scholars, and the greatest writers our country produces. No act of ours will escape the vigilance of that multitude of busy writers who will, in every State and every town, search out our names and the story of our services, to make them known to the Nation, which will call us fathers of a redeemed country, the soldiers of a greater revolution. Ah! it is a proud thing to fight in this war; our reward will be great. Let us live such lives that God will love us, and that our countrymen may be proud of us. Let us keep up, here in the camp, the thoughts and habits of the dear homes we have left so far away, that our old mothers, when we come back to them, shall not find us in anything changed except for the better."

Do men fail to think thus? The General, whose words I have written here, has fought in twenty battles. He is but a little past thirty, but his black hair is already grizzled, and the lines in his grim face tell of exposure and the excitement of battle. "Do they see it as you do. General," I asked, as we walked homeward, "do they believe with you?" "Believe," said he, "they know; they have discussed these questions many hundred times about their camp fires; it is their life, their hearts are full of it. Do you think they are men who give their ease, their prospects, their lives for it; don't understand it? My dear sir, they know more than all the north put together."

I believe they do. These soldiers, in their long isolation from the busy world of home, have pondered and settled certain questions for themselves; they have disentangled themselves from the sophistries in which adroit politicians at home used to catch men as in nets. They call right, right; wrong, wrong, and duty, duty. The men of this army are curiously self-contained, self-confident. They no longer toss up their hats for a passing general—a disgusting fashion which was encouraged in the army at first, because it was thought that Americans fight as Frenchmen, and must be moved by personal motives, and by appeals to the meaner passions. "The soldier, if he does his duty, is as good as his officer," they say; "the soldiers have achieved more than their otficers in this army; we gain battle by hard fighting." They believe in the power of the army of the Potomac, and think it the finest army now in the world. "It is easy," they say, "to go on from victory to victory; easy to be confident when you always beat the enemy.'' But we have been defeated time and again, and after every defeat we have fought again as stubbornly, as bravely as ever. That's the hardest trial. But of what the army says, or such small part of it as one by chance and effort can get knowledge of, I must write another time.

C. N.


By Chaplain Twichell, Second Regiment Excelsior Brigade.

One of the most pleasant passages of my army experience, and one that I think will stay as freshly as any in my recollection, should my life go on to old age, is my last visit to Gen. Rice, at his head quarters near Culpepper Court House, a few days before we crossed the Rapidan and entered upon the late campaign, from the scenes of which he was fated so soon to disappear. I cannot say that he and I were friends, as our acquaintance had been recently formed; but I had often felt of late, that if his regard should keep pace with mine for a season, we were destined to become such; for it was not possible for one who knew him, to refrain his love. His soldiers, who sat down in the trenches before Spottsylvania, and sobbed when word passed along the line, "The General is dead!" can tell how that was, for they knew him, as he knew them.

The afternoon before the visit I speak of, I had ridden over to Culpepper—several miles from our camp—to pass the night with a friend; and just at sunset, having half an hour to spare, I called on the General. Had I no more than that short interview to recall concerning him, it was still enough to make me a mourner when he fell. He had lately written, to send to Mr. Whittier, that beautiful, sad story of the hospital, since published in the "Independent," and taking the manuscript from his portfolio, he read it aloud to me. His voice, subdued to the pathos of the subject, and the narrative itself, blended harmoniously with the soft shadows of the waning spring day that gathered around the reader's form as he stood in a western window for light, all together blend harmoniously with my present thoughts of the scene, now that, like the sergeant whose last hours he comforted, the General himself has halted and bivouacked forever.

