He Passed Away Peacefully and Quietly Last Night – Interesting Sketch of the Life of a Brave Soldier – His Record During the War.


            Colonel Harry Gilmor, the celebrated Confederate cavalry officer, after a lingering and painful illness, died at five minutes past 8 o’clock last night at his residence, No. 43 First Street, just beyond the city limits.  Colonel Gilmor had been suffering acutely for several months past from a cancerous affection[sic] in the left side of his face, which resulted from a diseased jaw-bone.  His right side was paralyzed and the left side partially so on last Monday morning, and from that time he gradually sank, until death brought relief.  Several years ago the Colonel had a tooth extracted, the roots of which had grown into the bone, and in the course of the operation the jawbone was fractured at a point where it had been weakened by a pistol shot wound received during the war.  About two years ago he began suffering intense neuralgic pains, and these continued until last September.  A consultation was held at this time between Prof. Alan P. Smith and Dr. G. Halstead Boyland at the office of Dr. T.C. Norton, when an exploring operation was performed, and a malignant disease of the bone was discovered.  From that time the tumor began to grow, and assumed large proportions.  The growth had extended throughout the left side of the face, and had forced the eye out of position, thus rendering him blind; as he had lost the right eye years ago.  Several weeks ago it was thought a climax would be reached, and it was feared he would be unable to survive the crisis.  He rallied, however, somewhat, and soon afterwards was again in a critical condition.  About four weeks ago Professor Pancoast [sic], of Philadelphia, was called in consultation with Prof. Smith and Dr. Boyland as to the advisability of performing an operation to remove the whole of the jaw, but it was decided not to risk it.  Dr. C.C. Carroll, assisted Dr. Boyland, performed an operation three weeks ago, and removed a portion of the decayed bone and a large amount of cancerous growth.  This, although a partial operation, was quite successful, and restored the sight of the left eye.  A few days ago a similar operation was performed, and with good results.  So improved had he become that about a week and a half ago a carriage drive was taken, and he expressed himself as much benefited with the trip.  Yesterday one week ago he changed for the worse, and the next morning came the stroke of paralysis.  A consultation was had the following day between Prof. F.T. Miles; Prof. Smith and Dr. Boyland, which resulted in the decision that death was inevitable, and naught could be done but to alleviate his sufferings.  From that time up to 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon he had been gradually dying, surprising all with the tenacity with which the vital spark clung to his body.  Early yesterday morning the change was noticed, and it was seen that the heroic man was fighting a lost battle, and that his dissolution was shortly to be expected.  During yesterday he bore his intense sufferings with that indomitable strength and will-power which characterized him through life, and he has a calm smile for all about his bedside.  At four o’clock yesterday afternoon he was visited by Rev. George T. Purves, of the Boundary Avenue Presbyterian Church, who had been his attending minister during his sickness.  The clergyman read several passages from the Scriptures and spoke in terms of Christian fellowship and comfort.  The minister then left him, and about 5 o’clock the Colonel became unconscious, and remained in that condition up to five minutes past 8 o’clock, when he died.  At the time of his death there were gathered about the bedside his sisters, Miss Mary Gilmor and Mrs. G. Halstead Boyland, his brothers, Charles and Graham; his brother-in-law, Dr. Boyland; Detective Todd Hall, of the Mizpah Association, and his old colored nurse, Angeline.  His other brothers and relatives were at once sent for, and arrived at the house soon after his death.  His brother William Gilmor, and several cousins and Mr. George B. Brown were with him during the earlier part of the day, but were not present at the death scene.  During his long and continued sickness he had been the object of much attention on the part of his numerous friends.  Every night for the past month one of the Mizpah Association, of which he was a member, sat up with him.  He was visited by many of his old comrades in arms and business and social acquaintances.  General Jubal A. Early, in his recent visit to this city, called to see him, as Maryland Line and the Confederate Association both recently passed resolutions of great regard and respect for him.  During his long sickness Dr. Boyland, his brother-in-law, and other relatives faithfully attended him.

                As soon as his death became known, Deputy Marshall of Police Jacob Feny directed that the national flag should be deployed at half-mast from the various police stations, to remain so until after the funeral.

                The Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States in Maryland and the Association of the Maryland Line are called to meet this evening at [illegible] Hall at 8 o’clock, to make arrangements to attend the funeral.  The executive committee Confederate Society and the governors of the Maryland Line will meet at 4 o’clock this afternoon at No. 58 Lexington street, to take action on the death of Col. Gilmor.

                The arrangements for the funeral have not as yet been made, but the funeral will not take place before Wednesday.  The interment will be made in Loudon Park.  It is expected the funeral will be a large one, as it is thought that many of the United States authorities and all the state authorities, as well as civic officials, will attend.  There will no doubt be tendered an escort of the Fifth Regiment and other military by the Governor.

                A number of ex-Union soldiers will be present at the funeral, among them General W. [illegible], Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Grand [illegible] campment of the United States, G.A.R.; General Felix Agnus, General Adam [illegible] King, Colonel John H. Butler, State Department Commander, G.A.R.; Dr. A.W. Dodge, Captain N.M. Rittenhouse, Capt. George W. Johnson and a number of others.  These gentlemen do not go in their official capacity at all, but simply as individual friends of Colonel Gilmor.  “The war is over,” said one of them; “we all admired his bravery during the conflict, and we learned to appreciate him as a man, and to love and respect him in the recent years.”



