Worth'Baoley, Ensign, U&N.
His Life for His Country
LAST PHOTOGRAPH--TAKEN AT KEY WEST, APRIL, I89t
The First coo
A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
ENSIGN, U. S. N.
He gave his life for his Country on the Torpedo*
boat Wiinisllow In Gardenias
May nth, 118980
"And thus this man died, leaving his death for an example of a noble
courage, and a memorial of virtue, not only unto young men, but unto
all his nation.''— 2nd. Maccabees, vi, 31.
NOkFOLK, VA. :
SAM W. BOWMAN,
COPYRIGHTED !898 BY SAM W BOWMAN.
In response to a request made to the family of Ensign Worth
Bagley for a sketch of his life for publication, this volume has
been prepared. There has been no attempt to write an elaborate
biography, but only a desire to put in permanent form, for the
emulation of aspiring youth, the record of the short and brilliant
career of the first American officer to die in battle in the war be-
tween the United States and Spain.
The editor has sought to let the letters of the dead Ensign tell
the story of his young life. During the eight and a half years
that elapsed between his entering the Naval Academy and his
heroic death at Cardenas, his letters to his mother, sisters and
brothers touched upon every topic that interested him. They
give a better insight to his hopes, his loves, his ambitions and his
character than can be derived from any other source. Written
for the eye only of those he loved best there is no reserve. The
extracts given show his inmost thoughts and feelings. It is only
from such letters that the real heart of the man can be known.
In collating from the letters written home by Worth Bagley,
and the letters of sympathy to his sorrowing mother, the con-
trolling purpose has been to convey a clear understanding oi his
sweet home life; his abounding love for his mother: his affec-
tion for his sisters, brothers and kindred ; his high ideals of life;
his chivalry that shone out in all his association with women ; his
clean and pure life —
" His strength was as the strength of ten
Because his heart was pure ; "
his manly spirit and steadfastness of purpose , his generous dispo-
sition, comradeship and broad charity ; his noble ambitions, ani-
mating to high and lofty deeds; his devotion to his profession to
which he was wedded ; his love for his fellow men and his faith in
God ; and his splendid courage, enabling him to conquer fear and
meet death with a smile upon his face.
It is hoped and believed that, though the preparation has
been hurried, the simple recital of what he thought and what he
did will stimulate to high aims and lofty aspirations all manly and
ambitious youth who are moved by the example of heroic
Jfye pirst pallet? j-iero.
BIRTH AND BOYHOOD.
'•Easter Monday was a visiting day of some importance at
the house of a Grand Master in this city. The little Odd Fellow-
weighed nine pounds and three-quaiters. Long may the little
Grand Master wave !"
THIS was the announcement of the birth of Worth Bagley,
which appeared in the Raleigh News in its issue of April
7th, 1874. He was born in Raleigh, N. C, on the sixth day of
April 1874, in the house in which his mother now resides, on the
corner of Blount and South streets. His father at the time was
Grand Master of Odd Fellows of the State of North Carolina, and
it was his prominence in the order that caused the editor to call
41 the little stranger" an Odd Fellow.
Worth Bagley's ancestry was honorable. His ancestors gave
abundant evidence of their patriotism in peace and in war.
He was the oldest son of the late Maj. Wm. H. Bagley, a native
of Perquimans County, North Carolina. When the War Between
the States was declared, Maj. Bagley volunteered in the first
company for the Confederate service that was raised in his county,
having, prior to the war edited "The Sentinel" at Elizabeth City,
and having obtained license to practice law in 1859. He was at
first commissioned Lieutenant and afterwards Captain, transferred
to Company A. 8th., Shaw's Regiment, Clingman's Brigade,
and he followed the fortunes of the Confederacy in the uniform ot
the gray to the end, except when as a prisoner on parole at home
in 1864, he was elected and served in the State Senate. He was
afterwards made Major of the 68th. N. C. Regiment, of which
Hon. E C. Yellowley of Pitt county was Colonel, and held that
position in the Confederate army when Lee surrendered. in
civil life, he was elected and served as Register of Deeds of Per-
quimans county before he was of age. In July 1865, President
Andrew Johnson tendered him the appointment as Superintendent
of the U. S. Mint at Charlotte, but he could not take the "iron
clad" oath and could not accept that office. Upon the election
of Jonathan Worth as Governor in 1S65 he became Private Sec-
retary to the Governor, and in March 1S66 he married the Gov-
ernor's daughter, Adelaide Anne. From this union there are now
living five children, Addie Worth, wife of Josephus Daniels,
Belle Worth, Ethel, William Henry and David Worth. In
1868 Maj. Bagley was chosen Clerk of the Supreme Court ol
North Carolina, which position he held until his death, February
21st, 1 886. He was an active Odd Fellow all his life, serving in
every position in the gift of that order. In 1S73 he was Grand
Master of the State, and in 1S74, 1875, 1876, 1877 he was chosen
Grand Representative of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the
World. He was also a member of the Masonic order and of the
Royal Arcanum Major Bagley was a son of Col. Willis H. Bag-
ley, a highly respected citizen who was sheriff of Perquimans
county for many years. His grandfather, William Bagley. fought
in the War of 1812, and was at the battle of "Crany's Island,"
Norfolk Harbor. His great-grandfather, Thomas Bagley, served
in the Revolutionary War. His mother was Mary Elizabeth
Clary, who was directly descended from Mackrora Scarborough,
who was Colonel of " His Majesty's Militia," member of the
Colonial Legislature, and of the Governor's Council.
Ensign Bagley's mother is the youngest living daughter of the
late Governor Jonathan Worth and Martitia Daniel, daughter oi
John Daniel of Charlotte county, Virginia. She was a grand-
daughter of, Col. Archibald Murphy, who was a colonel in the
Revolutionary Army, The Worths were originally Quakers
and were among the first of the Friends who came to America
primarily for the purpose of finding in the New World a place
where they could worship God according to the dictates of
conscience They settled at Nantucket before the coming over
to Pennsylvania of the colony of Friends under Wm. Penn.
William Worth, who emigrated from Devonshire, England, to
this country in or about 1640. was the common progenitor
of Gen. William Jenkins Worth, of Mexican war fame, and
Governor Jonathan Worth, grandfather of Ensign Worth Bag-
ley. His Worth ancestry dates back to the reign of Cromwell.
The first emigrants to America settled in Massachusetts, and
between 1771 and 1775, Daniel Worth, the founder of the North
Carolina family, with others of the Society of Friends, moved
to Guilford county. His son, Dr. David Worth, a physician
and farmer, who was born at Centre Church, Guilford county,
in 1776, was the great-grandfather of Worth Bagley.
The Worths have long been leaders in law, business and pol-
itics in North Carolina. Worth Bagley 's grandfather, Jonathan
Worth, first entered public life as a member of the House of
Commons in 1830. He was elected again in 1840 and was a
State Senator in 1858-59, and 1860-61. In that body he vehe-
mently opposed secession, "voting against submitting the question
of a Convention (even to consider the matter of taking the State
out of the Union) to the people; and, the Legislature deciding
against him, addressing a circular to his constituents, advising
them to vote against Convention, as the surest way of defeating
secession. * * After secession, he gave in his adhesion to the
de facto Government, and acted toward it in the same good faith
which distinguished all his conduct, public and private." In
1S62-63 he was a member of the House of Commons and was
elected Public Treasurer of the State ; he was re-elected without
opposition in 1864, and held the position until the then State
Government was overthrown by the Federal forces in 1865.
President Johnson appointed him State Treasurer, but he resigned
in a short time to become a candidate for Governor against Provis-
ional-Governor Holden. He was elected and entered upon the
duties of Governor on the 28th day of December, 1S65. He was
re-elected Governor in 1866. He continued in the Executive
office until July, 186S, when the government was suspended
by that organized under the Reconstruction Acts of Congress.
He surrendered the position, writing a protest denying the
constitutionality of those Acts of Congress and the legality of
his removal. He died on the 5th day of September, 1869.
Worth Bagley was a robust and healthy child, growing in
strength and manly grace, and as a lad possessed a gentleness
and courtesy that was the delight of his parents and instructors.
Speaking of his home, on the occasion of his last visit to
Raleigh, he said, " I have always been happy here. It is the
sweetest place in the world to me." Growing up in a happy home
where love and unselfishness reigned, he was as chivalrous toward
his sisters and playmates while wearing kilts as he was gallant and
courteous in his intercourse with men and women in the clubs and
brilliant gatherings in which aiterwards he was a favorite guest.
There was in him the rare blending of the simplicity and direct-
ness of his Quaker ancestry and the bonhommie and geniality
that is the characteristic of Southern civilization. He would not
contend, even as a little child, for his own with his sisters or girl
playmates, but he surrendered to no boy in any contest and, while
almost wholly free from school-boy fighting, he stood up for his
rights against all comers. If this led to a fight, he did not shirk it,
but fought to the finish having the creed : " You must always
stand up for your rights and let nobody run over you." That
was his spirit — to encroach on the rights of no one and to permit
no encroachment upon his rights. ''He had an inherent sense of
justice and fair play," said one of his school-mates, ''and 1 do not
recall any fight he ever had at school except when he took the
part of a smaller boy against a big boy who was imposing on the
little fellow. After he took part, it was his quarrel and he did not
quit until he came out on top."