When I rose to go, but not till the proposed half hour had twice expired, he asked me with true soldierly heartiness to stay till morning, and replied to my plea of a previous engagement: "Well, then, come out to-morrow and spend the forenoon; I shall be at liberty after nine o'clock, and we can talk over everything." I am very thankful now that there was nothing to forbid my acceptance of the invitation. When the orderly admitted me, at the time appointed, the General was giving audience to three private soldiers of his command, who had come for counsel in some matter. It was delightful to witness the spirit that presided at the interview. The grace with which his kindness met their confidence, showed that kindness and confidence were the law and custom of the place; yet no one could hwe failed to perceive that the proprieties of rank were not in the least article violated. That he was their commander, appeared as plain as that he was not their tyrant. When finally he dismissed them, satisfaction and gratitude shone in all their faces, and I comprehended why it was that once (as I heard himself tell, during the "Seven Days," in the summer of 1862, when he was Colonel, the remnant of his wasted regiment, ordered as a forlorn hope to save a battle well-nigh lost, followed him steadily up, struggling through the refluent tide of their own broken line, until it dashed, bayonet to bayonet, against that of the enemy, sweeping down fifty to one, and stopped it at the fearful cost of nearly half that started. The smile of encouragement by which he lighted the heart's of his men, and more than that, the frequent prayers he offered, kneeling in their midst, boded ill to the foe against which he led them.

Thus was my forenoon with Gen. Rice introduced. Before it ended, I heard him say many things that I wish might be told in his own noble words—it would honor his memory so much more than any representation of mine. But the long intervening agony of this campaign, whose battles have almost jostled each other—the echoes of one scarcely dying out before the thunder of the next begun—makes that quiet April day seem a great way back, and I cannot recall it as I would. His words, as he uttered them, are for the most part gone from me, but their substance and manner, and the impression they made on me, are as yesterday. His country was the one engrossing theme with him. He did not much discuss parties, or campaigns. Though he gave his opinions freely of both, neither political aspects nor alone the military situation appeared uppermost in his thought; but rather the true goal of our legislation and our arms—the advancement of Liberty. That it was the duty and privilege of the Nation to be free, was a truth that, on this day at least, possessed him utterly. He betrayed little interest in other things. We walked out, looked at the horses, talked somewhat of men and books, remembered our common alma mater, touched on a variety of topics, and occasionally a staff officer came with business; but whatever the diversion, the General each time soon returned to the cause, for which, soul and body, he was in arms; and listening, I felt the charm that dwells in consecration.

I wish again that I could repeat all the strong words his loyalty chose; but these I do remember: As we strolled through an orchard that adjoined his quarters, he stopped me by the shoulder, and. turning so that we faced each other, said, with a great weight of earnestness on every syllable, and his eye burning: "Why, I have thought this over so much, and have lain awake so many nights in anxiety for the country, and have grown to love her so — ." He did not conclude the sentence; out the intensity of his expression, and especially of the last clause, though it was tenderly spoken, was such, that to have added, "that I offer her my life," would have weakened the sense. After a silence, he continued: "If we should fail in this war, and I survive it, my course is determined. I shall never leave off fighting for liberty—if not in this country, in some other—if not with my sword, with my pen—to the end of my life." And so the General went on, as long as I remained his guest, breathing out his passionate devotion to the truth, for which, in a few days, he was to spill the blood of his brave heart; and knowing how many times his knighthood had been proven in the fires of conflict, he seemed to me, while speaking, as grand as a man could be.

Of the Christian piety, that was Gen. Rice's eminent trait, though it was manifest in his whole conversation, I have not spoken distinctively, because I had yet something to relate that would set it clearly forth. My desire to tell this, moved me, more than anything else, to write a sketch of the visit. As the day advanced to noon, and we returned from our walk to his room, we fell to talking of what would follow if our cause should be lost. The strain grew more and more sombre, till it drooped into silence—a silence which the General broke by saying, as one proposing the solution of a difficulty: "Suppose we pray." He rose, and taking the Bible from the shelf, opened it and read the fourth chapter of 2d Corinthians—"Therefore, seeing we have this ministry," etc.,—after a manner that showed how deeply he felt that a ministry had been committed to him. At the eighth verse he paused to look up and smile; when the reading was ended, we kneeled down. He drew very near the Throne, revealing how closely a Christian soldier may walk with God. It is not often that any single passage of a life can be taken as a specimen of the whole, and especially the ordinary, every-day expression of a great and useful career is not up to the level of a grand significance; but I think that this prayer of Gen. Rice, written over his tomb, might stand as a just monument and record, to tell the true history of what he was. It was the last of earth between the General and me. As we rose from our knees, he remarked, in a cheerful tone: "It looks brighter, doesn't it?" and I, feeling that the visit was complete, soon took my leave.