                One of the members of Harry Gilmor’s old command related an incident yesterday, with tears in his eyes, that shows that the Major, while brave, daring and careless of danger when in the field, had the biggest of hearts and the tender sympathy of a woman.  “I was but a child,” said the gentleman, “when I enlisted under him scarcely eighteen years old.  He watched me all the while; tried to keep me away from danger; tried to see that, boy as I was and unused to the exposures of a campaign, I was, so far as possible, provided with the best of quarters a private could have, and shielded from inclement weather.  I, of course, at that time, thought myself every inch a man, but cannot recall without a lump in my throat one incident.  He started off on a perilous scout, which was to extend some distance within the enemy’s lines.  He tried to dissuade me from going with him, but I persuaded him to let me go.  After a long ride we camped in a drenching rain, weary and worn-out.  I wrapped my rubber blanket about me and laid down on the soaked ground and slept as best I could with a bitter storm beating down upon us.  I was aroused by some one standing near and bending over me, and I recognized by the muttered, ‘Poor boy, poor boy’ that it was the Major, who, with all the cares and troubles he had upon his shoulders, had come to look after the youngster.  He turned away, but soon returned, and wrapping around me his water-proof blanket – the only protection from the rain he had – he tucked me in with all the gentleness of a mother, and left me without a word, God bless him!”

                Among others who had a great respect for Colonel Gilmor, may be named General U.S. Grant.  Gen. Grant, upon returning from the funeral of Garfield, met Colonel Gilmor in New York.  The Colonel remarked, “General, you have just returned from a sorrowful scene.”

                “Yes,” replied Grant.

                “It appears to me,” said Gilmor, “that nothing can destroy or disintegrate the solidity of the Union.”

                “No,” said General Grant; “If you could not do it, no man can.”

                A short time afterwards, Colonel Gilmor met Gen. Grant in New York again, and approaching the ex-President, saluted him and exclaimed, “General, I suppose you forget me!”

                “No,” replied General Grant; “you are one of the hornets who stung us so badly during the unpleasantness.”



                Colonel Harry Gilmor was born at “Glen Ellen,” the homestead of his father, the late Robert Gilmor, in Baltimore county, January 24, 1838.  His mother was Miss Ellen Ward, daughter of Judge William Ward, of Wilmington, Del.  In early boyhood he was engaged in work about the farm, and received a good education at the hands of a private tutor from Harvard University.  He afterwards learned the trade of a machinist at the Vulcan Iron works.  When the war broke out he immediately became a warm advocate of rebellion, and in August, 1861, together with a number of other adventurous young Marylanders, went South and joined the Confederate army.  Young Gilmor, having by his training at “Glen Ellen” become an expert horseman, elected to join the cavalry.  He accordingly proceeded to Charlestown, West Virginia, and with two comrades who had formerly been, like himself, members of Captain Charles Ridgely’s Baltimore County Horse Guards, joined the company of Captain Frank Mason in the cavalry command of Col. Turner Ashby.  At the time Ashby was occupying the south side of the Potomac, watching the Union forces on Maryland Heights.  For four months Mason’s company was in active duty around Harper’s Ferry, and took prominent parts in some heavy skirmishing, in which young Gilmor soon distinguished himself for daring, not to say reckless bravery.  He was the principal in several exploits that attracted attention in the vicinity at the time, and was soon appointed (in December, 1861) the sergeant major of Ashby’s regiment.  Until March, 1862, he continued in service on the skirmish line between Maryland and Virginia, and eventually gained such a reputation for energy and bravery that he was commissioned a captain, and authorized by Col. Ashby to raise a company of cavalry in the vicinity of Winchester.  He soon called around him about two hundred congenial, adventurous spirits, mostly Marylanders, and with his brother William went into active service under Lieut. Col. J.R. Jones, his command forming a part of the 33d Virginia Cavalry.  His first fighting as a commanding officer was before Harrisonburg.  From this time he commenced a series of brilliant raids into his native state, and soon became noted as a strategist of marked ability.  His reputation, rendered widespread through the depredations of some of the characters he had gathered around him, led to repeated attempts being made to capture him by the Federals, who desired to rid themselves of such a dangerous enemy, who, by his knowledge of the topography of this state, operated almost with impunity.  Finally, in September, 1862, Gilmore [sic] made a raid in the direction of Reisterstown, and leaving his command near that place, rode to the house of a relative seven miles from Baltimore on the Reisterstown road.



                Information of his whereabouts was received in this city, and a strong force sent out, which surrounded the house where he was staying on the 12th inst., and brought him a prisoner to Baltimore.  He was first taken to the Western Police Station, then on to Greene street, and afterwards to Fort McHenry, where he remained a close prisoner for three months.  On December 21st he was sent from Fort McHenry to Fortress Monroe, later to Fort Norfolk, and finally was exchanged in February, 1863, returning to duty in Page Valley.  In March following he participated in the fighting around Culpeper Courthouse under Generals Fitz Lee and J.E.B Steuart, where he won his majority.  He next served around Winchester in the following June, the fighting at that time being participated in by many Maryland companies, including the Baltimore Light Artillery.  It was not until February of the following year (1864) that Major Gilmor commenced his more noted raids into Maryland, laying waste the federal property wherever found, and burning whole towns and villages, as he always claimed, under orders from Gen. McCausland.  In February of this year, by order of Gen. Steuart, he made a rapid descent on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad near Kearneysville, a short distance from Harper’s Ferry, and [error in the original newspaper article.]



