Joseph Palmer.

Necrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 online

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position of a volunteer captain. He was rapidly promoted to
be major and lieutenant-colonel ; and was the first officer from
New Bedford who had fallen in battle. The illness of Col.
Ingraham devolved upon him the command of the regiment
during the assault of the 27th and the preceding six-days fight
ing, wherein he bore a most gallant part. The " New-Bedford
Mercury " thus spoke of this lamented officer : " It is fresh in
the memory of every one in this community, with what earnest
ness and zeal Col. Rodman devoted himself to the successful
labor of raising a company of volunteers for the war, at a time
when the work of recruiting moved heavily here. His rapid
promotion from the captaincy of this company to the position,
first of major, and then of lieutenant-colonel, of the regiment,
has been justified by the testimony of his superior officers, who
have warmly commended the care taken of his men, and, most
of all, by his gallant conduct in action, where he proved him
self as his friends knew he would, in the hour of danger
faithful to his duty, a brave soldier. There will be many to
mourn for him ; remembering how he possessed the fine qual
ities which mark the gentleman, the generous nature which made
him a true friend, and that amiable disposition which endeared
him to his family and kindred."

Col. Rodman was never married.

in the battle at Fredericksburg, Va., 12 December, 1862, aged
40 years. He was the third son of Hon. "Timothy (H.C. 1801)
and Margaret (Crane) Fuller, and was born in Cambridge,


Mass., 10 August, 1822. At the age of twelve, he spent one
year at Leicester Academy. He was fitted for college by his
sister Margaret (who afterwards married Count Ossoli), at
Groton, and Mrs. Ripley, wife of Rev. Samuel Ripley, at Wal-
tham. During his college course, he united with the church con
nected with the university. Immediately after graduation, he
purchased Belvidere Academy, in Belvidere, Boone county, 111.,
in which, assisted by a competent corps of instructors, he taught
for the two succeeding years. During this time he occasionally
preached, as a missionary, in Belvidere and destitute places. He
was a member of the Illinois conference of Christian and Uni
tarian ministers, and by them licensed to preach. His first ser
mon was preached October, 1843, in Chicago, to the Unitarian
church then under the charge of Rev. Joseph Harrington (H.C.
1833). In 1845, he returned to New England ; entered, one
year in advance, the Cambridge Theological School, where he
graduated in 1847. After preaching three months at West
Newton, he accepted a call to the pastorate of the Unitarian
society in Manchester, N.H., over which he was ordained 29
March, 1848, and remained there a little more than five years,
when he resigned his charge, and was installed over the New
North Church in Boston, 1 June, 1853. Failing health induced
him to resign his city pastorate, and close his labors there, 31
July, 1859. He accepted, however, a call for six months to the
charge over the Unitarian church in Watertown, Mass., which
was afterwards renewed for an indefinite time. In 1854, he was
chaplain of the house of representatives in the legislature ; and,
in 1850, he was chaplain of the senate. In 1855, he was se
lected to deliver a bi-centennial oration, by the citizens of Groton,
Mass., on the two-hundredth anniversary of the settlement of
that town ; which he did on the 31st of October of that year.
After the war broke out, he determined to devote himself to the
cause of his country. He was appointed chaplain in the army,
11 August, 1861 ; and he then resigned his charge of his society
in Watertown. He proceeded to the seat of war, where he
continued until his death. At the battle of Fredericksburg, he
reported himself to Capt. Dunn, of Company D, Nineteenth

1862-63.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 481

Regiment, whose company was deployed as skirmishers in the
principal street, and said he wanted to do something for his
country. He took a musket, and in five minutes fell dead,
pierced by a rebel ball.

Mr. Fuller was a gentleman of great enthusiasm, an ener
getic preacher, untiring in the pursuit of the objects at which he
arrived ; and, in his patriotic zeal in behalf of his country, he
sacrificed his life.

He married 18 September, 1850, Elizabeth G. Davenport,
daughter of Joseph G. and Mary H. Davenport, of Andover,
Mass. She died 4 March, 1856. He married, for his second
wife, 28 September, 1859, Emma Lucilla Reeves, who survives
him. He left three children.