The oldest son of a family of six children, he was very dear
to his father, who entered into the lives and thoughts of his chil-
dren, drawing them out and helping them with perfect under-
standing of their powers. The letters between father and son
illustrate the strong bond between them.
The following little jingle, written in the form ot a letter to
please a child's fancy, was sent to Worth when he was five years
Raleigh, December 7th, 1879.
Dear Worth :
I drop you a line, as I have time, to let you know what is the go ; 'tis
Sunday now, and just somehow, I thought to you I'd write, to see if not
you've me forgot— to tell you, too, what will be true, it, by Tuesday
night, you do not write.
The clouds are gone, the rain is done and everything is bright ; the sun
shines out and, all about, there is nothing but it's light. Addie and
Belle both are well, and so is ''Henry boo''; little Ethel's neat and very
sweet, and so is Edwin, too. Mania is good and Papa's mood is on the
good incline ; so be not sad and only glad, and bear us all in mind.
Surely give Sis a loving kiss, from each and every one, and let her, too, a
kiss give you, my darling little son. Cousin Henry kiss, and his little sis,
also.'the "little wee," Aunt Annie squeeze and Uncle teaze ; and, then
a good boy be. Now do not fail, by Tuesday's mail, to us to send a let-
ler ; for if vou do— my word is true— I tell you. you had better !
The son was not less thoughtful. The following letter, written
at the age of seven years to his father, on the latter's birthday,
discloses his generous desires which were early developed :
Jackson. N. C, July 5th, 1S81.
Dear Papa :
Please send me some torpedoes and some pop-crackers, I cannot send
you a present. Henry Benton and I are going down to the brick kiln
to see what our boats are doing. I cannot rind you a present.
Every time Sizzie says "March," me and Henry Benton do like we are
marching. Your son.
Among many other letters written to his cousins as a boy, three
extracts are given :
May nth, 'Si : 'Miss Nettie Marshall calls me her best adder."
Aug. 16th, 'Si : "I lost my bird betting with . I wont bet any
more. It is wrong I believe."
June 3rd, '88 : " Eighteen speeches were made at Morson & Denson's
Academy Commencement. Mine was the very last, and when I got up.
I tell you I was scared. But I got through all right and got more boquets
than any other boy. After it was all over people crowded around me
congratulating, asthey said. I got mortally tired of it I got five
'honors', three of them were 'firsts' and two were 'seconds'. The 'firsts'
were on Latin Exercises, Algebra. Penmanship. The 'seconds' were on
Latin Grammar, Latin Reading. The 'first honor' is given to the boy
who stands the best examination in his class, the 'second honor' is given
to the next best."
On February 21st, 1886, after a long illness, Major Bagley died.
When the twelve year old boy recovered Irom the first blow, the
sense of his responsibility as the oldest son gave him the fortitude
of a man. He hid his own grief to be able to comfort and cheer
the widowed mother, and from the hour that she leaned upon his
strong young arm for support, in the anguish of her woe, until the
fateful day at Cardenas, he was her strength and stay. On the
afternoon of the funeral of his father, as they stood by the open
grave, his mother felt an arm about her neck. It was Worth's
arm and his hand was affectionately patting her face. Coming
home he said, " Mother, lean on me and I will take care of you."
A few months after the death of her husband, Mrs. Bagley took
her youngest son to her church (the Presbyterian) to have him
baptized. As with his hand in hers, she approached the altar she
found that Worth was by her side, standing in the place made vacant
by his father's death. Itwashis own thoughtand it brought a feeling
oi happiness into the saddened life of the mother that could have
come trom no other human source. She came more and more to
lean upon him and to find comfort and help in his strong arm, his
brave spirit his true heart, his stimulating hope and faith. To
his sisters, to whom he had ever been considerate, a gentler sym-
pathy was shown, and, feeling the responsibility of his example
toward his younger brothers, he became to them an example of
filial affection, respect, courtesy and obedience. The loss of his
lather, v/hile it was not permitted to cloud the cheerfulness of
his sweet home life, gave him the steadying sense of duty, and
made him older and more studious. He early became a Chris-
tian, joining the First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, on the 28th
of November 1887, having been baptized when a young child in
Of his school days, before going to the Naval Academy his
teachers are the most competent ones to speak. Among the very
first to write to his stricken mother was Mrs. E. McDonald who
was his teacher at the age of six years when he first became a pu-
pil in the Centennial Graded school at Raleigh. Writing from
Winston she said :
" How my heart goes out in sympathy, for you and yours, at the loss
of your noble boy. I, his first teacher, have ever remembered him with
love and affection, and watched, with pride, his successful career, and
to-day mingle my tears with yours in this hour of trial."
Mrs. J. M. Barbee, who had been his teacher at the Centennial
Graded School at one time, said :
'"Worth was very popular as a school boy and had wit and gallantry.
He was even then fond of ships. When a pupil of Miss Gales, he drew
a picture of a full-rigged vessel and wrote under it, ' It takes fair Gales
to drive my ship.' "'
Prof. E, P. Moses, of Rock Hill, S. C, who was superintendent
of the Raleigh Graded Schools, writing to Mrs. Bagley, said :
"The fact that Worth was a student of mine and always such a noble
boy, makes the loss a personal one to me. It will be a comfort to you to
feel that his heroism in life was as conspicuous as his heroism in death,
which has won the admiration of a win >le natioi ."
There is still preserved by his mother an basin end, presented
in March, r.884, as a prize, by Miss Jean Gales, his teacher at the
15 '/2 YEAR5.
16 '/s> Vear^.
FROM ONE TO TWENTY-ONE.
Centennial Graded School, on which is written ;
" Prize received by Worth Bagley for spelling thirty wo'ds correctly.
The words were selected and prize awarded by the editor of the
In a letter written in his eleventh year, while visiting an aunt in
the country, he wrote his mother :
'■ I can swim 150 feet."
His ability to swim was afterwards worth a great deal to him
when he entered the Naval Academy. Writing from the same
place, during the same visit his interest in athletics and his spirit
of pleasantry are thus shown :
'• Tell Henry I hope Cain, the new pitcher, will be able (Abel) to shut
out the Wilmington club when they play at Charlotte I understand
now what piscatorial means, as I have studied Latin I wonder if I
am included in Miss- 's love. She said she sent it to all the family."
Finishing the course at the Centennial Graded School, he
entered the classical school of Morson & Denson, at Raleigh in
1884, to prepare for college. He took a high stand there, winning
medals and honors in a class composed of many young men of
talent, some of whom have already made reputations. Prof.
Hugh Morson, one of the principals of the school writes of his
" Worth Bagley was for several years a pupil of mine, and as one who
taught, knew and loved him, it may not be amiss at this time when
his native city and state are filled with mingled feelings of grief at the loss
of a son so brave and gifted, and with pride at his heroic death, to say a
few words in tribute to his many noble qualities of heart and head. He
entered the Raleigh Male Academy at the opening of the session of 18S6,
and was until he went to Annapolis, a pupil of the school, pursuing such
studies mainly as were preparatory to a classical course at college. As
might be supposed, he was always a leader among his school-fellows,
beloved, respected, and looked up to by them all ; and as his nature was
pure, honest and truthful, scorning everything false and base, he ever
exerted a healthful and beneficial influence upon the moial tone of the
school. In all athletic games and sports he displayed surprising skill
and strength for his age, and showed those same qualities of daring and
endurance which afterwards won such reputation for him as an athlete
in the games played at the Naval Academy with West Point and other
"As a pupil he was studious, obedient and faithful In the discharge of
duty, with a character above reproach and intellectual endow ments°of a
very high order. As evidence of this, at the close of the sessien of 1888-
89, he received the highest honors in several of his classes, and was fully
prepared, though only fifteen years of age, to take, as he intended, the
full classical course at the University of North Carolina ; hut entering a
competitive examination for appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy^at
Annapolis, he won the prize in a large class from this district composed
of young men who were all his seniors by several years. The committee
who held this examination reported to Representative Bunn that "young
Bagley's papers' were almost perfect.''
Capt. C. B. Denson, a co-principal of the school, writes:
"At the Raleigh Male Academy he excelled in classical studies, and
at the age of fifteen years was prepared to enter the University. His
character was lofty and noble ; he scorned petty things ; generous, warm-
hearted, resolute, and brave. As a student he mastered everything
thoroughly ; to him duty was the supreme watchword. He was strikingly
handsome, with fine open frankness of the sailor. His friends here may
be said to have numbered the whole people, who looked with pride to
his future advancement.''
The News and Observer in its report of Morson and Denson's
closing exercises in 1S88, said:
"Master Worth Bagley showed wonderful oratorical powers and talent
in delivering "The South of the Past and Present. " He surprised his
young friends who applauded him liberally and heartily.''
From earliest boyhood he read with avidity the war-like
periods in history, and though fond of all manly sports, he was a
voracious reader, spending hours at the time reading historic nov-
els as well as those histories that gave the most graphic pictures
of war and revolution. He knew how every great decisive battle of
the world had been fought and won and before he was old enough
to leave off short pants his knowledge of the ships of the navy
and his interest in the life of Paul Jones, Farragut, Lord Nelson
and other great naval commanders was marked.
