Edwin Vose Sumner

A New York Times Editorial

from The New York Times, March 22, 1863:
         Death of Gen. Sumner.
  The loss of the veteran officer and hero,
Gen. SUMNER, will be mourned by the whole
land. A soldier from his youth, and contin-
uously in the military service of his country,
throughout his whole career, he stood forth
as the very noblest embodiment of what an
American officer and patriot should be. Brave
as a lion, chivalrous and pure, frank, honest,
earnest, of fine intelligence and perfect fidel-
ity, of manly mould, courteous and kindly
manner, clear-headed, clear-eyed and gener-
ous-hearted, devoted unto death to his flag
and his country, he has furnished in
his military life, of nearly half a cen-
tury, an admirable illustration of all these
qualities. He had been in service all
over the Continent--on the Great Plains of
the West, fighting the hostile savages, yet
avoiding by his skill and generosity more
battles than he ever fought--in Mexico,
where under SCOTT, he commanded at the most
famous cavalry actions of that war--in Kan-
sas, where by his firmness, justice and human-
ity, he brought to an end a fierce local
contest, which, seven years ago, threat-
ened to overspread the country--on the
coast of the Pacific--and latterly, in Vir-
ginia, in the Army of the Potomac,
whose fortunes he followed just one
year, but in all of whose battles,
from Yorktown to Fredericksburgh, he
was a prominent and heroic participator.
At the last-mentioned battle, it will be re-
membered, Gen. BURNSIDE, fearing that his
impetuous valor would impel him to rush
with his men into the very jaws of the
enemy's batteries, and that thus his invalu-
able advice to him and his invaluable services
to the country would be lost, compelled him to
stay on this side of the river, but as the
smoke and thunder of the battle rolled up, and
he could see his old division battling with
fearful odds, the lion soul rose within him, so
that it was only the most peremptory orders
of his chief that could restrain him.
  After that fatal day, and when the command
of the army was changed from BURNSIDE to
HOOKER, Gen. SUMNER resigned. Shortly after,
he made a brief visit to his son-in-law, at
Syracuse, in this State, preparatory to going
west to St. Louis, to take command of the
Department of Missouri. There he was sud-
denly taken ill with congestion of the lungs,
and died early yesterday morning. He died
with a prayer to Heaven on his lips for his
beloved, bleeding country.
  He sleeps now with our bravest and truest,
and no braver or truer has his country or its
army ever lost.

Maintained by Sue Greenhagen.
E-mail: greenhsh@morrisville.edu