REV. GORDON BATTELLE, Chaplain
NOTE: Apparently there is an error in this death date, based on the following newspaper article.
DEATH OF REV. GORDON BATTELLE.
The Rev. Mr. Martin received yesterday a dispatch announcing the death of this excellent man, the late Chaplain of the 1st Virginia Regiment. He died at Washington City yesterday morning of camp fever, after a protracted illness of several weeks. He was ill when he left his home here to rejoin his regiment. Every one observed his wasted appearance, and his friends were anxious that he should wait for better health before leaving. But like the earnest man he was, he would not subject himself to the stay at home suspicion so common these days in connection with army men. He left determined to regain his health in the discharge of his duties, or else not at all.
Poor man, he died at his post at the hospital, in Washington, where so many of our sick and wounded are under treatment. He labored there as a physician to their bodies and souls, and laid down his life as a sacrifice to the cause of his country.
We are sure that he died a happy death, for he lived a blameless life. And we are sure that death at his post in the service of the cause he loved so well, was the one above all others that he would have chosen. He was Christian soldier--devoted by all his philanthropic and religious hopes and convictions to the success of the glorious cause of the Union.
Mr. Battelle was a man of remarkable endowments. He had an excellently organized constitution. He had a clear, strong and very acute mind, and to it was united the very strongest social qualities. He was a man of no pretentions--no assumptions in the least degree--but always open, candid and genial. His powers of memory were very astonishing. In the peculiar field in which this paper has labored for years past he took the liveliest interest, and at the outbreak of this rebellion, he wrote several articles which were published in tract form, and in the circulation of which throughout the Mountain counties he aided us largely, and mainly by his personal recollections. He dictated and directed names by the hour, and time and again he sat with us through the greater part of the night endeavoring to do all in his power to shed light and knowledge in the out of the way places in Western Virginia. He was devoted heart and soul to the interests of Western Virginia, and she has lost in him perhaps the ablest and most earnest friend she had. He knew the people thoroughly, having traveled among them as a Methodies minister for twenty-five years. As a member for this county, of the Constitutional Convention, his name is familiar to all our readers. The Battelle resolutions will live in the history of the rebellion, and many a reader in West Virginia, in after times, when the fruit of those resolutions shall overspread the bless our counties, will thank God for the life of Gordon Battelle.
We write at length concerning our friend. He deserves all that we have said about him and more. His life was a public life, and one of self-denying usefulness. He had no small ambitions--not one; but tried to live a practical, useful, every-day religious life. Unlike most clergymen, he had no clerical distinctiveness or exclusiveness of character--but after the motto of Bacon, "took all knowledge for his province"--and like the preacher of Ecclesiastes, taught the people knowledge in every variety of useful way.
He neither courted or shunned politics, and his well balanced mind, so well stored with solid information, was always discreet as to when and how he should speak. He had no more admirable trait of character than his rare ability to do everything in a proper and effective way.
As a citizen, devoted to the cause of Western Virginia, we deplore his loss greatly. But still more do we deplore it as a patriot, who had done and was doing devoted service in the common cause of the country. Peace and honor to his memory.