As I write there lie before me portions of the manuscript of a
story of a naval encounter in the fogs off Newfoundland, written
when he was about thirteen years old. Though the production of a
school-boy, written on Saturdays, it shows that at that early age he
was familiar with nautical terms and naval battles. His family be-
lieved that he had real talent and encouraged him to fit himself
for a career as author of sea tales and naval methods. He had a
fine imagination, wrote readily and elegantly, was a master of
good English, and the plot of his 'school-boy novel of the sea
gives promise that he would have made reputation as an author
and a novelist.
As he grew older, the ambition to go into the navy fired him,
and when in 1.889, Hon. Benjamin H. Bunn, at that time Member
of Congress from the Fourth Congressional District, gave notice
that he would appoint as cadet to Annapolis the youth who stood
the best competitive examination, the desire to win the appoint-
ment stimulated him to thorough preparation for the contest.
Mr. Bunn named as the committee to conduct the examination,
Prof A. G. Wilcox, of Nash, chairman, Prof. E. W. Kennedy, of
Durham, and Prof Purington, of Wake Forest College. There
were a number of applicants who presented themselves for exam-
ination. After standing this competitive examination and before
knowing the result, he went in June, 1889, to the University
of North Carolina, where he passed the entrance examination,
and in June wrote to his youngest sister,
" I got a letter from Chapel Hill the other day saying I had passed the
entrance examinations So I can enter the University even if 1 can't enter
A few days ^hereafter, in another letter to the same sister in
playful mood he signed himself, " Worth Baglev, U. S. N., Lord
High Admiral to His Majesty Ben Harrison's fleet."
When, after marking all the papers, the committee announced
that Worth Bagley had been the successful applicant, his joy
knew no bounds. The appointment was dated June 30th, 1889.
Always self contained, even as a boy, his enthusiasm could not
now be suppressed, It pervaded the household and family cir-
cle. Soon thereafter, in order to be fully prepared to stand his
entrance examination at the Naval Academy, he went to Annap-
olis to study for one month under a special instructor. During
that preparation, it chanced that being in Annapolis with his oldest
sister, just at the close of the examination, the writer recalls the
joyous pride of the noble young fellow as he bounded across the
campus to tell his loving sister of his success and to cheer her heart
by saying, jestingly, in the flush of his first victory, " I will be
an Admiral one of these days." To this hour I can see the fresh
and glowing young lace, made truly beautiful with the light of
conscious strength and illuminating ambition.
When he went to Annapolis to take private lessons to prepare
for his entrance examination, his mother wrote to the instructor :
" Worth has always been a studious boy and has been fortunate enough
to gain the regard of his teachers. He is free from any bad habits."
This was not merely a mother's partiality that thus told of his
good habits and deportment. It was what his playmates and all
who knew him could have truthfully written of the pure-hearted
young lad, who through life, retained the qualities that gave him
die friendship of the best men and women wherever his duty and
pleasure called him.
From his entrance into the Naval Academy, he was no longer
an inmate of the home-circle, except during holidays and vaca-
tions, but no anniversary of any member of the household
escaped him and he wrote frequent letters and made long stays at
home whenever leave was allowed him. He loved his home with
a passion that made him long for the periodical vacations when
he could rest under the shades where he had played as a boy,
and he always hurried home so as not to lose a day from the
sweet communion with his family. He kept in touch with his
schoolmates and friends, too, and had a deep and abiding attach-
ment for, and growing pride in, his native city and state. His
state pride was based upon a knowledge of its glorious history,
the sturdy patriotism of its people, and the simple virtues that
AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY.
Annapolis, Md., Sept. 7th, 1889.
Mrs. W. H. Baglev,
Raleigh, N. C.
Passed mentally and physically.
THIS telegram, which his mother has preserved, announced the
fulfilment of his youthful ambition. He was but a few
months more than fifteen years old, the youngest member of his
class, and much younger than the average entrance age at the Acad-
emy. He had given special attention at school to the classics, and
was a fine Greek and Latin scholar. The course at Annapolis was so
different, leaving out Greek and Latin altogether, and giving mathe-
matics, chemistry and kindred subjects first place, that the young
cadet found it required very hard work to keep up with his class,
composed mainly of older boys who had been trained with a view
to the studies taught at the Academy. His letters home for the
first year or more tell of his application to his studies, his "boning"
to keep up on ''skinny" and the other studies that required all his
attention. Sometimes he wrote that it was almost too hard, but
these expressions were accompanied by an expressed determina-
tion to do his best. There ran through them all a yearning for
home, a tender love for home folks and a desire to so act as to
win the commendation of his mother. A few extracts from letters
to his mother will serve to show the channel of his thoughts :
Feb. 23rd, '90. "Vou never wrote me whether I was behind hand in
my Bible or nut. I am now nearly through Job.''
March 23rd, '90 : Tell David a good way to learn to spell is to ask
what signs and bills read on the street and spell them over to himself.
Do you remember how I used to spell "Little Joker Smoking Tobacco?"
Ethel must not be discouraged with Caesar as the first book is very
much harder than any of the others and after awhile one becomes used
to his style and reads him without difficulty. When I was in Viigil I
could read Caesar without opening a vocabulary and anybody can clothe
same tiling. I know she will like French : it is very easy to understand
after awhile. We in our class can understand the native Frenchmen in
that department very easily when they talk."
June 1st, '90: "Do be careful about, yourself. Don't work any now
for a long time. You positively must not while you are having these
headaches. Rest a lot.''
June Sth, '90: "We have been having a good time during the past
week. The board of visitors has been here A cadet fell overboard
The Admiral then had us called aft again and gave us a speech in which
he mentioned the cadet falling overboard, saying that his catching the
rope showed the cool-headedness cadets acquire while here. He ended
by saying that in after life whenever we should find ourselves in any
strait whatever always clutch with one hand high up on the nearest
rope for ourselves, and with the other hand still higher for the govern-
ment. I heard a pretty wild fellow in my class say : 'Government be
d if ever I fall overboard.' "
Dec. 12th, '90 : "I hope you received my letter on your birthday as it
was a 25 pager I wish I had been home with you. A thousand
hugs and kisses."
Oct. ist, '90 .• Whenever I get homesick I get out my photo album
and think of home. Your letters are so sweet and encouraging that
they make me nearly cry in the midst of my rough surroundings."
Oct 7th, '90: "I read my Bible every night. Last night I read the
14th chapter of Isaiah. Where are you ?"'
Oct. 26th, '90 : "Your letter came last night when I was in my de-
spondent mood and it was so long and home-like that it made me feel
entirely different I like to get a letter on Sunday when I come back
from church. But I would like to get them at all hours of the day."
Dec. 7th, '90 : "I enjoyed the Thanksgiving box you sent. I enjoy-
ed the butter and biscuit about as much as anything else. Of all the
orange cakes you have sent me that was the best. None of the people
in this building had ever eaten any to compare with it, or ever will unless
they get your receipt."
Dec. 7th, '90 : "I generally take my photograph album down at night
when I havn't had any letters for seyeral days and gaze and gaze at all
the familiar faces. It seems to keep off homesickness."
Dec. 2ist, '90: "I am so glad of the prospect of going home that I
am just wild for Wednesday to come so I can go. You must hang up
my stocking Christmas eve so I can get it when I come at 2 o'clock
Jan. 19th, '91 : "A new preacher preached at our church to-day and I
was delighted with the sermon, which was directed principally to young
men, as the State Y. M. C. A. meets here this week. His text was
"Serving the Lord.'' He made one point which struck me very much.
He said that it is not to be saved that we serve the Lord, but because we
are saved. I was taught several things by his sermon and realized more
than ever how hard and difficult it is to live up to our vows. I always
feel the need of strength of purpose and will, and nearly all of us do I
guess I know there is but one way to get this strength and I always
pray for it."
Jan. 10th, '91 : (When his niece was born, he wrote:) "Ever since
I heard it I have been very glad and jubilant. Kiss Addie a thousand
times for me and tell her I have a great notion to try to get sick leave
just to go home and see the baby. 1 bet $50. she is not any more
proud of it than I am. You failed to tell me the weight of the young one
and the color of her hair. Love to all and a thousand kisses for my
darling sweetheart mother."
Jan. 25th, '91 : "I have been rejoicing and feeling better lately in my
heart. I had begun to feel cold in my religion for awhile, but lately I
have had all my love for Christ, and a desire to serve Him, return to me.
I have felt light hearted and glad lately and I attribue it greatly to this.
I had begun to pray in my bed at night and I think we might as well not
pray at all as to do that. "
May 1st, '91 : (Writing to his oldest sister:) " I guess you are treat-
ing X like you treated us both that time we had the mumps. I tell you
I wish I could have that sort ot mumps again."
Feb. 22nd, '91 : "I didn't know what hard studying meant until I
struck this second term 1 have been thinking several days a] ait
papa, and I feel and have felt during this year so many times how I
wished I could have him with me and that we all could be here together
I am getting old I tell you. Only a month and I will be 17. Just
think of that ! I am so glad that you are reading "The Light that Failed"
I thought it was really beautiful."