I saw him once more. He lay in a tent—dead. A wounded soldier, with his face buried in his hands, sat beside the body. I lifted the hat that covered the features. They were calm as the slumber of peace. I remembered how he once said to a friend of mine, who told it to me: "Give my life for my country! I have given it many a time." The sacrifice was often carried to the altar; at last the flame had touched it, and it was consumed. The sound of cannon at the front, when the battle yet raged, was borne back on the trembling air, but his sword reposed quietly beside the still hand, that two hours before had grasped it in God's name. It was pleasant then, as it has been through the six weeks of fiery toil and tempest, that have since worn wearily by, to think that the General was at rest.


We give the account of these services from the "Wisconsin Puritan," because of the additional facts of interest that the article contains relative to our departed hero.

"Honors to the Heroic Dead."

Under the above title, we find in the "New York Evangelist" of May 19th, an account of the funeral services of the late Brigadier General James C. Rice, who fell mortally wounded while leading his troops, on Tuesday, May 10th, in the late series of battles in Virginia. We copy the account in full, for two reasons: First; we of Milwaukie and Wisconsin have a kind of inheritance in this departed hero, by virtue of his brother, John Rice, Esq., in this city, to whom was written his last letter, just on the eve of the campaign in which he nobly laid down his life. Secondly; in Gen. Rice were beautifully and grandly united the Christian, the patriot and the hero.

In civil life there are some who combine the characteristics of a Christian and a patriot. In military life there are less such. Few in either class add to the other two qualities, so excellent in themselves, the undaunted valor and intrepidity of a hero. Let his name be held up now and in all history, for emulation. Look at a few last things concerning Gen. Rice. He closed his last letter thus:

"I enter upon this campaign cheerful and happy, for I love my country more than my life, and my entire hope, whether living or dying, is in Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer. Again, good-bye, my dear brother; and if we meet not again on earth, may we meet in Heaven.
Your affectionate brother,

His last words were: "Turn me over and let me die with my face to the enemy; " and the dispatch from the battle field, announcing his last breath, was: "He fell at the head of his column, where he was to be found in every fight." He was in twenty battles. How marvellous did he escape in all the preceding. God spared him, not only to serve his country through her greatest peril, but to give him- time and occasion to leave a name and influence for posterity. The treasure will lie governed with fond affection and great respect. We have seen the whole of his last letter referred to. The writer seems to us to have had a premonition that it was his last campaign. We should judge that he had just closed a letter to his beloved wife. He then turns to his brother and touchingly speaks of his companion, and makes a brother's statements and requests (which may not be spread before the public eye), as though he stood in the very face of death, and much expected to fall beneath his dart. Ah! it is trying to the soul to go into the deadly conflict thus; and that, not for himself, nor for his family, but for his country—self and family and all laid on the public altar. God bless the men who do it. The account of his funeral, with some biographical notice, is as follows:

"One of the most imposing services we ever witnessed took place last Sunday afternoon at the church of Rev. Dr. Adams, on Madison square. The occasion was the funeral of Brig. Gen. James C. Rice, who fell in the battle of Tuesday. He was an officer of high reputation in the army, and not one was more truly beloved by those whom he commanded, or more deeply mourned. In this city he was well known, having resided here many years. He was a member of Madison Square Church, and here, before the altar where he had professed his faith in Christ, and where he had been joined in marriage, was now laid his manly form, silent in death. The deep interest and general sorrow drew together an immense audience. Long before the hour, the church was filled to overflowing. At half-past three the remains encoffined, draped in the national flag and decorated with wreaths, bearing on it the hat and sword of the deceased, was borne in, escorted by several distinguished officers, among whom were Gen. Anderson, the hero of Fort Sumter, Maj. Gen. Dix and Brig. Gen. Hays. During its passage up the broad aisle, an appropriate requiem was performed by the organ and choir.

"When this solemn strain had died away. Rev. Dr. Prentiss began the service by reading the Scriptures; and never did those blessed words of consolation: 'I am the resurrection and the life;' 'Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept;' and 'Oh! death, where is thy sting? Oh! grave, where is thy victory?' sound more appropriate than over the bier of one struck down in the power of his manhood, yet dying in a holy cause, full of Christian faith and hope.