1843. SETH WEBB died in Scituate, Mass., 31 August,
1862, aged 39 years. He was son of Seth and Eliza (Dunbar)
Webb, and was born in Scituate, 14 February, 1823. He was
prepared for college, partly at a private school in Hingham,
Mass. ; partly at the academy in Bridgewater ; and from May,
1837, to August, 1839, at Phillips Academy in Exeter, N.H.
He held a distinguished rank of scholarship in his class. After
leaving college, he passed the time from November, 1843, to
June, 1844, in travelling ; having gone to New Orleans,
Jamaica, and Cuba, back to New Orleans, up the river to Cin
cinnati, and through the country home. He then pursued the
study of the law in the office of Hon. George Tyler Bigelow
(H.C. 1829) and Manlius Stimson Clarke (H.C. 1837), and
afterwards with Hon. Charles Greely Loring (H.C. 1812) . He
was admitted to the Suffolk bar in Boston, at the July term of
the Court of Common Pleas ; and 1 October, 1845, went into
practice with O. Z. Chapman, Esq., the partnership continu
ing until 1848. From January, 1847, to the autumn of
1848, he kept a law-office also in Brighton, Mass., where he
resided most of the time. In the fall of 1848, he gave up his
Brighton office and his connection with Mr. Chapman. He then
opened an office in Boston, which he continued until 1 May,
1851, when he went into partnership in Boston with Charles
Gideon Davis (H.C. 1840), under the firm of Davis and Webb.



In 1858, he removed to New York, where he was admitted to
the bar, and practised there during that and the following year.
He then returned, and practised a short time in his native place
(Scituate), until he gave up his profession on account of ill
health. In July, 1861, he was appointed United-States com
mercial agent at Port-au-Prince, in Hayti : whither he repaired,
and remained, until, on account of serious illness, he got leave of
absence, and returned to his native place, where he died, after a
long illness, of consumption.

He married, in Boston, 18 November, 1852, Helen Gibbons,
daughter of George M. and Mary D. (Billings) Gibbons (hav
ing been changed from Gibbens, which was the original name).
They had no children. His wife died very suddenly, 16 June,

1847. GEORGE ANDREWS died in Salem, Mass., 26 Au
gust, 1862, aged 38 years. He was son of John Hancock and
Nancy (Page) Andrews, and was born in Salem, 13 March,
1824. His father was a merchant of Salem, and died some
years since. His mother was daughter of Samuel Page, of
Danvers, and Rebecca (Putnam) Page, of Sterling, and was a
direct descendant of Gen. Israel Putnam. He was fitted for
college at the Salem public Latin School, under the instruction
of Oliver Carlton (D.C. 1824). After leaving college, he
studied law in the office of Hon. Asahel Huntington, of Salem
(Y.C. 1819) ; and was admitted to the Essex bar in due course.
He practised his profession in Salem during his life. He was
a representative from Salem to the legislature in 1858 ; was for
many years a member of the school-committee, a justice of the
peace and quorum, a special -justice of the Salem Police Court,
a member of the Essex Institute, a trustee of the Salem Athe
naeum, a trustee, secretary, and treasurer of the Plummer Farm
School, and vice-president of the Salem Lyceum. In his death,
his native city lost a conscientious, faithful, upright man. By
his will, in addition to several private legacies, he bequeathed
to the city of Salem $1,500, the income of which is to be given
to the high-school scholars most distinguished, not for scholarship
only, but for faithful and correct deportment. If this dispo-

1862-63.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 483

sition of the fund is refused by the school-committee, it is then
to be appropriated to furnish fuel for poor and destitute families ;
$300 to the Salem Marine Society ; $500 to the Seaman s
Widow and Orphan Association ; $500 to the Seaman s Orphan
and Children s Friend Society ; $500 to the Essex Institute ;
$100 to the Fraternity of Odd Fellows.

He was never married.

1848. JOHN FRANKLIN GOODRICH died of brain-fever, in
the rear of Vicksburg, Miss., 4 June, 1863, aged 36 years.
He was son of Allen and Mary (Emerson) Goodrich, and was
born in Mount Vernon, N.H., 13 August, 1826. He was
fitted for college by the wife of Eev. Samuel Ripley, of Wal-
tham, Mass. After graduating, he was employed as a clerk, one
year, in one of the manufacturing companies in Waltham. He
then went to California, where he remained five years ; and on
his return settled in Epworth, Dubuque county, lo. When
the rebellion broke out, he felt it his duty to enlist ; and went into
camp in Iowa, 15 September, as a private in the Twenty-first
Regiment, for three years. He was always in the advance in
every engagement, and was the first to enter the rifle-pits in the
charge of Black River ; and was in the thickest of the fight in
the attempt to carry Vicksburg by storm, in which his company
lost thirty-three men in killed, wounded, and missing. He was
in ill health when he went into this, his. last battle ; and, though
he came out unharmed, he was immediately taken with a fever,
which, together with the previous severe marching and fighting,
terminated fatally. Among his classmates, he was always con
sidered as modest, unpretending, intimate with but few of them,
leading a religious life ; and at a meeting of his class, several
years after he left college, he was duly remembered, with a wish
that he might become as rich as he was good.