March 29th, '91 : "I wouldn't swap places for anything. Riches are
not all in this world."
April 19th, '91 : ' ' never hears from his mother but once a week
and I don't see how in the world he can stand it."
April 12th, '91 : "Tell Aunt Julia that I may be a little more dignified,
but the same boy that used to trot around in bare legs, and just as inno-
cent and tries to be as pure as the little boy who used to draw the sled
and help build the fires to drive off the sand flies."
Among the incidents of his life at Annapolis which illustrate
his character, there is one that stands out conspicuous. It was
shortly after he had entered the Academy that some of the upper
classmen entered his room and "hazed ' him. The authorities
had determined to stamp out hazing at any cost and to expel
those who practiced it. Somehow it became known that Cadet
Bagley had been "hazed" and he was summoned before the Com-
mandant and ordered to give the names of the "hazers". An
account of this experience is thus related :
'• I have been taught", he said, "that it is dishonorable to tell on a
playmate or schoolmate. I mean no disrespect to_ or disobedience of
authority, but I would regard myself as doing a dishonorable act if I
were to tell. That I cannot do." The Commandant said, "Unless you
obey orders and tell you will have to go on the Santee ". (The Santee
was the ship on which cadets were sent for severe punishment.) He
persisted in his refusal and for eighteen days he was kept in confinement
on the Santee, being permitted to leave it only to go to his recitations,
and then being allowed to speak only to his instructors. At the end of
that time the cadets who had hazed him confessed and asked for his re-
lease. He would have remained in prison indefinitely before he would
have told who hazed him, such was his devotion to what he considered
In the Spring of 1891, the fear that had haunted him for weeks,
that he might not successfully pass the examination, was realized.
Upon the examination his mark was 2:42 when 2:50 was required.
Failing to obtain a re-examination, he wrote his mother a frank
and manly letter, stating all the circumstances and expressing the
hope that Hon. B. H. Bunn, member of Congress from the
Fourth North Carolina District; by whom he had originally been
appointed, would see his way clear to re-appoint him. The de-
voted mother took the letter to Mr. Bunn, who immediately made
out the papers of re-appointment, and with a grateful heart, she
w Jte to her son of his good fortune. As soon as he heard the
news, the following letter written from Annapolis was sent to Mr.
Bunn. The date does not appear, but it was in June, 1891.
My Dear Mr. Bunn :
My mother has written to me of your kindness to her and me in grant-
ing me a re-appointment to the Naval Academy. I have never thought
that it is the part of the fallen to make excuses, but I feel that I must tell
V ou I hope that with the start that I now have and the de-
termination to fulfil every duty that lies in my way, I shall never cause
you to regret the appointment you have made. I shall never forget and
shall always appreciate your great kindness, and shall try, by hard work
and study, to show myself worthy of being a North Carolinian and your
appointee. Believe me, Sir,
With much respect,
At the same time he wrote to his mother, calling her "My
Dearest Little Mother." from which a long extract is taken:
"The first thing I thought when I found that 1 was not to have a re-
examination was, not as to how I was ever to get or rather finish my edu-
cation, but how it might hurt my dearest mother and sweet, dear home
folks. I was so afraid thatit had gone badly with you that it was a long time
before I could summon courage to ask how you took it. 1 thought
to myself, if 1 have caused my own mother a single gray hair I will be
wretched indeed. I don't think I have ever caused you trouble know-
ingly and I hope so much that this affair will not go hard with you. But
now that I have a new appointment 1 will stand so high that my mama
will be laughing instead of crying soon.
" I was so rejoiced when I received 's letter saying that Mr. Bunn
had reappointed me, that my heart leaped and I felt like going and tell-
in^ everybody. My classmates have all congratulated me on it and
nearly all have expressed the opinion that I will do finely when I re-enter
and that I attempted it too early in my life. I know they are right, and,
with the experience I have had, the lessons I have learned, and the de-
termination andambition that seem to have returned anew tome, I am cer-
tain I will take an honorable stand in my new class. It will be the first time
that I have not been the youngest man in my class in my life. But, my
dearmother, ifyouknew whatdesirel havetoredeem myself, you would be
as sure as I am that I will study faithfully and stand high, and who knows
hut what I shall stand among the 'fiends' and come home with a star on
my collar ! [This ambition was realized and he came home. with a star
on his collar.— Editor.] So be happy and then I will be happy too
I think that all of my late troubles (the first set-back I ever had) have
aged me in many respects, and I believe firmly they have done me a
great deal of good and have taught me many lessons. Perhaps for this
reason, God put the punishment upon me. For whatever reason He did
put it upon me I know it is for the best because He did it and He has
been good to us all If I could feel that you are in anyway satisfied
with me it certainly would make me feel glad."
Writing to his mother July 19th, 1891, he said, referring to two
relatives he loved very much :
"I was so glad to see them that I didn't know whatto do. t guess no
one would have noticed, though, that I was so glad, because I never go into
any outward display of showing my love for anyone. I never believe in
kissing and kissing and telling persons how glad you are to see them. I
can meet anyone coidiallv, but if they can't know and find out by my
acdons that I am glad to see them why then I don't want them to know
it at all. It is the same wav about loving a person, with me. I don't
believe in telling them thousands and thousands of times how much you
love them, but show in your actions that you love them and act so that
they may find it out."
Upon his re-entrance in the Academy in the fall of 1 891, he
became a member of the class of '95 .in which he graduated.
From his re-entrance until graduation his life ran smoothly, bring-
ing realization of his ambitions, delightful vacations at homewhere
his presence was a joy and a light, cruises in the Atlantic waters,
trips to summer resorts, where he enjoyed the social pleasures to
AS FULL BACK-1892.
the utmost, stimulating victories in foot-ball, in which he made
himself famous, an extension of acquaintanceship in all ports
where duty called him, and a growing of his mental faculties and
an enlargement of his views and sympathies. His letters to his
mother, his sisters and his brothers were frequent and grew in
number and in expressions of tender love. They are so full of
affection, of noble sentiment, of patriotism, and give so clear an
insight into his inner life that the task of selecting a few extracts
from the many of the same tenor, so as to let his letters tell the
story o his last four years at the Academy, has not been easy.
It is believed that the extracts which follow will give to the reader
a conception of a young man who was as tender and loving at
home, as thoughtful and considerate of his comrades, and as gen-
erous and high-minded in peace as he was brave and fearless in
the solemn hour of his tragic and heroic death.
Oct. nth, '91 : " I am so glad that you came in my room that day
when I was showing you around here. Sometimes I think 'Well, mama
has been in here', and it makes me feel real good and happy."
Nov. 8th, '91 : "I was so sorry to hear about Judge Shepherd's son's
death, but it should not be considered as a sorrowful death, dying as he
did. If we could all die in that way, I would say ' let me die ' and it
would be a pleasure. Such faith and in such a young boy ! It will surely
lessen the sorrow of his family."
Dec. 13th, '91. "What do you think about my coming home? I was
afraid you would think it too expensive for so short a stay, but I would
be willing to work forever to go I just must go, I have been just
wild for the last month to be at home and sit down in a nice, warm
rocker by the fire with all the home folks around."
Dec. 22nd, '91 : "I am so glad I can come home that I don't know
what to do."
Jan. 17th, '92 : "All the talk here now is war. We talk perpetually
of that and nothing else. Everybody hopes that we will be ordered to
sea in active service I am afraid the fourth class will not get a
chance, at least for two years, if the war lasts that long I am going to
apply for permission to go as I am well up in seamanship, drill, &c. Just
think how fine that would be The Chilians depend most on a vessel
of theirs now nearing completion in France which we cannot match ; but
I think we will declare war before she is completed and then declare an
embargo on her which France cannot violate, as she is being built by
Frenchmen in a French shipyard. A Chilian cruiser is being built
in England also, and the same embargo will be declared in her case, too.
Neither will be violated then, we may be sure, for England does
not desire to pay $15,000,000 damages again as she did in the case of
the Alabama in our late war. The fight will be even at the start or per-
haps we may sustain a few losses, as Chilian soldiers are in training after
their last war and very hot headed. They give no quarter and the throats
Of all their enemies left wounded on the field are ripped with knives
made especially for that purpose. If they adopt this mode of warfare
ior their ordinary enemies, what can we Americans, whom they utterly
detest, expect? There will hardly he any chances for our naval
officers other than captains of vessels to distinguish themselves- in the
modern manner of warfare, and here the army have an advantage over
us Every one here is praying for war and it will help to remedy the
present stagnation in promotion in our arm of the service."