                While doing this he captured two passengers prisoners for several hours, until his men had completed the work for which they had made the raid.  Afterwards the passengers made general complaint of having been robbed by the raiders, and the Northern papers a few days later contained violent attacks on Major Gilmor, who was held responsible for the depredations of his men.  The outcry occasioned by this raid was so general and prolonged that General Lee ordered Major Gilmor, who had with his force returned to Page Valley, under arrest, and had him tried in court martial.  The evidence produced by Major Gilmor proved to the satisfaction of the court martial that he had positively forbidden his command, under pain of death, to molest the personal property of the passengers, and was not responsible for the depredations.  He was accordingly acquitted and restored to duty, and early in April went again into active service around Staunton, being in command of the Second Maryland Battalion.  He received a slight wound near Hawkinstown in May, which laid him up for a few days.



When he burned the P.W. & B.R.R. bridge and cut the line at the Gunpowder river, took place the following month (July, 1861).  This raid was always regarded as one of the most daring ever attempted by detached cavalry on either side during the war.  To accomplish it Major Gilmor was compelled to cross the entire state of Maryland, get around Baltimore at the risk of being annihilated by the Union forces occupying the city, perform his work, and then probably have to fight every step of his way back into Virginia.  He came up the Green Spring Valley, by forced marches, with incredible rapidity, and almost before his intention was known or suspected, had reached Belair, having first visited Glen Ellen, his family homestead, where he had a short interview with his mother and sisters.  While passing along the Fork Meeting-house road, in the Thirteenth district of Baltimore county, Gilmor’s band passed the residence of the late Ishmael Day, a few miles from Fork Post-office, as it is now called.  The only advance guard which the command had was two men, one of them being Sergeant Field, the color-bearer, whom Gilmor regarded as one of his best men.  When Field and his companion reached the Day mansion, they found that Mr. Day, knowing of their coming, had put out an immense United States flag, which extended over the road.  They halted and demanded that the flag should be pulled down, swearing that their company should not pass under it.  Mr. Day refused to comply, and threatened to shoot the first man that touched it.



                The writer, who was a resident in the locality at the time, became acquainted with the details of the incidents which ensued, which are now printed for the first time.  When Mr. Day refused to pull down the flag, Sergeant Field commenced to dismount, announcing that he would remove the objectionable banner himself.  Mr. Day again warned him to desist, and as Field made a step towards the house, fired at him with a shot-gun heavily charged with buckshot.  The report alarmed Major Gilmor and his command, who were about a quarter of a mile distant, and they were rushing to the scene at full gallop when they met field’s companion hurrying to meet them.  The shooting of his color-bearer, which Gilmor always denounced as wholly unwarranted and a cowardly act, so enraged the entire command that there is no doubt they would have killed Day could they have found him.  Major Gilmor stated at the time that if he could capture Day he would “hang and quarter him.”  When the command reached the house Field was found lying where he had fallen in the road, his face and chest thickly peppered with the buckshot, while the flag, which had occasioned the trouble, waved sullenly in the wind.  A search was instantly made for Day, but without success, as he has escaped and fled from the vicinity, as Gilmor and his men supposed.  They gave his family five minutes to leave the house, and then burned it with all its contents.  Day had meanwhile slipped over into his orchard and crawled under a cider press, where he remained for several days, not daring to leave his concealment.  While here he was supplied with food by friends, and after Gilmor’s men had left he escaped to this city.  Major Gilmor had his wounded color-bearer removed to Wright’s Tavern (now [illegible]) at Fork on the Harford road, where field was tenderly nursed by the ladies in the vicinity, all of whom were Southern sympathizers.  His injuries were fatal, however, and he soon expired.  Gilmor’s men, meanwhile, were scouring the country in search of Day, but without success, and the nature of their expedition prevented a long stay in the vicinity.  They accordingly pressed on to Belair and thence to Havre de Grace, where they took possession of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad.  Two passenger trainer bound from Baltimore to the North were captured, one after the other, and as a result of the treatment of the passengers, charges of robbery were again made against “Gilmor’s Raiders.”