He married, 12 September, 1857, Marion Pratt, of Iowa,
whose parents were originally from Connecticut. The issue of
this marriage was three children, two sons and one daugh
ter, who, with their mother, survive him.

1848. Col. WILLIAM OLIVER STEVENS died from inju
ries received in the battle near Chancellorsville, Va., 5 May.


1863, aged 36 years. He was son of William (H.C. 1819)
and Eliza Leach (Watson) Stevens, and was born in Belfast,
Me., 3 February, 1828. His father was born in Andover,
Mass., 21 January, 1799; was a lawyer in Andover, but re
moved to Lawrence, where he now resides ; and is judge of the
Police Court in that city. His paternal grandfather was a soldier
in the revolutionary war, and was in the battle of Bunker Hill.
His mother was born in Boston, 22 March, 1802 ; was daugh
ter of George and Eliza Watson, and grand-daughter of John
Watson, of Clark s Island, Plymouth, formerly president of the
Pilgrim Society. The subject of this notice was fitted for col
lege at Phillips Academy, Andover. After graduating, he
studied law, during a year and a half, with his father, and, for a
year and a half afterwards, with Hon. Thomas Wright (H.C.
1842), of Lawrence. He practised his profession, with much
success, at Newmansville, Fla., for ten months, but was obliged
to leave on account of the debilitating influence of the climate.
He was summoned on one occasion, at midnight, to the prison
grates, as counsel for a man who had just been committed on
a charge of murder. A hideous countenance met his glance
through the grates ; and, upon his asking the name of his client,
the answer was, "William Stevens!" In 1852, he went into
the practice of his profession in Dunkirk, N.Y. In 1859, he
was elected, by a very flattering vote, district attorney of Cha-
tauque county, in which Dunkirk is situated ; filled the office for
two years, to the great acceptance of the bench, the bar, and
the whole people ; and resigned the unexpired term of three
years for the military service of his country, in the spring of
1861. He married, 23 May, 1855, Virginia I. Grosvenor,
daughter of Hon. Godfrey Grosvenor, of Geneva, N.Y. By
this marriage he had two sons, George Watson, seven years
of age at the time of his father s death, and William Grosvenor,
twenty months ; and one daughter, who died in infancy.

Col. Stevens joined the Excelsior Brigade, at Staten Island,
N.Y., as captain of a company raised in Dunkirk; was elected
major before leaving Staten Island ; took a conspicuous part in
the battles of Williamsburg, where he was slightly wounded,

1862-63.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 485

and where his regiment lost over two hundred men, of Fair
Oaks, of White-oak Swamp, and Malvcrn Hill ; losing in the
last-named battle sixty-one out of three hundred men. He was
commissioned colonel of the Third Excelsior Regiment on the
10th of October, 1862 ; his commission dating from 6 Sep
tember. His regiment was attached to the Third Army Corps,
under Gen. Sickles. He led it at the bloody battle of Chan-
cellorsville, on Sunday, the 3d of May, 1863. The battle
began at daylight. His horse was shot under him at about six
o clock ; after which he headed his regiment on foot. At about
half-past seven he received a mortal wound, from a minie ball,
through his chest. A captain and two privates of his regiment
were in the act of raising him to carry him from the field, when
the officer was shot. A private received his sword, with the in
junction, "Carry it to my wife; remember me to my boy."
He was conveyed to a hospital within the rebel lines, about
a mile from the Chancellor House, where he was kindly cared
for by our own surgeons and by the enemy, bearing his suffer
ings without a murmur or a groan ; during most of the time
speaking with cheerfulness and hopefulness ; and, during his
moments of delirium, speaking as to his command, "Forward,
men ! steady !" He died, without a struggle, at eight o clock on
Tuesday evening, 5 May. Immediately after the fall of Col.
Stevens, a flag of truce was sent into the enemy s lines to recover
him ; but Gen. Lee would not receive it. The general in imme
diate command of the Excelsior Brigade on that day, in writing
to a friend in Boston, said, "The Excelsior did splendidly, and
lost heavily ; but no one is to be so much regretted as Col.
Stevens, who was killed in my sight. He was truly a splendid
officer, and magnificently brave ; in fact, too good a man to be a
soldier, and food for powder : for he was a fine lawyer, and has
left an interesting wife and boys. It was the most terrific fight
I have ever passed through."

