91st PA--death notice poems

91st PA--poems in newspaper death notices

According to Mark Twain's 'Post-mortem poetry' (accessed 8 Aug 2010), this was a specifically Philadelphian custom; he refers especially to the Philadelphia Ledger. Twain recommended that other cities adopt this custom.

based on Isaac Watts 'A funeral ode at the interment of the body, supposed to be sung by mourners'

[see text (accessed 8 August 2010)]

Alexander Osborn Earnest

[death notice, Public Ledger 4 November 1864 page 2, Alexander Osborn Earnest]

EARNEST--Killed, on the 21st of August, in the Battle on the Weldon Railroad, ALEXANDER OSBORN EARNEST of Co. E, 91st Reg't Penna Vols., in the 38th [??] year of his age.


Another sacrifice at the altar of his country,
Unveil thy bosom faithful tomb,
Take this new treasure to thy trust,
And give those sacred relics room
To slumber in the silent dust.

No pain, nor grief nor anxious fear
Invade thy bounds; no mortal woes
Can reach the peaceful sleeper here,
While angels watch the soft repose.

It seems to strange that thou are dead.
We'll meet on earth no more:
That voice we loved so well has fled
Beyond the happy shore.

May the storms fall lightly
And the sun shine sweetly
On his grave.

The relatives and friends of the family, and members of the regiment now in the city, the Provost Guard and soldiers in general, are affectionately invited to attend his funeral from the residence of his father in law, John W Smith, 1037 [?] Parker street, above Washington avenue on Sunday afternoon at 1 o clock. To proceed to Lafayette Cemetery.

Martin Blake

BLAKE--Suddenly on the 3rd [?] at [?] [illegible] Hospital, Washington D.C., MARTIN BLAKE of Company B, Twenty fourth Regiment VRC, formerly of the [illegible number, beginning '1' and three digits long] and 91st Regiments P.V. in the 47th year of his age.



Another sacrifice at the altar of his country,
Unveil they bosom faithful tomb,
Take this new treasure to thy trust,
And give these sacred relics room
To slumber in the silent dust.

No pain, nor grief, nor anxious fear,
Invade thy bounds; no mortal woes
Can reach the peaceful sleeper here.
While angels watch the soft [?] repose.

It seems so strange that thou are dead,
We'll meet on earth no more;
That voice we loved so well has fled
Beyond the happy shore.

May the storms fall lightly
And the sun shine sweetly
On his grave.

The relatives [?] and friends of the family, also the [several illegible lines] to attend the funeral, from his [?] late [?] residence [illegible] Sydmouth Street [illegible line] at one o'clock [illegible] Lafayette Cemetery.

based on The Dying Californian

[see Kate Harris Dying Californian (accessed 8 August 2010)]

Samuel Lamb

[death notice, Public Ledger 29 June 1864 page 2, Samuel Lamb]

LAMB--On the 18th inst., Corporal SAMUEL LAMB, of Co. F 91st Regiment P.V.V., while defending the colors [?] in front of Petersburg in the 40th [?] year of his age, son of Mary and the late John Lamb

Listen comrades closely listen
'Tis of my wife I wish to speak,
Tell oh tell her how I missed [?] her
When cold [?] death did o'er me creep
Tell her she must kiss [?] my [?] children
Like [rest of line is illegible]
Hold them as when last I held them,
Closely folded to thy breast.

He was one of the first who volunteered at [?] the [?] [illegible words] and participated in all the battles of McClellan, Burnside, and Hooker, without receiving a wound. He then reenlisted as a veteran volunteer and was in every action under Grant, from the Wilderness, to that in which he received his death wound. He was a loving husband, kind father and leaves a wife and two children to mourn his loss. Due notice will be given if his body is recovered.

[unknown origin]

William Fraley

[death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 24 October 1866, page 4, William H H Fraley]
[transcribed 20 January 2012, from GenealogyBank]

FRALEY.--On the 21st instant, after a short but severe illness, WILLIAM H. H. FRALEY, late Lieutenant Company H, Ninety-first Regiment P.V., son of Jane and the late George Fraley, in the 22d year of his age.


Hope looks beyond the bounds of time--
When what we now deplore
Shall rise in full, immportal prime,
And bloom to fade no more.

The relatives and friends of the family, also, Empire Grove, No. 75 [?], U.A.O.D. [?]; also, Lincoln Circle, No. 21 [?]. B.U. (H.F.) C.H . [??]; also, the members of Company H, Ninety-first Regiment P.V., also, the employees of Henry Disson's Saw Manufactury, are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, from the residence of his brother-in-law, No. 1287 [? 1237?] Marlborough street, this (Wednesday) afternoon, at 3 o'clock.

[unknown origin]

Jacob A Lynn

[death notice, Public Ledger 13 May 1863 page 2, Jacob A Lynn]

LYNN--Fell at Chancellorville, Sunday, May 3d, 1863, at 10 A.M., Corporal JACOB A. LYNN, Co. B, 91st Regt Penna. Volunteers.

When carnage strewed the battle field.
When friends and foes around were dying,
This spirit, never born to yield.
Fell, with his country's flag still flying.