Spring of 1892 : (Writing of the visit of fifteen Austrian Naval Cadets
to the Academy, telling how he had devoted the day as one of a com-
mittee to entertain them): "At the Austrian Academy they are allow-
ed to drink and smoke as they choose. They were with us at dinner
today. The cadet I was with told me rather bluntly that they were
very much surprised that we had offered them nothing to drink at
table. I thought that the nobleman's son was brought up rather badly
to make such an impolite remark, and told him that we werenot allowed
anything to drink. ' Not allowed anything to drink ! ' he cried in
French & ' Mon Dieu, I do pity you American Cadets ! ' I got rather an-
gry at his 'pitying us American Cadets', so I said rather hotly ' Ne
vouz ennuyez', Monsieur, nous sommes tres bien contents.' (Don't
bother yourself, we are very well contented.) He noticed how his
remark had been taken and apologized ; so after that we were very good
friends. ...... We treated them very nicely and when they left us to go
on board their steam launch (the vessel is three miles out) they all
tossed their hats about their heads and hollered Aurevoir. ' We an-
swered them and started to give the Academy yell, but remembering
that they could not understand English, we were afraid they would
think we were hooting at them."
April 17th, '92 : "I would like to get some letters this week on Wed-
nesday, Thursday, and Friday as they are our examination days
That "trip to California will be something simply f ne for you, mama.
You don't know how good it makes me feel for you to get a chance to
go off and enjoy yourself. I will be a great deal happier than were I to
take the trip and a thousand times more disappointed if you don't go
than I would be were I to be cut out of such a trip. You just shall go."
May 1st, 92 : "I was perfectly delighted with the flowers. They are
in front of me on the table and give a delicious odor to the room. The
banksias particularly remind me of home, as I can imagine the front
porch covered with them.''
May 1st, 92. " If I were a politician I would lay for sneaks and ex-
Tune 10th, '92 : "I starred for the year and stand 3rd in the class with
a very good mark Tell Addie I think the red stone is the prettier
1 am so proud "starring," as much forthe ring as the honor, but
did'not fully realize it until I saw the stars on my jacket at the June ball."
New London, Conn., July nth, '92 : "I have been very homesick for
a week or more I really do not believe that any home in this world
is as dear and loving as ours Kiss Adelaide and don*t forget to
teach her my name if she can learn it before I get home Thank God
1 was taught to despise vulgar language and habits when I was little."
Lono- Island Sound, July 19th, '92 : "You would be perfectly in love
with the Navy if you could see the ships of the North Atlantic squadron.
Admiral Gherardi is in command of the fleet and the Philadelphia is his
flagship. I went aboard the Philadelphia and Miantonomc h Friday
mornjng and enjoyed looking them over very much indeed. I wasstruck
with the discipline and rigor with which the ship is run. Everything is
■done like clock work, especially on the flag ship. From stem to stern
and from spar-deck to keel the ships themselves are neatness personified. "
New London, July 31st, '92 : "I am not in favor of 's going out
of the State. We all have so many friends in North Carolina It
wjuld seem like leaving the whole world to me."
Jamestown, R. I. Aug 12th, '92 : " I am sure nobody in the world ever
had a home like ours and how thankful we should be for it."
Annapolis, Oct. 3rd, '92 : " I feel mighty homesick and complain con-
tinually that I can't be back in my own dear little home. Mother, how
much I love you and my dear brothers and sisters nobody in the world
but myself knows. How I wish I could be home with you."
Nov. 3rd, '92 : (To his sister Beile at school in Chambersburg,
Pa) "I received a real nice long letter from mother to-day. It
just breathed of home and home life and consequently I enjoyed it and
haven't ceased to enjoy it. I shall read it again after awhile before going
Feb. 5th, '93. " My letters from home are ' chewed and digested ' as
Carlyle has it I was delighted and had to take Adelaide's picture
out and laugh all to myself to think that she is running about the house
by herself. I think about her a great deal and love the picture I have of
her. I am so glad I have it. I am sure it does me lots of good."
Oct. 22nd, '93: "This is Sunday afternoon and a very rainy, dreary
one with the prospect of a hard, very hard, week ahead of me. This is
exam, week I have worked myself up to a good old home-sick feel-
ing this afternoon. I believe I love to get real home-sick in a room by
myself, and have the rain patter against the panes as it does now, and
have the wind whistle and moan through the cracks. I always feel that
come what will, exams, or no exams., ' bilge ' or graduate, 1 have such
a dear home that would be more than a recompense for it all. I think
it is a sweet, cry-baby sort of feeling that we often love to indulge in."
Nov. 20th, '93: "Please let me have lots of letters this week of
' exams.' "
Aug. 4th, '94 : " I have been transferred from the Monongahela to the
Bancroft with the rest of my class." In the same letter, writing of the
birth of his nephew, " I want to tell you how happy I was to get the de-
lightful news. It was so fine that 1 am tickled to death 1 shall cer-
tainly bring the young naval officer a package of cigarettes to teethe with
when I come on leave. That and a good bottle of Annheuser-Busch will
start him well on the track of the Navy, which my heart is set on his
entering. We have not had enough naval men in our family, and I want
to offer the suggestion that he be given as a votive offering to his coun-
try's service in the navy. I will be there to look after him, that's the reason
I want him. I shall make it my duty whether desired or not (?) to incul-
cate into him all possible seamanship knowledge and he shall be able to
find the latitude and longitude of Raleigh or Washington bv the time he
is twelve years old. I think about him lots and am so anxious to see
what he looks like I am glad of the good time you are having, but
of all the good news the arrival of the young admiral has caused me the
greatest happiness I have had in a long time.'*
Aug, 4th, '94 : "I am assistant Navigator now on the Bancroft.
The following letter, written a few days after the birth of his
nephew, is printed in full because it is believed to give his high
ideals of life and duty — ideals which he carried into the daily dis-
charge of his duties : The letter was addressed, showing his
playful humor, to
"Commodore Josephus Daniels, Jr.,":
Sunday, Aug. 2nd, 1S94.
My dear young (?) nephew —
I make an early reply to your letter announcing your most welcome
arrival, in order to show my appreciation of the honor you have confer-
red upon me in allowing me to be the first to receive a letter from your
Your handwriting is strangely like your father's : you will be lucky,
sir, if you resemble him in other traits and qualities of heart or
mind — I came within an ace of adding "looks," but I love you little one
already, and shall wish you no such hard luck.
I shall help to bring you up in the right way when I am at home. Do
not cry when I inform you that you must eat hard tack and salt horse
from now on so that you may get used to the diet Worse yet you must
have a copy of Luce's Seamanship right at hand even while sleeping and
eating. Then on your first-class cruise you won't have the trials to un-
dergo that your uncle is now passing through.
Above all, you must learn to be self-reliant. You must be a man at
fifteen : it won't be hard for you to accomplish it. Never ask any favors
if you can help it. Be a lady's man but don't tell each and all of them
that you love them ; at first some of them will believe you which will be
sad for them, afterward none of them will believe you which will be sad
Study hard and, until you enter the Naval Academy, don't pretend
you know a thing until you do know it. Don't be a book worm or a hot
house plant but take the proper exercise and make yourself a strongman.
Don't tell a lie even at the Naval Academy. Love your father and
mother and obey orders. It is as bad to disobey orders from the proper
source as it is to tell a lie.
Keep this letter and I will keep yours, then someday we will compare.
You will laugh then and wonder if your uncle kept all these things.
He didn't, that is the reason he wants to warn you beforehand and
make an officer of you : you won't have the faults that he had.
But he will repeat to you what was said to him and the rest of the
Navy team last year before the game with West Point which we won 6
to 4. Mind it wherever you may be. It is : "For God's sake keep your
nerve, and show the stuff you're made of!"
With every good wish, and the hope that your young life begun in a
bed of roses will suffer from only enough thorns to make a man of you
in the time of danger and necessity, I am,
Your loving uncle,
Life ran along with him pleasantly, with no cloud on his hori-
zon, until May, 1895, when there came like a clap of thunder out
of a clear sky, from an unexpected quarter, a trouble that threat-
ened his graduation. From his babyhood he had been physically
perfect, and his fondness for athletics had developed his muscles
until he was conscious of being capable of any amount of physical
endurance. The following letter written home on May 5th, 1895,
told of his trouble :
■'I have learned from a good source that I am recommended to be
dropped physically on account of my heart Last year on the annual
physical examination the doctors found that the apex of my heart had
shifted to the left about two inches, due to violent exercise. The right
side had enlarged in muscle and had naturally forced the apex to the
left. This is not at all dangerous and does not by any means affect a
man's lite or efficiency The doctors noted the fact on my record
and held me over but advised me not to indulge in violent exercise then
or the next fall at foot-ball without first consulting them- When the foot-
ball season came around during the following fall I said I would not play
and did not do so for about a month when every one begged me tocome
out Some of the boys said I had the big head, and only wanted to
be begged, etc., so I said if Doctor would examine me and rec-
ommend me to play that I would do so. So he examined me and said
that it would not hurt me at all. So I played. Since that time, last De-
cember, I have taken no violent exercise at all I am going to tell the
Superintendent that I am not satisfied with the verdict and wish to have
another examination, and ask permission to request it of the Secretary
of the Navy. A cadet just graduating is worthy of such consideration
Dr. , who examined me a year ago says I am fit for the ser-
vice physically I hope you can come to Washington. It would be
best for us to be in Washington at the same time I feel that I am
all right physically, having never been in the slightest degree unable to per-
form such duties as ordinarily came my way I have heard that the
Surgeon General is an able and a square man, and I believe if he could
know how well and healthy I am, he would hold me over."
