William Bragg (c1836-1862)
Death of a Soldier.
Martinsburg, Va., March 21, 1862.
* * * * * * *
I am sorry that it has become my duty, or the duty of any one, to report
to you the death of your friend, William
Bragg. He died yesterday at 12 o’clock, of typhoid fever.
In taking charge of his effects, I came across a letter from each of you;
and I though if it should ever be my lot to die away from friends and
home, my friends would be glad to have some one to tell them of it. That
prompted me to write you. I am a soldier myself, and look upon all others
as my friends.
Your friend, Mr. Bragg, had bee in our hospital but a few days, and was
very bad when he came in. He apparently thought he would not live long,
and bore up under his afflictions as a Christian and a soldier. With my
own hands I pressed the lids down over his glassy eyes, and smooth back
his hair from a cold and marble like forehead – just as I wish some
kind friend to do by me, sometime. He was dressed as well as circumstances
would admit; his coffin was a plain but neat one. He was buried in the
graveyard belonging to the town – many soldiers are not. It is a
beautiful spot. The hands of “loved ones at home” could not
have found a more beautiful resting-place. Shrubbery of every kind artificially
arranged, abounds; and when the summer comes, some little vine or forget-me-not
will nestle down upon his grave, and then, in kind and silent beauty,
waft its incense onward and upward to heaven. The green shrubs and leaves
will ever whisper a low and meet requiem about his grave, and all will
think of him kindly.
I marked his resting place because I felt an interest in him, as no one
of his company (Co. I, 5th
Ohio) was with him, and I thought him to be a good man.
* * * Should you wish to know more in relation to him, I will at any time
be glad to reply. My address is –
James Dean, Hospital Steward.
Martinsburg, Berkeley Co, Va.
How cheering to reflect that, although the soldier may die among strangers,
yet strangers do not always have cold and unfeeling hears. Often are the
lids pressed down over the glassy eye, and the hair smoothed back over
the marble-like forehead, by the gentle hand of a stranger and fellow
William Bragg was a respected citizen of Maineville,
and a member of the M. E. Church of that place. Poor William! he has fought
his last battle and died a Christian soldier.
Source: “Death of a Soldier,”
The Western Star (Lebanon, Ohio), Thursday, April 10, 1862, p.3,
Copy from the Obituary Collection at the Warren
County Genealogical Society,
Arne H Trelvik
15 October 2011