[unknown origin]

Amos Godfrey

[death notice, Public Ledger 13 January 1863 page 2, Amos Godfrey]

GODFREY--Killed, at the battle of Fredericksburg, on the 13th day of December 1863, AMOS GODFREY, Co. A, 91st Regiment P.V., the son of Apoline and the late Joseph Godfrey, in the 28th year of his age.

No wife stood beside him to soothe the death fear.
Or wipe the cold dew from his brow;
He fell at his post, with his tried armor on,
In a moment of triumph and pride--
And, though from the scene of conflict he's gone,
Yet in honor and glory he died.

Sleep, noble warrior, sleep!
The tomb is now thy bed;
Cold in its bosom thou dost rest,
In silence with the dead.

He was a man as brave and true
As ever drew the breath of life;
We pity, from our hearts, we do,
His orphan children and his wife.

But God advised that it should be
His fate to fall in battle slain--
A bullet pierced his head, and he
Died where he fell and knew no pain.

He was a beloved husband and a kind father, a dutiful son and affectionate brother, and was beloved by all who knew hiim.

If his remains should be recovered, due notice will be given of the funeral.

Thomas Hallowell

[death notice, Public Ledger 1 January 1863 page 2, Thomas J Hallowell]

HALLOWELL.--Killed, at the battle of Fredericksburg, on the 13th inst. [sic], while bravely defending his country, Corporal THOMAS J. HALLOWELL, of Co. D, 91st P.V., son of Jesse and Mary F. Hallowell, in the 24 [??] year of his age.

Sleep, sleep, noble warrior, sleep,
The tomb is now thy bed;
Gold in its bosom thou dost rest,
In silence with the dead.

We tell thy doom with many tears,
How rose thy morning sun.
How quickly too, alas, it set!
Warrior, thy march is done.

If his remains should be recovered, due notice of the funeral will be given.

William McKee

[death notice, Public Ledger 25 June 1864 page 2, William J McKee]

McKEE--On the 18th instant, while storming the rebel works in front of Petersburg, WILLIAM J. McKEE, of Company D, 91st Regiment P.V., aged 21 [?] years.

Sleep, sleep, noble warrior, sleep,
The tomb is now thy bed,
Cold in its bosom thou dost rest,
In silence, with the dead.

Where thou are gone all men must go.
The wisest [?] and [?] the best;
At last they had the lonely tomb,
Their place of silent rest.

No more the drum and trumpet's sound [??]
Shall call thee to the field
No more the tyrants of the earth
Shall bid die or yield.

We tell thy doom with many tears,
How rose thy morning sun
How quickly too, alas, it set,
Warrior, thy march is done.

Due notice will be given of the funeral.

George S Philips

[death notice, Public Ledger 21 November 1864 page 2, George S Phillips]

PHILLIPS--On the 17th inst., of wounds received on the 27th of October, in the battle before Petersburg Corp GEORGE S PHILLIPS, of the 91st Regt P.V.V. Comp. H in the 29th year of his age

Sleep, sleep, noble warrior, sleep,
The tomb is now thy bed,
Cold in its bosom thou dost rest,
In silence, with the dead.

But nobly he fought [?] on the grim battle field,
His home and his country determined to shield,
Till death put [??] his hand on his face [?] not to heal [?],
And he, once a soldier, now sleeps with the dead.

The relatives and friends of the family, also the soldiers of the 91st Regiment in the city, also the members of Neptune [?]Lodge No 54 [?], I.O. of O.F., and Enterprise [?] [illegible] No 8 [??], I.O. of S. and D of A.A., are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, from his brother in law's residence, Samuel Amy, No 2523 [??] Memphis street, below Dauphin street, on Tuesday afternoon, at 1 o'clock, without further notice. To proceed to Odd Fellows' Cemetery.

[unknown origin]

James Sulger

[death notice, Public Ledger 12 November 1862, page 2, James E Sulger]

SULGER.--On the 7th inst., of disease contracted at a Camp near Sharpsburg, Captain JAMES E. SULGER, in the 47th year of his age, of Co. C, 91st regiment, P.V. Col. Gregory.

Farewell, husband dear, thou hast left us at last,
Thy troubles on earth are all o'er;
At thy country's call, thou didst face the vile blast,
But alas! thou shalt face it no more.
For fever and pain long since seized thy poor brain,
And you returned to the dear ones you loved,
To bid us farewell, you smiled once again,
Then left us for realms above.

The relatives and friend [sic] of the family, and the members of the Humane Hose Co., are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, from his late residence, 1417 North Fourth street, this afternoon, at 1 o'clock, without further notice. To proceed to Glenwood Cemetery.

[unknown origin]

Stephen Whinna

[death notice, Public Ledger 2 July 1864 page 2, Stephen Whinna]

WHINNA--At David's Island, New York Harbor June 27th, from wounds received before Petersburg, Va., on the 17th [sic] instant, Sergeant STEPHEN S WHINNA, Company H, 91st Regt. Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers.