To his mother at the same time he wrote :
"I am pretty confident of getting held over for my two years cruise at the
least, and of passing on my return as well for I am confident that nothing
is the matter with me. I am going to make use of the fact that I have
plaved foot-ball for years without ever feeling the slightest hurt to my
heart Keep up your spirits and I feel sure all will come out well."
The Secretary of the Navy granted a re-examination, and the
Examining Board recommended that he be held over for the final
examination at the end of the two years cruise and then to deter-
mine, in June, 1897, whether the enlargement of the heart was such
a physical infirmity as to disqualify him for service in the Navy.
This decision gave him great happiness for he felt confident that
in two years time it would be demonstrated that his heart was as
sound as a dollar.
Writing to his oldest brother May 30th, 1895, he gave thL
good counsel :
" Write and tell me all about school ; it would be a great thing for you
if you will realize like the sensible person you are, just exactly how real-
ongs that they loved. A sweeter home scene, with the mother
at the piano and this noble youth leading in the melody
that filled the house and floated out on the summer evening air,
could not be found anywhere. His love for music and his fine
voice made him friends wherever he was called. The daughter
of an Army officer, writing from Boston a few days ago, gives one
of the many glimpses of the delights that his love of music
brought to him and to others ;
"At Old Point, where I saw him most, the men used to meet at our
house a great deal and with a banjo, guitar and autoharp. would sing to
while away the time. Worth often made one of our number and always
added greatly to the singing. His voice, as you know, was extremely
sweet. ' 1 remember thattwo of his favorite songs at that time were 'Don't
you hear dem bells ' and the 'Little Alabama Coon'. I can see him now
leaning against the door and singing 'a Ringing out the Glory of the
Navy' and 'Way down vender in the corn field'. Generally we ended
with ' God be with you till we meet again'— the men sang it so well."
His friends had his whole heart. One of the closest was Cassius
Bartlett Barnes, son of Governor Barnes of Oklahoma. In a de-
sire to render a service to this friend he wrote to a relative :
"You have heard me speak ot Barnes, one of my best friends. I
would do anything in the world I could for him. and many a time he has
proved his friendship for me You have had men friends of the kind
that one loves— he is one of these to me.''
From Key West, June ist, 1S96, while he was on the ill-fated
Maine, writing to his mother he said :
" Your letters are such dear ones. The last made me live over again
that delightful day at Old Point which I will never forget It is not near
as hot here as one would expect, for nearly always there is a breeze from
His assignments in the Navy pleased him very much. Shortly
after he first went on the Maine, he wrote to his mother :
"I believe you know that Breckinridge and I are rooming together
now. (They had been room-mates at Annapolis most of the time when
they were cadets and were like David and Jonathan in their friendship—
Editor. ) The Maine is a fine ship and we are very well satisfied this
Having twice served on the Texas, he always defended it from
the criticisms of the press, feeling that it was an old friend. He
was on the Texas in September, 1896, when it ran aground in
New York harbor. Writing home he gave a graphic account ol
The time had come, June 1897, to have the final test of his
rt made to ascertain whether he could receive his commission.
TAKEN IN JANUARY. 1834.
Dr.Warfield, president of Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., tells the
result of the examination in an interview published on the 16th
day of May, 1898:
"Ensign Bagley was a classmate and intimate friend of my cousin,
Ensign Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, who was washed overboard from
the Cushing near Havana a few months ago. I first met him at Wash-
ington. He had come up from Annapolis in great anxiety because the
examining board had reported that he had heart trouble, brought on by
football. He came to General Breckinridge in search of 'influence',
but the General was absent on an inspecting tour, and the 'influence'
was not forthcoming. I was very much struck by his frank and manly
ways, and offered to see Assistant Secretary Roosevelt for him. We
found the enthusiastic secretary most skeptical as to 'football heart', and
a few minutes examination by a medical officer of high standing gave
Mr. Bagley a clean bill of health, and the forthcoming certificate insured
his promotion as Ensign. He was the happiest and most grateful fellow
I ever saw. I have often heard his fellows at the Academy sing his
praises. He was a famous back on the football team, and though very
popular, as modest and as unassuming as a manly man always is. In
every way he was the kind of a young man to whom we look to do the
country credit. It is very strange that the two young men in whose pro-
motion I was especially interested should thus be killed at the opening
of the war."
As soon as he knew his commission would be issued , he has-
tened with the good news to his home in Raleigh to gladden the
heart of his mother and family. He was perfectly happy, feeling
that all his troubles were past, and he was prouder to be an officer
of the American Navy than any earthly honor or wealth could
have made him, and in his joy, with forty days leave, he had
made many plans for bringing happiness to his home-folks. He
was welcomed with love and pride, and dreams of an ideal vaca-
tion were being realized when his mother became ill. In a few
days the disease was pronounced appendicitis and her physician
decided that an operation was necessary to save her life. In this
hour, his fortitude and his tenderness upheld his brothers and sis-
ters and gave comfort to his sick mother. He accompanied his
oldest sister and family physician on the journey with his mother
to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, and it was his strong arms
about her and his brave spirit that gave strength and comfort.
Writing to his brother-in-law from the hospital, of the operation,
he said .
"Mother did not make a murmur in regard to the knife. As a man,
I feel vastly proud of her courage. When they came for her to take her
to the operating room, I went into the room unknown to her to see that
they didn't handle her roughly as they sometimes do, you know, * * As
she passed me on the stretcher, she lifted her hand up for me to take, all
the time looking out of her eyes with the same expression of resignation
that the Savior is pictured with. * * We, (Addie and I) were informed
that the operation would be over in fifteen minutes, and we waited thirty,
we waited forty five, and an hour. Then came a half-hour that neither
of us will ever forget, for that stretcher didn't appear till one hour and a
half had elapsed ! Toward the last, I felt as though a bomb were inside
of me and that I was to be blown into a thousand pieces. . . .Well, from
the time the stretcher left the room till it returned we waited on the bal-
cony outside of mother's window I remember turning around to look
at Addie ; she was sobbing but otherwise apparently calm, and accused
me of crying. Such nerve in a woman was too much for me, so I took a
brace for very shame of it."
When his mother was well enough for him to leave, his orders
for duty as an Ensign had come, and he went to duty thankful
that in her serious illness, his vacation made it possible for him to
render her every service that love and tenderness could prompt.
FULL BACK ON THE NAVY FOOT-BALL TEAM.
ALWAYS fond of sports requiring physical strength and dar-
ing, the young cadet soon became a leader in athletics at
the Naval Academy. In the gymnasium and on the field he
excelled. During his first term he was on his class base-ball
team, and came to be one of the brag base-ball players at the
Academy. He took part in the running and jumping and other
contests in the department of athletics, and won four Naval
Academy Auxiliary Athletic Association medals. But foot-ball
was his athletic passion, and when he had become a champion
in that most exciting and hazardous of games, other sports
seemed tame to him. He became an authority on how to play
In his second year at the Academy, was regarded among the
cadets as one of the best foot-ball players. The following extracts
from his letters home during that season, show his love of the
game, his pride in his success, and the way he bore his injuries :
Nov. 23rd, '90: "I made my debut as' a halfback yesterday afternoon
in the game between the team and the Deat and Dumb College, Ken-
dall. As a consequence, I am laid up to-day with a sore leg and arm,
nothing serious of course. But my playing was complimented so by the
fellows that I did not mind my bruises much. I am now sitting in my
warm room, the doctor's liniment on one hand, my photograph album
on the other, and writing a letter home. I really feel delightful. Our
team beat 24 to o, and while we were in a very broken contition, too.
Our really two best players were laid up in the hospital. We want
them to get perfectly well before Thanksgiving day so they can play
against our old friend, Lehigh, which was the only team that beat us
last year. Our team leaves here the morning after Thanksgiving day
and goes to West Point where they play Saturday afternoon. We are
very anxious to beat West Point and Lehigh, as we have not been beat-
en yet this season, and only tied once."
Dec. 6th, '90: "When I got your letter last Thursday night, I nearly
went wild over it. I read it I don't know how many times My foot-
ball last month didn't hurt me at all in my studies as you see from my
Dec. 7th, '90 ; "We have the satisfaction of knowing that we wallop-
ed West Point in the dust, 24 to o, notwithstanding the excuses which
the papers make for West Point I forgot to tell you that I am on
the excused list again for foot-ball, not hurt bad enough to speak of,
though my leg pains me slightly when I walk. I have the consolation of
knowing, however, that I made the winning touch-down and goal for
the class of '93 before I quit playing. I have some good liniment and
am feeling finely up here in my room writing while all are at church, but
it is rather cold to-day though and has been for a week or more."
He first played as quarter back and then as full back on the
Annapolis team. He kept a scrap book which he called " Notes
in Athletics" in which he preserved all the newspaper accounts of
the notable games, and recorded the names of the foot-ball and
base-ball teams at the Academy. His absorbing interest in the
contest between the army and navy is shown by the fact that on
the first page of his scrap book in his clear round hand this
record appears :
SCORES IN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES.
ANNAPOLIS AND WEST POINT.
1890 — Annapolis, 24; West Point, o.
1891 — Annapolis, 16; West Point, 32.
