Sunday, October 24, 2010

Died at Sea

Here's another article from the January 15, 1863 edition of the Youth's Companion from a column entitled "Scraps for Youth." It gives a description of death on a Union transport ship, and also focuses on the spiritual and religious aspect of that event, in line with the goals of this paper to deal with subjects like "piety" and "morality."

More articles from various editions of this paper will follow in the future.

Died at Sea
Many a noble, self-sacrificing young man in our armies has died during the unholy war brought upon us by the slaveholders of the South, because of exposure in sickness and the want of proper attention and medications, such as would have been received from loving hearts and hands at home. A writer in the Presbyterian, whose letter is dated on board one of our transports, sailed*** with soldiers on their way to some Southern port, shows how such a sad thing it is to die under such circumstances. The last words of this young man we hope will be remembered by our readers. 

"The weather became intensely cold, the men were necessarily much exposed, and no small measure of sickness has been the result. It is a sad thing to be sick, even when surrounded by the comforts of a home and the delicate attentions of loved ones; but to be sick on board a man-of-war, amid its necessary noise and confusion, and with only such attentions as the male nurses and sturdy shipmates can render, is still sadder. We have already lost one bright and interesting young man, and I fear that some others will not survive.  The one who died on Friday was a youth of eighteen, belonging to Boston. His disease was diptheria. He seemed to apprehend death from the commencement, although he survived several days. The chaplain visited and prayed with him often, and directed him to the crucified Savior. At the first interview he exclaimed, 'Oh! sir pray that I may be a true Christian before I die!' He was very earnest, and there is some hope that before the silver cord was cut he had obtained his heart's desire. His grandfather had been written for, and arrived from Boston an hour or two before he died. That grandfather had lately made his last will and testament, bequeathing twenty thousand dollars to this sailor boy! But he needs no earthly inheritance; and if our hopes for him are well founded, a richer legacy is already his."

*** - A small part of the page is ripped and only "led" is remaining from that word."Sailed" is my best guess, at what was originally meant.

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