Dr. Butler, a surgeon in the rebel army, told the father of
Col. Stevens, who went within their lines to recover his son s
body, and who remained there ten hours, that the appearance
and bearing of Col. Stevens were so attractive and soldierly,


that he called several officers of the confederate army to his
room, to witness his manly beauty and demeanor. Rev.
George Patterson, chaplain of the Third North-Carolina Vol
unteers (rebel), finding him in a room with fourteen other
wounded men, was attracted to his person, procured for him a
bed and a private room : for thirty-six hours he watched over
him as his own father, washed his body, bathed his temples,
gave him medicine and nourishment ; spoke with him of his
wife, his boys, his parents, and his friends, and commended him
in prayer to God ; closed his eyes in death ; caused him, after
death, to be dressed in his own uniform ; took from his neck the
locket of his wife ; his money, bills, and change from his pocket,
with all his private papers ; folded them in an envelope, and
caused them to be sent to his wife. This chaplain said to our
informant, "I was born in Boston. My father was a Greek:
my mother, if alive, resides in Raynham, Mass. Go and see
her ; tell her of her son ; for she does not know that I am

Soon after he was carried into the hospital, Col. Stevens was
asked by the surgeon in attendance, " What regiment do you
belong to?" The reply was, "The Excelsior." "Does that
regiment belong to the Eleventh Corps?" "No, sir," was the
emphatic reply : " my corps never runs from the enemy ! "

Upon the death of Col. Stevens, resolutions, in the highest
degree honorable to his fame as a soldier, a lawyer, a citizen,
as a man, were adopted by the officers of the Excelsior Brigade,
by the Supreme Court of New York in Chatauque county, by
the members of the bar, and by the citizens of Dunkirk.

1849. JOHN PEGRAM MAY was killed in the second bat
tle of Bull Run, Va., 29 August, 1862, aged 31 years. He
was son of David May, of Petersburg, Va., and Maria
W. Pegram, of Booneville, Va. ; and was born in Petersburg,
18 November, 1829, the oldest of five boys and two girls.
He was married, 15 May, 1850, in the First Presbyterian
Church in Petersburg, by Rev. A. B. Van Zandt, to Mary
Dandridge, daughter of the late Nathaniel Hanna, M.D. He
was killed while in the rebel service.

1862-63.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 487

1850. HENRY EDSON HERSEY died in Hingham, Mass.,
24 February, 1863, aged 32 years. He was son of Capt.
Stephen and Maria (Lincoln) Hersey, and was born in Hing
ham, 28 May, 1830. His father, who was son of Jonathan
and Ruth (Nichols) Hersey, was born in Hingham, 3 Septem
ber, 1797. He was a shipmaster, and was lost at sea, having
sailed on a voyage several years ago, and the vessel never being
heard of afterwards. His mother was daughter of Welcome
and Susanna (Gill) Lincoln, and was born in Hingham, 16
September, 1806, where she still resides. The subject of this
notice early manifested a scholarly taste ; and, after going through
the customary course of instruction provided by the public
schools of his native town, he was fitted for college at Derby
Academy in Hingham, under the tuition of Luther Barker Lin
coln (H.C. 1822). He entered the sophomore class in 1847,
in which he at once took a high rank, and won the esteem of
his associates, both by his attainments as a scholar, and his
demeanor as a gentleman. At commencement, the salutatory
oration was assigned to him. After leaving college, he was
employed as a private teacher in Charlestown, N.H. ; studying
law, at the same time, in the office of Hon. Edmund Lambert
Gushing (H.C. 1827). He afterwards continued his pro
fessional studies in Boston in the office of Hon. Peleg Whitman
Chandler (Bowd. C. 1834), and then completed his preparatory
course in the office of Judge John Phelps Putnam (Y.C. 1837).
He was admitted to the Suffolk bar in September, 1854, and
entered upon the practice of his profession in Boston ; opening
an office also in his native town, which he made his place of
residence. Soon after establishing himself in business, he began
to be honored with important and responsible trusts by his
townspeople. He was repeatedly chosen a member of the
school-committee, in which capacity he rendered much efficient
and valuable service. He was one of the trustees of Derby
Academy, and in that office his fine scholarship and his zeal in
promoting the work of sound and liberal culture were exerted
in a way that was creditable to himself, acceptable to his col
leagues, and satisfactory to the public. For several years he


was superintendent of the First-Parish Sunday School. By
a diligent use of his talents, and faithful attention to business, he
had put himself in a way to obtain a successful practice. The
future was looking fair and promising, when his health began to
fail, and, sadly to his -disappointment, in the fall of 1861, he was
obliged to relinquish the duties of his profession ; and he made
a voyage across the Atlantic, accompanied by his wife, and
passed some months in Spain and the south of France. Soon
after his return, in the summer of 1862, it became evident his
health was not materially improved ; and, after remaining a short
time in Hingham, he sought the relief which he hoped the cli
mate of New Hampshire might afford. There he remained a few
months, when his vital energies had become so exhausted, that
he once more returned to the quiet repose and loving care of
home. Here the slow wasting of consumption terminated
in his decease at his mother s residence.

