Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner
The New York Times, March 22, 1863, on Sumner's death:
The loss of the veteran officer and hero, Gen. SUMNER, will be mourned
by the whole land. A soldier from his youth, and continuously 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
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 generous-hearted, devoted unto death to his flag and his
country, he has furnished in his military life, of nearly half a century,
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 Kansas,
where by his firmness, justice and humanity, he brought to an end a fierce
local contest, which, seven years ago, threatened to overspread the country--on
the coast of the Pacific--and latterly, in Virginia, 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
At the last-mentioned battle, it will be remembered, 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 invaluable
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 suddenly 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.