                In one of the trains was General Franklin, a prominent federal staff officer, whom Major Gilmor made a prisoner of war.  Having set fire to one of the trains, and the engineer having fled, Major Gilmor with his own hands backed the blazing train onto the Gunpowder bridge under the fire from a Federal gunboat in the river.  The train was run to the middle of the structure, and soon burned its way through and fell into the river, compelling the gunboat to retire out of range.  The bridge was destroyed, and having cut the telegraph, Gilmor had succeeded in interrupting communication in accordance with his instruction.  Hastily resuming the saddle, which they had not left two hours in forty-eight, the command commenced to retrace its way to Virginia, carrying General Franklin with them as a prisoner of war.  Major Gilmor frequently spoke in after years of the fatigue of the homeward journey, which was made without a stop until the command reached Towson.  At this point a company of cavalrymen sent out from Baltimore attacked the raiders, and a hot and determined fight took place on the York road.  The Federals were defeated, and were pursued as far as Govanstown on the way to the city.  Gilmor used to say that if his men had not been so exhausted from fatigue and loss of sleep, he would have run the flying cavalrymen into Baltimore and taken possession of the city.  There is no doubt that he would have made the attempt, under other circumstances, daring as it would have been.  Fearing an attack from an overwhelming force, Gilmor and his men retreated at break-neck speed through the Green Spring valley to the Craddock farm, where, before the fighting, he had sent Gen. Franklin under guard, to prevent the possibility of a rescue.  When they reached this point tired nature succumbed, and man and beast could go no further.  It was found that the guard having fallen asleep from exhaustion, Gen. Franklin had escaped.  After a few hours’ rest the command, which by this time found the whole country aroused, passed on, and succeeded in crossing the Potomac into Virginia and rejoining Gen. Early, having lost only one man (Field) during the expedition.  A week or two later found Gilmor again in Maryland, and acting under instructions from General McCausland, he burned Chambersburg.  He was next heard of around Cumberland and Old Town, and later in August returned with his command into Virginia, going into service around Martinsburg under Gen. Lomax.



                While in a desperate cavalry skirmish near Darkesville, Major Gilmor received the wound which was destined to cause his death, in the manner already shown, nearly twenty years later.  In his book “Four Years in the Saddle,” published after the war, Major Gilmor thus describes the manner in which he received the wound: “I gave the order to charge ….  A bullet struck me on the left shoulder, broke the blade near the joint, and, passing through, fractured the collar bone.  It entered the neck, coming out under the jawbone, directly over the [illegible] artery, which it only missed severing by an eighth of an inch.  I nearly fell from the horse, but dropping my saber, I clasped his neck and drew myself back into the saddle.”  He was sent to the rear, in charge of two cavalrymen, and after the fight, was removed to the York Hospital, in Winchester, where his injuries were pronounced serious, and probably fatal.



                While lying in the hospital he received a commission as colonel, but never went into service under his new rank.  On September 18th, when his system was greatly emaciated and his condition was still critical, the Confederates were beaten before Winchester and he was compelled to flee with the defeated army.  He rode as far as Kernstown in an ambulance, when his strength became exhausted and had had to take rest.  The advance of the Federal forces compelled him to resume his flight, however, and he next took refuge in a relative’s house in Newtown.  In a few days, however, when almost senseless from exhaustion, his friends had to place him in an ambulance, and he was sent on a journey of over fifty miles over rough mountain roads to Woodstock, Mount Airy, and finally into Nelson county, when he found a temporary refuge at the home of Mr. Samuel Wood, on Rockfish Run.  In October, when he had somewhat recuperated, he went to Staunton and served as one of General Early’s staff, until he resumed command of his battalion.  He then went into active service in Hardy county, where, on February 4th, 1865, he was again captured, this time by Major Young, of Sheridan’s staff.  Colonel Gilmor was sleeping with his cousin, also in the Confederate service, in the bedroom of a farm-house, when the door was burst open and Maj. Young dashed in, seized the weapons of the two officers, and, presenting his own, informed them that they were prisoners.  As about one hundred cavalrymen surrounded the house at the time, escape was impossible, and Col. Gilmor was soon on his way North in charge of Major Young.  When they reached Harper’s Ferry an attempt was made to mob the prisoner, and they would doubtless have been successful had not his captors protected him with a cocked pistol in each hand.  The same trouble was anticipated on reaching Baltimore, and a squad of soldiers, under Major Weigel, was at Camden Station to protect him.  The prisoner was taken out of the depot by the back way and reached Boston February 10.  He was confined in Fort Warren until the fall of Richmond, and was released on parole July 25, 1865.



                As a soldier Col. Gilmor’s reputation for bravery and daring was widespread.  He was generally known as being what military men termed “a hard fighter.”  It has frequently been asserted that he killed more men with his own arm than any other officer in Confederate service.  As a marksman with the pistol he was unexcelled, and frequently shot tin cups from the heads of his men.  On one occasion, for a wager, he put five shots into five successive telegraph poles along a road-side while riding at full gallop.  His immense strength and power of endurance peculiarly fitted him for the life of a cavalryman, and integrity of purpose and devotion to the cause of the rebellion.

                Col. Gilmor returned to Baltimore after the war and entered into business until 1872, when he was elected a police commissioner for this city, his term commencing in 1873.  During his service he was mainly instrumental in introducing military tactics and discipline into the city police force.  The good effects of this innovation are seen in the efficiency of the force at this time and during the labor riots in 1877, when Col. Gilmor’s bravery and coolness contributed much towards protecting property and life from the mob.  He served until 1878, when he resigned, and was succeeded by Mr. Milroy, one of the present commissioners.

