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Chaplain Jacob Baughman: Eulogy for Private Elkanah Sherman - MMS 1641
Chaplain Jacob Baughman, of the144th Ohio Volunteer Infantry delivered this eulogy on June 28, 1864 following the death of Private Elkanah Sherman, of Company D.
We received a lengthy communication from a member of the National Guards, now encamped and duty guard duty at Relay House, Baltimore Co., Maryland, a portion of which we subjoin. It will be noticed that one of the members of Company D Captain Brayton died from typhoid fever and was buried with the honors of war. He was formerly of Carey, but recently removed with his family to Putnam County. At the grave, the chaplain Rev. Mr. Baughman pronounced the following discourse:
We have another evidence before us today of the brevity of human life, and the casualties of war. Although our friend has not fallen in battle, yet it is possible that he might have survived had he remained at home; but being prompted by duty and a strong and ardent love of country, he went forth when duty called him. Leaving the endearments of home and the pleasant associations of family and friends- all to assist in putting down this erred and unnatural rebellion inaugurated for the purpose our Government of its hearts blood. May I not say that another Martyr is added to the illustrious thousands who have fallen on the field of carnage and strife in hospital, and various other ways sacrificed their lives upon the altar of their country. It is to be hoped that the sacrificed are noticed by Him who numbers the very hairs on our heads and suffers not even a sparrow to fall to the earth without his notice. The all-seeing eye of God watches the movements of human events, with sermonizing gaze and the great savior of Heaven and earth knows best, in his providence, how to dispose of the destinies of the children of men. Upon this hypothesis, I feel like cultivating "---" and satisfaction on what may yet occur. It is evident that we cannot comprehend the dealings of the Divine Providence, and the referral behooves us to submit to Him who knows of all things, the solving of those mysteries knowing that all things work for the good of those that walk upright.
We would be glad to enumerate a catalogue of battles and adventures, if indeed the deceased had passed through such scenes, but it is sufficient glory to decorate his brow in honor to know that he was loyal to his government, this is what we want to know. In reference to the state of mind our friend was in religiously, is difficult to know, as he was not rational at any one time for a number of days prior to his demise. We are informed that he was of Universalist persuasion, and hoped for the ultimate salvation of all men. Whether he professed to enjoy religion or not, we do not know that he was a strictly moral man and that his life was commendable, his example good, and worthy of imitation. Let us then imitate his virtues and avoid his faults, if he had any.
I heartily sympathize with his bereaved companion is she was true to him, and especially to his fatherless children. He has left a vacancy no mortal can fill. It is painful to me to know that while we are depositing his remains in the cold and silent tomb, his loved ones are at home ignorant of this fact, that he is no more among the living. My prayer is that the Great God of the universe may sustain his surviving friends and relatives so that they can bear up under this their hour of bereavement. I am happy to say that our friend has had the best of treatment from physicians and men, and hence we know his death was not occasioned by neglect. We will now close his resting place, with the cold clods of the valley, hoping that in the great resurrection morning, he may be numbered with the dust made perfect, who have come up through much tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the lamb.
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