60                                  HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.

have fought, the cause of our country and humanity, has triumphed, and you are here to enjoy the victory. Read often their names, and be carried, in imagination, over the dark scenes of the rebellion from its commencement to its end. Commemorate the deeds and virtues of those heroes, who are not permitted, by a mysterious Providence, to enjoy the fruits of their patient endurance, their hard struggle and severe conflicts. They lie scattered broadcast, along the Mississippi Valley, the mountains and plains of Georgia, and by the rivers and swamps of South Carolina; and in the burying grounds of the hospitals from Atlanta to Cincinnati; and in numberless graves in rebel prisons from Alabama to Virginia. They will be seen no more on earth. Their homes, sorrow-stricken, will be gladdened never more by their return; their heroic death, these remain to their friends, their comrades, and to their country. We would like to introduce to the reader, a more particular history of these noble men, to give some more special account of the remarkable and triumphant deaths we have witnessed. The calmness in which they faced the King of Terrors: their unshaken faith in Christ who was true to his promise to lead them down through the Valley peacefully, and triumphantly. They found there was nothing to fear, that all was well; all was bright.

           The many fathers who committed, when dying, their wives and children to God's care, and their earnest desire that they would all strive to meet them in heaven, but we cannot give space to individual instances. These would fill a large volume themselves. We cannot forbear putting one on record: a fair specimen of many. The following is a brief account of the Christian life and death of one who enlisted in the regiment:

           Among the many noble young men who have given their lives for the cause of human independence, we may class JASPER STONE LAUGHLIN, who died in the twenty-third year of his age at the West End Military Hospital, at Cincinnati, Ohio, May 16, 1862.

           He was an only son, born in McConnelsville, Ohio, of pious parents, where he spent nearly all his life with his mother and sisters, his father, who was a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church, having died when Jasper was yet a child.

           It may be truly said of him, "None knew him but to love him."

           The great beauty of his short life shone out more brilliantly, when, in the summer of 1858, he stood up for Jesus, and united with the Presbyterian Church. Such was his Christian deportment that, in 1861, he was elected and ordained a Ruling Elder, in the same church in which his father had lived and died. When at home, his place was never vacant in the Sabbath school – the prayer meeting – the public gatherings of God's people.

           In the fall of 1861, under a deep sense of duty to his country and his God, after prayerfully considering the whole matter, and obtaining the consent of his widowed mother, he volunteered under Captain T. M. Stevenson, Seventy-Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Leggett. His regiment was at the battle of Fort Donelson, and in the battle of Shiloh during the second day. After having passed that fearful struggle, and enduring many hardships, he was found to be failing in health; so much so, that Captain Stevenson determined to send him home.

           He carried his religion with him. His Bible and hymnbook were his daily companions. His Captain in writing about him, since his death, says: "He was beloved by every one of his regiment. His conduct was so lofty and noble, his life so spiritual and heavenly-minded, that the greatest despisers of religion were

Intro Previous Next ToC Index