                Col. Gilmor, in 1875, lost one of his eyes, the eyeball being excised without chloroform by Drs. Chisholm, A.P. Smith and G. Halstead Boylan.  During the long and painful operation the patient showed great nerve, never wincing while under the lancet.  He leaves three children and two sisters – Mrs. Dr. G. Halstead Boylan and Miss Mary Gilmor.  His brothers living are ex-Judge Robert Gilmor, Jr., Graham Gilmor, Meredith Gilmor, Charles Gilmor, William Gilmor and Richard Gilmor.  He was a member of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States, the Maryland Line, Knight of Pythias, Masonic fraternity, Mizpah Association, Corn and Flour Exchange and St. Andrew’s Society.  He was at the time of his death the colonel commanding of all the cavalry in the state.




From the Baltimore Sun, March 5, 1883.



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Impressive Service at the Church – A Funeral Sermon by Rev. Mr. Purves – The Escort of Militia and Veterans of the War – Services at Loudon Park.


            The remains of Colonel Harry Gilmor were yesterday laid away in their last, silent resting-place.  As was eminently proper, the funeral was conducted with military honors, and friend and foe, forgetting the [illegible], and remembering only the friendships of the past, joined hands to do him honor.  According to the program arranged for the funeral, as given in The American of yesterday, the remains were removed from the residence, on Denmead street, shortly after twelve o’clock, noon, and conveyed to the Boundary Avenue Presbyterian Church, of which he had been a member during the last years of his life.  The remains were enclosed in a very elegant, cloth-covered casket, trimmed in gold fringe upon the sides and ends, with heavy oxidized gold furnishings.  The plate bore the inscription:

Harry Gilmor, born 24th of January, 1838.

Died 4th of March, 1883.

                Upon the casket reposed numerous and beautiful floral tributes, and partially draping the casket was the flag of the Maryland line, furnished by General Bradley T.J. Johnson, and the same as used on the occasion of the funeral of General Winder, of Richmond, in August, 1862.

                The floral offerings were a large bunch of beautiful lilies (the first offering sent) from Miss Kate McLean, an anchor from Mr. E.J. [illegible], Jr., cross from Mr. And Mrs. Robert Johnson, mounds from Mrs. S. Wilson and Mrs. Isabella Brown, anchor from Mr. And Mrs. Fred Tyson, combined cross and crown from Mr. And Mrs. Oliver Hoblitzell, single crown from Colonel A.D. Brown, anchor from Mr. B.F. Ulman, and pillow from Union soldiers.  The offerings of Mr. And Mrs. Hoblitzell and that of the Union soldiers were very costly and beautiful.  The first-mentioned was a combined cross and crown, formed of calla-lilies, japonicas and tea roses principally, resting upon a background of royal purple velvet, which, in turn, was edged with sprays of emilax [sic], the whole forming a design about two feet wide and three feet long.  The tribute of the Union soldiers consisted of a very large floral pillow, composed of lilies, japonicas, Marenal Neil [sic] and tea roses, etc., with the word “Peace” in blue immortelles.  Attached to this tribute were the names of Generals Felix Agnus, W.E.W. Ross and Charles E. Phelps, Colonel Adam E. King, A.W. Sheldon, M.W. Locke, John H. Suter, A.W. Dodge, N.M. Rittenhouse, George B. Creamer, Samuel Henry, George W. Johnson and George P. Mott.



                The remains were taken from the residence and borne to the hearse in waiting, and into the church, by the immediate pall-bearers, and only accompanied by the immediate family and intimate personal friends.  Upon the arrival of the remains at the church they were taken up the main [illegible] and placed immediately in front of the pulpit, the organ meanwhile playing a dirge.  Within the church, which was crowded to its utmost capacity, were many well-known citizens, among whom were Messrs. George S. Brown, Henry D. Harvey, John L. Bead, Alexander Murdoch, Henry Selm, Adjutant General Watkins, George Brown, Chas. B. Latrobe, T.B. Mackall, Hon. J.V.L. Findlay, Randolph Mordecai, Walter S. Wilkinson, J.H. Sirich, Andrew J. Guise, William B. Phillips, Hugh Gatchell, A.A. Hasson, A. C. Barkley, Col. Theo. Lang, Dr. James A. Steuart, Dr. R.H. Goldsmith, Caleb S. Taylor, Bishop J.A. Latane, of the Reformed Episcopal Church, Rev. J. Wynne Jones, Rev. Theo. J. Holmes, G.T. Sadtler, Judge J.D. Watters, State’s Attorney Col. D.G. McIntosh, ex-Judge C.W. Pinkney, Robert Garrett, Major McDonald, Dr. J.H. Parker, Benjamin Price, G.W. Washburn, S.G. Boyd, Milton Y. Kidd, Col. Clarence Peters, S.P. Morton, R.S. Albert, Frank Albert, H. Guinaud and many others.  The services began with, an organ voluntary [sic] by Mr. Thomas S. Callis, organist, after which Rev. George T. Purves, pastor of the church, read the customary Scriptures, closing with prayer.



                Rev. Purves then made an address, in which he spoke as follows:

                I need but few words with which to utter the esteem for our departed friend, which is expressed by our presence in this house to-day.  The regret of the community is seldom called forth by the death of a single individual, and cannot in this case be wholly explained either by the power of past associations, or by the sympathy for his recent sufferings, which has deeply touched all hearts.  There must have been something in our friends character which won regard to an unusual degree, and hence it is a real pleasure to be allowed to add a few flowers of praise to those which the affection of many and the good will of all have already cast upon his [illegible].