He married, 20 March, 1856, Catharine, only daughter of
Col. H. H. Sylvester, of Charlestown, N.H.

1851. WILLIAM NYE DAVIS, of Boston, died in Nice,
France, 24 February, 1863, aged 32 years. He was son of
John Watson (H.C. 1810) and Susan Holden (Tallman) Davis,
and was born in Boston, 2 December, 1830. He began his pre
paratory studies for college at the Boston Latin School, where he
remained nearly five years, leaving in the spring of 1847, when
he became a pupil of Shattuck Hartwell (H.C. 1844), who was
at that time a tutor in college, with whom he continued until he
entered the freshman class at the beginning of the second term,
February, 1848. After graduating, he began the study of law
in the Law School in Cambridge, and completed his studies under
the instruction of William Howard Gardiner (H.C. 1816), of
Boston. On his admission to the Suffolk bar, he established
himself in the practice of his profession in Boston.

He married, 24 March, 1856, Mary C., daughter of William
Howard Gardiner, of Boston. They had no children. In
1860, on account of pulmonary affection, he went to France,
accompanied by his wife, for the benefit of his health. While
residing in Nice, he met with a most heartrending affliction, on

1862-63.] OF HARVARD COLLEGE. 489

the 8th or 9th of February, 1863, by the sudden death of his
wife, caused by her clothes accidentally taking fire. This sad
event completely overcame him. He was soon afterwards
attacked twice by severe hemorrhage from the lungs, and sur
vived his wife only about two weeks.

1851. Major WILLIAM DWIGHT SEDGWICK died at Kee-
dysville, Md., 30 September, 1862, of wounds received at the
battle of Antietam, 17th of the same month, aged 31 years.
He was the only son of Charles and Elizabeth (Dwight)
Sedgwick, and was born in Lenox, Mass., 27 June, 1831. At
the age of fourteen years, his father sent him to Illinois, where
he spent a summer with a, farmer, who was a relative, and who
then lived in a log-house ; where he learned and performed every
kind of farm-work of which a boy of that age is capable. His
father believed, that, without some personal knowledge and expe-
perience of labor, he could not have a proper sympathy with
laboring men. He spent one year at a French school in New
York, and one in a boys school taught by Rev. Samuel P. Parker
(H.C. 1824) in Stockbridge, Mass. ; and pursued the studies
preparatory to admission into college under the instruction of
his mother, and at the academy in Lenox. After leaving col
lege, he spent a winter in a law-office ; then went abroad, and
studied a portion of his professsion, first in the University of
Gottingen, and then in that of Breslau. He was abroad about
seventeen months. Soon after his return, he entered the Cam
bridge Law School, where he remained a year, and then estab
lished himself as a lawyer in St. Louis, Mo. After the breaking-
out of the war, he forsook his profession, and was commissioned
as a lieutenant in the Second Massachusetts Regiment. He went
into the service with the regiment ; was made ordnance-officer
of Gen. Banks s corps ; and was soon promoted to the rank of
major on the staff of his kinsman, Gen. Sedgwick, with many
and weighty duties faithfully discharged. All through the fear
ful battles before Richmond, he went with little food, almost
without sleep, for days, worn down with fatigue and exhaustion,
fighting at every step, and winning the praise of his chief. In
the great battle of Antietam, while attempting to rally and



re-form a regiment in some disorder, he received a fatal wound.
Seven hours and a half from half-past eight in the morning
until half-past three in the afternoon he lay on the hard
ploughed ground ; while the shells, the cannon-balls, and the
bullets of the foe were showering over and around him. As
he was lying there, his body from his waist to his feet para
lyzed, and unable to move, he felt for his diary, and wrote in it
a few modest, manly words, " Say that he tried to do his duty ;"
and making some suggestions in behalf of his family. At the
close of a long letter, in which he -gave his share of the dreadful

Online LibraryJoseph PalmerNecrology of alumni of Harvard college, 1851-52 to 1862-63 → online text (page 44 of 49)