"Dr. Adams then rose to pay the last tribute to his departed friend and brother. Looking down from the pulpit upon the coffin which contained all that remained of the noble dead, it was some moments before he could speak. He then began in words that we shall long remember:

"The scene before us needs no interpreter. It is solemn and sublime beyond all speech. Solemn and sublime, because we bend over the bier of a true, brave, Christian soldier, who died in the discharge of his duty, at head of his column, full of faith in his Redeemer and the cause of country. Six years since, in this very church, he who now lies here confessed Christ, and partook of the communion. Eighteen months since he stood before this altar and was married, going forth with only a sky of blue and gold; upon that identical spot he lies now, on his way to an honored grave. The circumstances of this occasion in themselves are eloquent. Self-sacrifice is eloquent; devotion to the cause of God and our country is eloquent; death is eloquent. Who would not rather be in that coffin, covered with the emblem of our nationality, a true patriot and a Christian, than be walking alive a supporter of this wicked rebellion against the best government the world ever saw; or than be dragging out a low, sordid, sensual and selfish existence."

"Dr. Adams then proceeded to give a sketch of the life of the deceased, a few points of which we give, as well as we can, from memory: He was a native of New England, being born at Worthington, Mass., where his mother still lives, at the age of eightyfour years. When he came to this city to enter on the profession of law, his mind was somewhat disposed to skepticism, but meeting with wise religious counsel and instruction, he soon embraced the truth, and entered with all the manly earnestness of his nature upon the duties of a Christian life. Asking at once for something to do, he was set to work in the mission school, in which he was a diligent laborer, so long as he remained in this city. At the first breaking out of the war he entered the army, impelled by a sense of duty. He did not wait for a commission, but enlisted as a private, and made his way up without any patronage or family influence, solely by the force of his own talents, his courage and prompt devotion to duty. It was at once seen that he was no ordinary man, and his promotion was rapid. It was his fortune to be in all the campaigns of the army of the Potomac. He fought in twenty battles, and was always foremost, seeking the post of danger, and inspiring his men by his own heroic example. But not only was he thus brave, he was always also a Christian soldier. He did not forget, amid the excitements and dangers of a military life, that he was a soldier under another Captain. His courage was inspired and animated by religion. The fear of God cast out all other fear. He was always active for the welfare of his men, visiting them in their tents, dissuading them from the vices of the camp, and bidding them, amid the perils of war, remember their homes, their families and their God. As a testimony to his example, Dr. Adams read from a letter to the 'Evening Post,' written but two or three weeks since by one of the editors, who, on a visit to the army, saw and admired this noble Christian soldier, the Havelock of our army. Owing to such a consistent life, he had great influence over his men. They became known, like the Ironsides of Cromwell, as a God-fearing regiment. They were ready to follow where he led the way. In the late battles, out of eighteen hundred men whom he commanded, he lost eight hundred before he met his own end.

"At last death, for which, like Hwelock, it had been the study of his life to be 'always prepared,' found him on the field. It was on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 10, his men drawn up in line, and while resting on their arms the mail arrived, bringing him a letter from his wife. He read it, and scarcely had he finished it before the order came to 'advance.' He placed himself at the head of his column and led his men to the charge; and thus, 'foremost fighting, fell.' As he was borne from the field he was met by Gen. Meade, who, seeing him, dismounted, came and spoke to him tenderly, as one whom he loved, lamenting his wound and hoping it might not prove serious. But the brave soldier, who felt the life blood rapidly flowing from his wound, and knew that his hour had come, answered calmly that he had tried to do his duty, and was ready to die for his country. The reply of his commander deserves to be remembered: 'Would that all had done it as faithfully, and were as well prepared.' The wound was mortal. A Minnie rifle ball had penetrated the thigh, and though the leg was at once amputated, the flow of blood was too great. He lived but two hours. As he grew unconscious, his young aid knelt by his side, and putting his lips to his ear, whispered his last prayer; and so he died.

"This simple narrative, given by his pastor with so many details, and with extracts from his letters showing his character, was listened to by this vast audience with the deepest interest. Many times the recital melted all to tears. The service continued for two hours, and at the close they lingered still longer, to avail themselves of the privilege given them, of looking for the last time upon the face of the heroic dead.

