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Detailed description of the death of General Semmes

Detailed description of the death of General Semmes

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Written by his nephew, Thomas Cleveland.
Written by his nephew, Thomas Cleveland.

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10/28/2011

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Thomas P. Cleveland to Emily J. Semmes
Martinsburg, Virginia, July 12, 1863.Autograph letter signed, 2 pages + envelope.Martinsburg Va’ July 12
th
1863.Dear Aunt,Capt Cody will bear the mournful tidings to you of Uncle Semme’s death, I tried to getleave of absence to come home with the corpse but failed. But as we will not be able to send it atthis time perhaps it is all for the best.Oh! how I long to see you all & tell you how noble, brave & patriotic he was while living(but you well know all that)! & above all, how happy & serene his death. The beautiful words of that hymn, commencing“How blest the righteous when he dies!” well expresses the manner of his departure tothe Spirit Land. He fell asleep in [
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] we have The greatest reason to believe. I cannotwell tell you how kindly he was treated by the family under whose hospitable roof he remaine’dtill our Heavenly Father called him to that House of many mansions. Every attention &Kindness was shown him, & I cannot & I know you & all his dear relatives & friends [
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:cannot] cease to be grateful to them for it. May God reward them both here & hereafter. Hegave me his last message to you & his children & that was to meet him in Heaven. His soul wasuttering prayer continually which his earnest gaze & moving lips verified. He prayed for yourself, his children, servants & all. He told us good bye. He called for his sword, laid it by hisrightside, clasped his testament in his hands & folded them across his breast, & thus he died. Icannot mention [
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] all of the particulars. One of the young ladies has written you a long letter mentioning a great deal if not all connected with his death. She sends also some of his hair: atelegraph message he wrote, & some flowers which were taken from those sent by kin’d friendsto adorn his body.Capt Cody will also tell you all about it. Lt. Semmes, Capt Cody & myself were with tothe last. We will see him deposited here in the cemetery & then Lt Semmes & myself will returnto the Army & Capt Cody will visit you. D
[Hoge] a Presbyterian Minister will make someremarks at the grave. Perhaps his remains will be more safe here than any where in this portion
The Gilder Lehrman Collection
GLC02411
www.gilderlehrman.org

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