1892 — Annapolis, 12; West Point, 4.
1893 — Annapolis, 6; West Point, 4.
In his "Notes on Athletics," this extract is copied from F. Mar-
ion Crawford : " Brave natures — good and bad alike — hate false-
hood not for its Wickedness, perhaps, but its Cowardice.''
His pride in being chosen on the team to play West Point in
1 89 1 is seen in an extract from a glowing letter written to his
youngest sister on the 4th of November of that year. He wrote :
' I am on the foot-ball team this year. At the beginning of the
season we had Poe, who used to be captain of the Princeton team,
here to coach our team and to decide who was to belong to it. He
had the team to play against the second team before him so he could
see how we played. From that he was to choose the team. Just
think! I brought myself under the notice of the immortal Poe himself
and he recommended me for quarter back on the Naval Academy
eleven ! His recommendation was the same as my election. So I am
and have been all this season on the foot-ball team. We have played
two games so far, one against St. John and one against Rutger's Col-
lege. We beat St. John 2S to 6 and Rutger's 21 to 12. I have played
well enough in both games to get myself especially mentioned in the
New York World, Sunday, for the last two weeks. The Baltimore
American and the Annapolis papers mentioned me very flatteringly,
too. Our team this year is considered one of the finest in America
and we are very proud of it. I am the lightest man on it and
weigh 151 "
Before the game of 1891, his letters home were full of refer-
ences to it, all of them indicating that he thought the result in
doubt. On the 8th of November he wrote :
'"Everybody is looking forward to our game with West Point at
the close of the season, Saturday after Thanksgiving. West Point is
confident. They have written articles to the World about how badly
they are going to beat us, etc The Naval Academy keeps silent
wisely; does not seek to bluff by newspaper articles and is cer-
tainly not bluffed in return. We simply wait for the game which will
decide the contest better If we get beat New Quarters will be
draped in mourning. Everybody is assured of one fact, however,
and that is that West Point will beat us only after the hardest tussle
they ever had. The team is composed of older and heavier men
than ours, but we have the muscle, and the grit and spirit of younger
Writing on the 15th of November he said:
" We have had two foot-ball matches since I wrote you last Sunday.
One was on Wednesday when we played the team from Georgetown
University (Washington), and defeated them 16 to 4. I made a touch
down in this game, the first made during the game. Then we
played a game with Dickenson College, one of the strong teams
North, and beat them 34 to 4. I made two touch downs, one after a
run of 75 yards ; the other, after a run of 40 yards. I don't suppose
you will see the Sunday Herald, so I will tell you what it said about
my first touch down of 75 yards. The article was headed 'Middies
vs. Theologians' and it gave a short account of the game. One of the
things it said was: ' Within two minutes after the beginning of the
second half, P.agley, the cadet quarter-back, made a brilliant run of
over two-thirds of the length of the field (seventy-five yards), dodg-
ing through Dickenson's line and scoring a touch down.' I have to
keep in training all the time and it is no easy work either, I can tell
you . 1 have not been hurt at all except yesterday, 1 bit just a little
piece out of my lip. IUv nose (usually so small ?) is now shaped like
the side of a bracket. It is not hurt, though, and I can stiil smell and
ithe through it with ease.''
When We?t Point won by 32 to 16, his letters home show how
lie took defeat. Nov. 30, 1891 :
"We are beaten as you have already read no doubt in the New
York papers. The score was 32 to 16 They were all large men.
averaging nine pounds more than ours. ... I did not write yesterday,
I was suffering from a slightly sore back which is nearly well, however,
to-day. I wish I could be home. I just feel awfully homesick lately.
The West Point game didn't take away any of the feeling either, I
can tell you One of the songs sung on the foot-ball field by the
cadets was to the tune of ' Marching Through Georgia.' The chorus
is all I remember :
"We'll rush, we'll rush, we'll rush the ball along,
We'll rush, we'll rush, we'll rush it through the throng,
With Macklin running round the end
And Bagley by his side,
Working like the devil for a touch down."
Dec. 6th, '91 : "I could not help showing my disappointment over
the game with West Point, and one of the officers patted me on the
shoulder and said: 'Brace up, old man, we'll beat them next year
when we get our coaches. We are still ahead because we beat them
last year 24 too.' I replied, ' Yes, sir, but if I had only gotten my leg
broken or something like that during the game, I would feel more
consolation'. He laughed and went on. Several spoke to me in the
same manner I wouldn't have missed playing in that game for a
good round sum, even if we did get beat. The game was grand. At
one time both teams were striped with blood, but still we fought like
two dying game cocks to the bitter end and I felt exactly as /imagine
I would feel in battle, threatened with defeat and carried away with ex-
citement. Not a thought of danger entered my head, and if it did I
would be ashamed to own it. It was not a 'fighting' game, but both
teams strove so hard that eight men were carried off the field wound-
ed. I did my best during the game and had the satisfaction of hear-
ing many times a yell composed especially for my name."
The New York World of Nov. 14th, 1891, said :
"Bagley, quarter back, is a beautiful sprinter. His drop and punt
kicks are fine, and he is a most valuable man. He is light, weighing
Writing of the Thanksgiving game when West Point won, the
New York Times said :
"Davidson advanced over the ground like a shot from a gun. Bagley
alone stood between him and the goal. Would Bagley stop him f He
This closed his first season as a member of the Annapolis team.
Instead of being dismayed by defeat, it nerved him for more
thorough training in order to be ready for the 1892 game. Writ-
ing on the 13th of December he said :
" I will probably play full back next year instead Of quarter back,
and that is the most responsible position, except being captain of
course. It is hard to say whether we will beat West Point, but every
effort will be used to accomplish that end."
He always believed a naval cadet was better trained than a
cadet at West Point, and therefore, in spite of difference in age
or weight, could win in a trial of strength. The record of the
foot-ball contests confirmed his faith. In the Spring and Sum-
mer of 1892, before the toot-ball season opened, he took part in
the athletic contests. On June 10th, he wrote to his mother:
'"' Saturday before annual week, the Spring athletic sports were held
at the Academy, all entries open to cadets only. I won medal for the
half mile run, making the half mile in 1 minute and 58 4-5 seconds.
The medal is a silver one about the size of a dollar. The badge to
which it is attached is in the shape of a shield and is silk of Academy
colors, navy blue and gold. I have the medal in my trunk and will
bring it home when I go on leave."'
His ambition was realized and when the team was announced
for 1892, he was promoted to full back. The following extracts
from his letters show his elation of spirit :
"Oct. 16th. '92: "Don't tell anybody, but several of the papers
after this game said that 1 was 'undoubtedly the most valuable man
on the team.' "
" Nov. 20th, '92: "I am thankful that the foot-ball season will
soon be over. It will be over for us next Saturday after the West
Point game . . . We played Georgetown University yesterday and beat
them 40 to o. I made four touch downs and kicked three goals from
touch downs, making 22 of the 40 points. . . .1 am so glad I am going
to West Point next week, and I will go unless I get hurt in a practice
game tomorrow or day after. . . .Both teams have very fine records so
far this season and a very close game may be expected. I shall be
very much disappointed if we don't win, but we have a very heavy
and a very well coached team to play against us I can'tthink of any-
thing but that game, and often I dream about it. If we win, we will be
kings here at the Academy ; if we lose, we will feel very bad .... I wish
my little mama was going to watch me play next Saturday."
Nov. 30th, '92 : (To his oldest brother) " I have about risen to the
zenith of my glory, I guess, having been especially mentioned in Har-
per's Weekly. The sporting editor of that paper is very careful about
complimenting, too. .. Since the game with Pennsylvania our team
has improved wonderfully. We held Princeton down to the smallest
score she has made this year. Pennsylvania beat us 18 to o, but since
then we have beaten LaFayette 22 to 4, and several days after the
game Pennsylvania only beat them 8 to 6. .. I made a touch down
from centre of field without any interference for me at al! We have
the best team the Navy has ever produced My hair is nearly four
inches long and I plaster it down on my head until games. It pro-
tects my head from the hard ground."
His joy when the Annapolis team won over the West Pointers
in the Thanksgiving game of 1S92 at West Point by a score of
1 2 to 4 knew no bounds. He wrote of his happiness with the
fresh ardor of victorious youth, and sent the New York papers
home so that his home folks might read the minutest details of
A song, the " Middies' Revenge " written of this game, to the
tune of " Boom de ay ", made this reference to him :
" Rushing- like a mighty blizzard,
Thro' the lines flew little ' Izard ',
And when ' Bagley ' kicked the ' goal ',
Terror seized on every soul."
Of this game Casper W. Whitney, in Harper's Weekly, said :
"Bagley punted with much judgment." The New York Times'
account of the game said : " Then more wedges, till the ball was
put over the West Point line for another touch down by Bagley, and
the same man kicked the goal." The New York Morning Adver-
tiser said : " Bagley kicked the goal. The enthusiasm of the
Naval boys knew no bounds at this juncture." The Annapolis
"Everybody climbed upon chairs to see the attempt at goal and when
Bagley sent the ball high above and directly between the goal posts,
a demonstration followed which would have satisfied a newly elected
president Back to Bagley went the ball and into the line he went
and another touch down was the result."
