By Theo. D.C. Miller
January 18, 1865. Vol. 1. No. 16. Page 4.
In the fierce battle of Gettysburg, a young and brave New England soldier, who has fearlessly faced the leaden ball, was mortally wounded. Through the dark and lonely night he lay nearly unconscious upon the glory field; but as the rosy hues of morning lit up the eastern sky, he was found by a few noble comrades where the fiercest charge of the terrific battle had taken place and the dead and dying lay in dense piles. Ere death bore his heroic spirit to a better clime---and in a half-unconscious state-he exclaimed; “Oh! My dear, dear mother! I would that you were here beside me! My pain is nearly over now. Kiss me, mother, once again!” And after repeating these sweet sentences with youthful ardor, his soul passed from earth as calmly as that of an innocent cherub upon its mother’s breast.
On a field of bloody carnage,
Where the gory wavelets swell,
Over wan and ghastly warriors
Who have nobly fought and fell;
Lay a young and daring soldier,
Weary, wounded, bleeding,--fair?
But a smile overspread his features,
Such as angels only wear.
Oh! He breathed the sweetest music,
For it eased his heart’s dull pain,
It was soft, and low, and gentle:
Kiss me, mother, once again!
In the pale and sickly moonlight,
Through the night, so dark and drear
Sad and lonely Will was lying,
With no loving comrade near:
But the morning broke in splendor,
And the war-clouds rolled away:
Then they sought our bleeding hero
Where the wounded thickest lay.
There he lay in peaceful slumber,
Like an infant’s quiet sleep,
And, as warriors strewn surround him.
Breaking hearts in sorrow weep:
For sweet Liberty and Union,
And our starry banner bright,
He had marched unto the battle,
And had fallen in the fight.
Smiles of sweet, angelic beauty
O’er his placid features spread,
And his eyelids slowly opened:
Gently, softly Willie said:
“Comrades! Tell my darling mother
I am freed from earthly pain,
But I longed once more to see her—
Kiss me, mother once, again!”
Like pure rays of fadeless splendor
Seemed our brother’s features fair,
As his breath came slow and feeble,
And he left this world of care:
But a host of happy angels,
Bore his spirit to the sky,
And we knew his end was peaceful—
He was not afraid to die!