"Farewell, thou broad banner, bright glory be thine,
O'er land and o'er ocean may'st thou ever shine
Unrivaled in splendor of worthy renown
While heaven approvingly on thee looks down
For me the wild clamor of battle is o'er.
The soul-binding trumpet shall thrill me no more
My bosom is shattered, my life's waning fast.
Proud banner! I've battled for thee till the last
Thou emblem of valor, and heart of the free,
'Tis glory, 'tis virtue, to perish for thee.
Whatever I've suffered of torturing pain
For thee, death denying, I'd yield to again
The cold sod my pillow, to morrow I'll sleep
Where darkness and silence their gloomy reign keep.
Dim shadows around are ringing my knell.
May'st thou ever prosper, proud banner, farewell!

The relatives and friends of the family, and the Purity Lodge 325 [?], I O of O. F; also, members of the 91st Regiment now in the city, and Soldiers generally, are invited to attend the funeral, from the residence of his father-in-law, Charles Jenkins, Front and Dauphin street, Nineteenth ward on Sunday, the 3d inst., at 2 [?] o'clock. The funeral will proceed to Hanover street burial ground.

[unknown origin]

Joseph H Andrews

[death notice, Public Ledger 28 May 1864, page 2]

[see 'Killed at Gettysburg', which claims the death notice for Samuel A Morrison (B 72nd PA) includes the first lines of the following poem, also present on at least one tombstone in the Montgomery Cemetery, in Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (both accessed 23 June 2012)]
[variants of other lines (from 'He left his home' through 'noble volunteer') are on the stone of Francis Marion Matson (117th Cav) in Lower Marion Baptist Cemetery, Bryn Mawr, PA (accessed 23 Jun 2012)]

ANDREWS--Killed, May 12th, in the late battle near Spottsylvania Court House, Va, Sergt JOSEPH H ANDREWS, of Co. A, 91st Regt Penna Vols, in the 25th year of his age.


No mother near him when he died
No brother or sister a hand to cheer,
He died, his country's noblest pride,
A Union volunteer.

He left his home in the flush of morn--
The untold hopes that then were born
His tongue may never tell.

His memory time can ne'er efface,
Though only blood drops mark the place
Where the brave young solder [sic] fell.

'Twas hard for ere so young and good,
But God had willed it so,
He fell as every soldier should
His face towards the foe.

Rest, noble warrior rest,
Thy conflicts o'er--
The bugle's warlike blast
Shall muster Joseph no more.

May he rest in peace

unknown origin

William H Johnson

[death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9 July 1864, page 5, William H Johnson]

JOHNSON.--Killed, June 18th, 1864, while charging on the Rebel works before Petersburg, Va., WILLIAM H. JOHNSON, Company K, Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, son of David and Elizabeth Johnson, aged 24 years and 6 months.

One of the first to answer his country's call in the hour of need, he served three months under Colonel F. Patterson: upon their return he re-enlisted in the Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteers; after participating in all the hard fought struggles in the Valley of Virginia; [sic] he has at last offered up his life as a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. He was a dutiful son, an affectionate brother, and a sincere patriot. Though his body lies in an unknown grave, unmarked by storied urn, yet his memory will ever remain green in the hearts of those left behind, for

There is a fame that never dies,

A wreath that withers never,

And from its buds fresh garlands rise

To bloom and live forever.

Should his body be recovered due notice of the funeral will be given.

Samuel Sweeny

[death notice, Public Ledger 18 July 1864, page 2, Samuel Sweeny]

SWEENY--Killed, June 18th, 1864, while charging on the rebel works before Petersburg, Va., SAMUEL SWEENY, Co H, 91st Regiment Veteran Volunteers

Actuated by a sense of his duty and patriotism he was among those who [illegible] themselves to [?] defence of their country's flag. He went forth with the martial host, and was always at his post, and to the front [?] of the battle. After participating in all the [hard fought struggles (?)] in the valley of Virginia [illegible] his life as a sacrifice on the altar [?] of freedom. He leaves [?] a loved wife and four [??] children [?], and [illegible] of friends illegible]. [Though his body lies (?)] in an unknown grave unmarked by storied [?] urn [?] and [??] yet his memory will ever remain green in the hearts of those left behind.

For there's a fame that never dies,

A wreath that withers never,

And from its buds [?] fresh garlands rise

To bloom and live in ever.

A tired soldier, bold and brave

Now rests his weary feet

And in the shelter of the grave,

He's found a safe retreat

To him the trumpet's piercing blast

Shall call to arms in vain.

He is quartered in the arms of death.

Samuel will never march again.

'Another victim'

[Simon C Shannon, death notice, Public Ledger 28 June 1865 page 2]

Another victim has passed away,
A hero gone to swell the throng,
But teens in years, and yet a man,
A martyr in his country's song.

'We saw his sufferings'

[Adam Guthrie, death notice, Philadelphia inquirer 24 May 1866, page 5]
We saw his sufferings, heard his sighs,
With throbbing hearts and weeping eyes;
But now he's calm, and sleeps at last,
All grief, all pain, all suffering past.

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revised 17 Apr 15
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