                Colonel Gilmor had a marvelous power of [illegible] toward himself the love of his fellow man.  He seemed born to lead them, and that not by virtue of any quality so much as by his hold on their affections.  This was largely due to his own enthusiasm.  He had the gay heart of a boy down to his latest years.  Whatever he undertook he did with genuine zeal.  Others caught the contagion of his enthusiasm.  Whether as a gallant officer, leading his command through the smoke of battle, or as a prominent figure among the people of this city; or, in later life, as a believer avowing publicly his faith, he drew others after him by the force of a nature which overflowed with so much kindly earnestness that few were able to resist it.  To those who knew him he was a magnetic man.  One did not have to be long in his company or often hear his ringing laugh, without feeling the heart grow warm toward such a genial character and without being moved in spite of itself, to a similar glow of enthusiasm.  He also won the love of his fellows by his generosity.  I do not merely mean that he was ever ready to aid those who were in want.  This he was always and to the utmost extent of his ability.  He would share his last dollar with a friend, and break his last crust with the hungry.  He was sometimes too prodigal in giving.  He sometimes seemed generous to a fault.  But he did so because it was an instinct of his nature.  He was generous in the broader sense of not cherishing mean or hostile thoughts towards anyone.  He was generous because he was chivalrous.  A fallen foe was often as much the object of his care as a fallen friend.  He was singularly able to rise above the limits of what is selfish and partisan, and let his kindness and courtesy go forth to any fellow whom he could help and serve.

                And to this I would add that he had a certain simplicity of character which was peculiarly attractive.  Profound natures evoke our reverence; men who are learned awaken our admiration, but we probably all feel that no traits appeal so persuasively in the heart as honest, genuine simplicity.  Our friend was just what he seemed to be.  His faults and his virtues were open and manifest.  He was a man of action rather than of thought.  What he believed he was ready to at once confess; what he confessed he endeavored to put at once into practice.  If ever he failed, he was willing to at once acknowledge, and, if possible, correct it.  It was, I suppose, part of this simplicity of character that he was so free from either pride or fear.  I need not say that he was a brave man.  His courage has made a name for itself which all classes willingly recognize.  It could be daring.  It could smile at odds before which others would have trembled.  But greater than the courage shown on the field of battle or in the romantic exploits of past years was that with which in later life, in spite of many inward misgivings and much sense of weakness, he took up the service of the Army of Christ.  Here he did tremble.  Here he had sometimes need to fear.  Moral courage is always nobler than physical, and men who would march boldly to a cannon’s mouth will often cower before a sneer or criticism directed against their efforts to do right.  But his courage did not quail.  He showed his colors openly; and, through good and ill, through success or failure, cast in his lot with the people of God.  And therefore it is not surprising that men came to love him.  He was honest and true; he was inspiring and he was gentile; he had the strength of a giant, but he could be as tender as a woman; his soldiers made an idol of him, and his children loved to play over his sturdy frame.  These were merely natural qualities, and they made such a combination that few men enjoyed so much the luxury of the love of his friends and comrades.  But I wish to speak not merely of these traits, which are known to all who at all knew him, or of those famous features of his life which are part of history and which his own companions can better tell at the proper time, but rather of the man whom we have watched during these past few months struggling for life, hoping against hope; and, finally, with the same cheerfulness, with which he had faced so many other dangers, welcoming the approach of death.  It was a privilege to be with him day by day.  It was marvelous to see his fortitude under agonizing pain.  It was delight to mark the calmness which seldom forsook him, and to see him yield one by one the interests most dear to him on earth into the keeping of a Sovereign God; to hear him say with evident sincerely, “Thy will be done.”

                The simplicity which was part of his natural character was here also shown in his simple faith in the Word of God.  He received it as a little child.  I do not know that he ever doubted, as others do.  He doubted himself, but not God or the Bible.  He read therein the words of Christ, “Whosoever believeth in Me hath everlasting life,” and that was his faith.  He read, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me,” and that was his comfort.  He read, and how often he did repeat, these words of Isaiah, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yes, I will help thee; yes, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness,” and they were the ground of his courage and hope.  He took these words as directly sent to him individually from Almighty God; and, therefore, he enjoyed to a rare degree the consolation and power of the Gospel.