"So has fallen one of the manliest, the bravest, and the best, who have risen up to defend our country in this hour of peril.

"Shall we say that he died too soon? Too soon, indeed, for us; but for him, not a day nor an hour. He fell in the prime of manhood—only thirty-four years old; but he died in a righteous cause, with a pure conscience, at peace with God; leaving an example which will be to others a model and an inspiration. Long will the grateful hearts of his soldiers, of his comrades in arms, and of Christian brothers, as well as his own kindred, cherish his memory."


The Death of Gen. Rice—Order from Gov. Seymour.

General Head Quarters, State of New York,
Albany, May 14, 1864.
General Order, No. —. I announce with pain, the loss of General James C. Rice.
Young, brave, ardent, enthusiastic, he engaged in the support of the flag of his country and in the suppression of the rebellion against the constitutional authorities, as a duty demanding the devotion of body and soul, and the willing sacrifice of life.

Ever faithful to his trust, he was the gallant leader of his command, and, in the midst of a brilliant career, he fell upon the battle field, leaving to his companions in arms, to his friends and his country, a character of unsullied Christian patriotism. As a mark of respect for his memory, the National Flag will be displayed at half-mast on the Capitol, and upon all the arsenals of the State, on Monday, the 16th instant.

Governor and Commander-in-Chief.
J. I. Johnson, A. A. A. G.

Military Funeral of Gen. Rice.

The military funeral of Gen. Rice took place at half past four p. m., May 16, after the services at the house. The body was borne to the capitol, preceded by the bearers, James Martin, Wm. Cassidy, Wm. Kidd, Wm. Baenes, Paul Cushman, E. C. Bachelder, Geoege B. Steele, Chas. Crafts, Isaac Edwards, Samuel Williams, Robert H. Waterman and Chas. H. Strong, where it remained until it was borne to the receiving vault. The military bearers were Generals Rathbone and Danforth, Cols. Ainsworth and Chamberlain, Lieut. Colonel Friedlander, and Major McKown.

The military pageant was imposing. It consisted of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, under command of Col. Church; Gov. Seymour and staff, in uniform; members of the common council; prominent citizens, and personal friends of the deceased. The procession moved up Washington avenue, and thence to the receiving vault, where a volley was fired over the grave, and an impressive address was delivered, closing with the following beautiful lines, written and pronounced by Rev. Dr. Palmer:

Rest, soldier—rest! Thy weary task is done;
Thy God—thy country—thou hast served them well;
Thine is true glory—glory bravely won;
On lips of men unborn thy name shall dwell.

Rest, Patriot-Christian! Thou hast early died,
But days are measured best by noble deeds;
Brief though thy course, thy name thou hast allied
To those of whom the World, admiring, reads.

Rest, manly form! Eternal love shall keep
Thy still repose, till breaks the final dawn;
Our Martyr stays not here—He knew no sleep! On Death's dark shadow burst a cloudless morn.

Live! live on Fame's bright scroll, heroic friend!
Thy memory, now, we to her record give—
To earth thy dust: Our thoughts to Heaven ascend,
Where, with the immortals, thou dost ever live!

The following beautiful tribute is from J. G. Holland, Esq.:


Moaning upon the bloody plain,
The young and gallant soldier lay;
And from his failing heart and brain
The life was ebbing swift away

The restlessness of death was there—
The weariness that longed for rest
The beaded brow, the matted hair,
The hurried pulse, the heaving breast.

"Turn me," he said, "that I may die
Face to the foe!" and ready hands
And loyal hearts were waiting by,
To execute his last commands.

Facing the enemy, he died—
A hero in his latest breath;
And now, with mingled love and pride,
I weep, and boast his glorious death.

No braver words than these, my friend,
Have ever sealed a soldier's tongue;
No nobler words hath history penned;
No finer words hath poet sung.

The oak that breaks beneath the blast,
Or falls before the woodman's strokes,
Spreads by its fall the ripened mast
That holds in germ a thousand oaks.

And in the words thy death hath strewn
More than thy fallen life survives;
For o'er the Nation they are sown—
Seeds for a thousand noble lives.

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