                And truly marvelous was his patience.  Oh! it is a sight to see a strong frame quiver with agony and to hear scarcely a cry, and not a word of repining escape the lips, and that is the case of one whose life’s sun seemed to be at bright noonday.  Under such circumstances we would excuse much.  It would seem but natural for some complaints to find expression.  We are not surprised if men rebel against such unkind fortune.  But he did not even think that Providence was unkind.  He thanked God for his many mercies.  He did not murmur.  He was still bright and cheerful.  He could even seek and find the divine meaning of his sufferings.  He said to me a few weeks ago: “It seems to me that the Lord says I will first give you pain enough to bring you wholly to my feet, and then I will take you to myself, away from pain and sorrow and temptation.”  Such patience we do not often find in the ripest and oldest saints, and in him it seemed simply wonderful.  Often and often did he exclaim, “When I think of what Christ suffered for me how trivial do my sufferings appear.”  And so his life ebbed away.  The end came slowly, but he was patient and hopeful to the last.  He made no boasts; there was much in his past life which he would like to have effaced, but he simply waited.  He seemed to be in perfect peace of mind.  He had thrown entirely off the cares of life, and as the disease advanced he became still quieter.  Slowly and painfully his feet touched and entered the dark waters.  The clouds began to rise over his clear mind.  To those who watched him he seemed to be still in pain, but when asked if he had anything upon his mind he quickly answered, “Nothing.”  Then he slept away.  They all tell me that he could once ride with a merry shout into the hottest fray; that in the old days he feared nothing and cared nothing for danger or death.  I can well believe it.  But surely he was a better soldier and a braver man when in his sick room he let himself be borne along to death with his eye fixed on an invisible glory and the sword of the spirit in his hand.

                Therefore, death, which is always eloquent with some particular message to mankind, seems to utter from these closed lips a dirge over the vanity of human life.  How much has he not forgotten now in the rest and peace of eternity!  Old feuds have passed away, and are not to be named in the presence of his silent form.  Old plans have come to naught, but Providence has brought better ones to their accomplishment.  Old temptations, old sorrows, old struggles have ceased forever.  Life was a battle.  Life was toil and strife.  Death is rest and peace.

“Brief life is here our portion,

Brief sorrow, short-lived care;

The life that knows no ending,

The tearless life, is there,”


                And we rejoice to believe that, as after the fierce fight with pain he sank at length quietly to rest, so, after the fitful and varied scenes of his whole earthly lot, his soul at last rested in the saving love of God.  And I should feel myself false to the wish of my dead friends heart if I did not say over him that what saved him was, as he used to call it, the “wonderful grace” of God.  His hope was solely on the faith that what he could not do for himself the Saviour [sic] had done for him.  No man felt more than he the importance of man’s efforts to merit Divine favor; no man knew more the need of a sinner’s refuge; and if he could speak to-day it would be, I doubt not, to simply repeat his favorite lines:


“Jesus paid it all,

All the debt I owe,

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.”


                And so we bid him farewell.  Our hearts ache rather for those who are left than for him.  But “a father of the fatherless and a friend of the orphan is God in his holly habitation.”  For our friend himself, we have only gratitude that he has found the liberty he craved, and I doubt not each one of us is glad by our presence here to say that we always found him a true and loving friend, and of late in many ways, an inspiration to a noble life.  Let such lives be our tribute.  Let us be soldiers of Jesus Christ.  Let us hate and resist sin to the uttermost.  If we fail, let us rise again, humbled but hopeful.  Let us, too, ask to “be kept by the power of God through faith unto the salvation, ready to be revealed in the last day.”

                At the close of the address, Mr. Purves announced that by the particular request of Colonel Gilmor, as expressing his entire reliance upon the Saviour, the hymn would be sung, which begins ---


I hear the Saviour say,

Thy strength indeed is small;

Child of weakness, watch and pray,

Find in Me thine all in all,

Chorus – Jesus paid it all,

All to him I owe,

Sin had left a crimson stain!

He washed it white as snow.


                Mr. T.B. Hall, another member of the Mizpah Association, led the singing.  At the close of the hymn Mr. Purves pronounced the benediction, which closed the services at the church.



                While the services were being held in the church the military escort was forming upon Boundary avenue, near by, to be in readiness for the reception of the remains.  The procession was formed on Boundary avenue, the right resting on St. Paul street in front of the church, and was headed by a battalion of the city police, commanded by Deputy Marshall Jacob Frey, and comprising squads of 24 men each from several districts, in charge of the following: Northwestern District, Captain Earhart and Sergeants [illegible] and Scott; Western District, Captain Leport, Sergeants Fullam and Minor; Central District, Captain Lannan, Sergeants Schimp and Barker, with Sergeants Harvey and Shumack bearing the national flag and Maryland colors; Southern District, Captain Delanty, Lieut. Farnan, Sergeant Blackston and Collins; Eastern District, Captain Kenny, Sergeants Buckless and Langley; Northeastern District, Lieut. Barber, Sergeants Schaefer and [illegible].  Then came the Fifth Regiment, I.M.M.G., headed by full band and drum corps, and in command of Col. Stewart Brown and staff.  The regiment mustered about 200 muskets, the men being in full-dress uniforms and overcoats.  Following was the colored militia company, Baltimore Rifles, about 40 in number, commanded by Capt. George M. Mathews.  The hearse bearing the remains and carriage with the members of the family followed, and behind them walked Gen. Bradley T. Johnson, president of the Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States in Maryland.  In company with Governor Hamilton and the following gentlemen acting as staff officers to the General: Col. R. Snowden Andrews, Major W. Stuart Symington, Capt. George W. Booth, Corporal R.M. [illegible], Surgeon J.N. [illegible], Privates J.F.C. Talbott, John Gill, Wm. T. [illegible], George C. Jenkins and Raleigh C. Thomas.  In turn came the Mayor and members of the City Council and other city and government officials, some in carriages and some on foot, and a delegation of ex-Union officers and soldiers, including Gen. Felix Agnus, Gen. W.E.W. Ross, Gen. Charles E. Phelps, Gen. Adam E. King, Col. John H. Suter, Dr. A.W. Dodge, Capt. N.M. Rutenhausen, Col. Robert G. King, George B. Creamer, Capt. John [illegible], G.W. F. Vernon, C.A. Newcomer, J.W. Horn, Gen. Richard N. Bowerman, Col. W.H. Boyd, Twenty first New York Cavalry; and Major Bailey, of Washington, and others, the Union officers being under the escort of Capt. Winfield S. Peters, of the Maryland line.  The second division, composed of the ex-Confederate soldiers and sailors, the officers and men of Gilmor’s Second Maryland Cavalry was [illegible] by Charles Band and commanded by Major General Isaac R. Trimble and the following staff: Major N.S. Hill, Major R.T. [illegible], Capt. Randolph Barton, Lieut. Skipwith Wilmer, Lieut. McHenry Howard and Private George T. Holliday.  The Society of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States in Maryland had the right of [illegible] division and turned out a large number of men, in command of Brigadier General George H. Steuart, with the following staff: Major J. [illegible] Wigfall, Capt. J.W. Torsch, Lieut. J.S. Maury, Capt. A.J. Smith, Private George Savage and Capt. F.M. Colston.  The Association of the Maryland Line came next, in command of General James R. Herbert, with staff of Major Frank A. Bond, Capt. T.B. [illegible], Capt. W.P. Zollinger, Lieut. [illegible], Capt. W.L. Ritter, Dr. Wm. H. Cole and Private Lamar Holliday.  Nearly all the members of the association were present, and borne in the line were a number of [illegible] Confederate battle-flags, including the colors of the Second Maryland Infantry and Admiral Semmes’ flag.

                Adjutant Frank Tormey and Surgeon George W. Benson, members of Col. Gilmor’s staff of Maryland Cavalry, were in line in uniform.  The Mizpah Association, headed by T.B. Hall, also marched in the procession, together with delegations from the other associations of which Col. Gilmor was a member.  When the line had formed the military and police came to a battalion front, the military presented arms, and the bands played the funeral march from sonata 26, Beethoven, as the remains were borne from the church and placed in the hearse, and the members of the family entered the carriages.  The solemn procession, to the sound of muffled drums, then proceeded to Charles street avenue [sic], to the entrance of the Union Station.  Passing through the carriage gate-way, the military and the other societies formed on the lawn in the depot yard, and saluted the remains as they were borne through to the cars.  All of the flags carried in the procession were tied with crape, and the sergeants of police had crape on their [illegible], and the ex-Confederates and many others wore the emblem of mourning on their arms.  In all there were about 1,500 men in line.

                There was a special escort to the remains, consisting of ten men, under Lieut. Col. J. Lyle Clarke, from the Army and Navy Society, and a like detail from the Maryland Line, under Lieut. Col. R. Carter Smith.  The policemen, with the exception of a squad of eight men, under command of Sergeant George Schafer, of the Eastern District, were dismissed at the depot.



                The military escort, including the Fifth Regiment, the Baltimore Rifles and the Confederate Societies, accompanied the remains to Loudon Park.  A special train of seventeen cars, in two sections, under charge of Conductors Miles and Ferguson, was provided by Mr. George C. Wilkins, the first section conveying the military escort, and the second body, the family and immediate friends, and a portion of the Confederate societies.  The Union soldiers drove to the cemetery in carriages.

                The train left Union Depot at 2:30 o’clock, and about twenty minutes later arrived at Frederick Road Station, where the disembarkation for the cemetery was made.  The column reformed in its former order and passed to the cemetery, the Fifth Regiment Band playing “In the Grave is Rest,” from Nelbig.  The grave of Col. Gilmor had been opened by the side of the grave of his wife, who died a few years ago.  It is located across the ravine from the National Cemetery, and near the line of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad.  As the procession reached its destination the escort formed about the grave so as to allow the remains to pass between the ranks of the military and the Confederate Societies, the former coming to a present arms, and the latter uncovering as the remains passed.  The remains were then lowered into the grave, the family gathering in immediate proximity, while the command was given by Colonel Brown, “Rest on arms.”  Rev. Mr. Purves then recited the last portion of the burial service and offered a fervent prayer.  The assembled friends respectfully uncovered their heads, and so remained during the service, which closed with the band playing the funeral march from Mendelssohn and “Nearer My God.”  One of Col. Gilmor’s children silently dropped a full-blown rose upon the casket, as it was about to be hid forever from her sight.  The grave being refilled, and the floral tributes placed thereon, the last office of the living soldier to the dead comrade – that of firing a salute over the grave – was them performed, companies [illegible], K, I, O, [illegible] of the Fifth Regiment being selected for this service.

                The flag upon the City Hall and those at the police stations were displayed at half-mast during the day, and the City Hall bell was tolled during the passage of the remains from the church to the depot.  Quite a number of persons who saw the remains thought that they were dressed in Confederate uniform.  This was not so.  The uniform was that of the state of Maryland.  Superintendent O’Brien, of the National Cemetery, displayed the national colors at half-mast while the funeral portage was passing the cemetery wall.





From the Baltimore Sun, March, 1883.



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