A paper showing some records made by naval cadets for the
year '92-3, contain the following reference: "4 goals, Bagley,
'95 (from 30 yard line — 5 kicks allowed.)" In his score of the
season, in seven games, he writes "opponements 64 ; U. S. N. A.
The eyes of all lovers of foot-ball in America turned to the
game of 1893, played at Annapolis, between the navy and the
army teams. Full back Bagley was confident of victory and
played with such skill and genius as to win world-wide reputa-
tion in foot-ball circles. He had the joy of victory, for the score
was 6 to 4 in favor of the Naval Academy team. The papers
were full of the praise of the navy team and they all gave Bagley
the credit of winning the game. The high officers of the Navy
were as proud of the young Carolinian's prowess as the most
enthusiastic "plebe" at the Academy. A trophy of this game
was a gold foot-ball, made by Tiffany, to be used as a watch charm,
on which was engraved: "Worth Bagley, Full-back, 1893."
The following is the first verse of a song "The Team That
Won the Victory for the Navy," to the air " The Man that Broke
the Bank at Monte Carlo ", that the cadets sung in honor of the
" Oh we've just done up the Army,
And they are feeling pretty sore
For you should have heard us roar
When we shoved the pigskin o'er;
And when Bagley kicked the goal,
Why, we shouted all the more,
And when time was called we had them, six to four,
Yes when time was called we had them, six to four."
" How Bagley Won the Game " is the subject of an article that
recently appeared in the New York Evangelist. It is a more con.
cise account than any that appeared at the time and is given place
"Although the war has thus far been almost bloodless, there has
been at least the sacrifice of one precious life that is a great loss —
that of Ensign Bagley, the first of our brave officers to fall. The
death of one so young and so full of life recalls a gay scene at the
navy yard at Annapolis in November, 1893, where he for the first
time appeared as a hero. It was the day of the great foot-ball game
between the army and the navy. A fine team of athletic young West
Pointers had come down for a trial of strength with the naval cadets,
and the friendly contest had drawn the crowds of army and navy
men and of gay women, young and old, wearing the colors of the two
branches of the service, and full of enthusiasm for the rival combat-
"As the stalwart West Pointers appeared on the field they seemed
so much larger and heavier than the Annapolis team that experts
declared there would be an easy victory for the visitors, and the
groups of army friends were correspondingly triumphant, but as the
game began it was evident that the conflict would be a hard fought
one, and as one good stand after another was taken by the slight,
blue-uniformed boys, interest increased on both sides. There was
genuine admiration and satisfaction in the tones of the gray-haired
navy surgeon as he rose to his feet and cheered at a good stroke,
declaring, ' Our boys may be small, but they have got sand.'
'Finally, at a very critical moment, a slight figure emerged from the
mass of struggling men and, seizing his opportunity, gave the hard-
fought ball a kick that sent it far above the heads of all contestants
to the other end of the gridiron and scored a much-needed point for
the navy that saved the game.
'Only those who have watched such a contest can understand the
enthusiasm of the scene ; how hats went into the air and the name of
Bagley was sounded with cheers from one end of the ground to the
"In the midst of all the enthusiasm a quiet little woman had arrived
alone, and after vainly trying to find the seat reserved for her, caught
the name that was on every one's lips and, turning with a flushed
face to her neighbor in the crowd, said : ' Oh, I wish I could see what
it is, for that is my son, and I have just arrived from North Carolina.'
A place was speedily made for the proud little mother, and she
watched her boy's triumph and saw him at the end of the game car-
ried off the field on the shoulders of his mates amid the most resound-
ing cheers. Foot-ball men declared his 'punt' had broken the record,
and Bagley was the hero of the hour.
"From that day to this the mothers pride has never known a
check; the boy successfully finished his course at the Academy
holding the respect of his comrades and of his superior officers until
the moment when he gave his fresh young life for his country on the
deck of the Winslow. The broken-hearted mother has the consola-
tion of knowing that many hearts all over our broad land are honor-
ing her dead and sorrowing with her."
In a letter to his youngest brother written in 1895, he tells
how a boy should learn to punt :
" Mother wrote me that she gave you a real foot-ball for Christmas.
I am so glad and hope you will learn how to kick well. When you
punt, drop the ball, bend forward slightly and kick it with the lower
part of your instep with a hard side swing of your leg. Measure
your punts and by practice you will improve. The longest 1 ever
made without wind was sixty yards. Learn to drop the ball with the
point down, not crooked. To kick a drop kick, let the ball fall
almost vertically and directly on the end. Then kick forward hail,
and strike the ball as it hits the ground. The bottom of your foot
should almost scrape the ground when in the act of kicking, so your
toe will strike the ball near the ground. To kick a place kick for
goal, stand the ball vertically on end, and get opposite seams in
a line with the goal. Take four or five steps toward it and kick
with all your might, striking the ball about an inch and a half from
The daughter of an army officer, in whose home Ensign Bag-
ley was a favorite guest, writes of one of the last games of foot-
ball he played :
'• I remember one day at Fort Monroe the Army men and Navy men
were to play a game of foot-ball. I had never been able to see Annapo-
lis and West Point, so was most anxious to see this game. I remember
also that father at the beginning was much opposed to the game, but
when it was over I think he was the most enthusiastic man in the post.
Worth was playing and of course we expected him to do wonders as
usual. Some of the men, however, thought he might have lost his
knack, not having played for so long a time, but he showed them he
had not by kicking a beautiful goal from the field, thus winning the day
for them. The whole place went wild, and officers, old and young, in
both Army and Navy could not say enough in his praise."
The Portland (Maine) Press says that Ensign Bagley had visi-
ted that port several times, and left many friends behind him
when his ship sailed. The writer evidently knew him well and
was well posted on his foot-ball record, for he writes :
"Bagley and Breckenridge were the two most popular men of the
class of '95. Bagley, with his handsome face and genial manners, was
always surrounded by a crowd of cadets when their duties would allow
it, and among the ladies he was by all odds the most popular. Besides
being a good student and a good fellow, Bagley was a star foot-ball
player. He played in three games with the West Point team, each time
as full back, and each time he so distinguished himself that the New
York and Baltimore papers could not say too much of his dashing,
clever work. Mr. Whitney, of Harper's Weekly, complimented Mr.
Bagley by placing him as full back on the "All Star America" team,
and that was indeed a great compliment when it is understood that the
best foot-ball players from all the American colleges were selected for
this team ' 'on paper" because of their ability in their particular position.
" It was a great sight to see Bagley go into a game, for his skill was so
great and his pluck so good that no matter how badly things were going
for the "middies" Bagley always wore a smile and seemed to be the
coolest man in the lot. The cadets ranged along one side of the field
would open the game by giving the academy yell, and then followed
their own special yell of admiration and encouragement (or Bagley. He
had failed on the academy examination in chemistry once, all because
he could not classify certain substances which were soluble and insolu-
ble. This was where the Bagley yell came from. It went something
like this :
" Sol, sol insol sol,
Insol, insol sol,
"And how this yell used to roll out from the 50 cadets as the Naval
Academy team came trotting out on to the field in their dirty toot-ball
clothes and with their long hair waving in the breeze. And Bagley was
the king of them all, the man who was never known to lose his head,
and who was as sure on a punt or a catch as any man who ever chased
the pigskin. Again and again he saved the Naval Academy team from
defeat, and his wonderful courage and dash will not soon be forgotten by
those who knew him.
' 'There are many pleasant stories the Naval Academy men have to tell of
the 'Worthless' Bagley, as he was called by those mostintimate with him.
He roomed during the four years course at the academy with Breckin-
ridge, who was drowned on another torpedo boat, the Cushing. while
trying to get into Havana before the Maine affair. Bagley and Breckin-
ridge were never left much to themselves, for to their rooms crowded the
cadets at all hours for advice, for skylarking, for sympathy, for assistance
in their studies, and many other things. And no one, not even a home-
sick plebe, entered this room that he did not come away feeling happier
and more contented with his lot, for, though he might be hazed and run'
a little by Breckinridge and Bagley, he was never ill-treated or made
unhappy by their treatment of him
"And there was another one, the first young officer in the Navy to be
killed by Spanish treachery, and that was I). R. Merritt. lie, too,
was a classmate of Breckinridge and Bagley, and a close and intimate
friend of both of these fine fellows. Merritt was killed in the explosion
of the Maine a few weeks after Breckinridge's death on the Cushing.
These three men, Breckinridge, Bagley and Merritt, all classmates, all
friends, and all remarkably fine young officers, will not soon be f< irgotten
by their associates, and if the Young Ensigns and Assistant Engineers in
the Navy who were' classmates of these fine fellows ever get within gun-
shot of a Spaniard and don't more than square accounts with diem for
the death of these men it will be passing strange. '
Among the letters received by the mother, many have been
from the lovers of foot-ball. Robert Burns Wilson, in a sweet
and tender note accompanying a poem with which this chapter
is concluded, said:
"1 with millions of others deeply sympathize with you and would
be glad to be able to speak some word of cheer or comfort. Every
mother's heart goes out to you in purest love and sorrow. I met
your dear boy at Annapolis once I should be glad to know that
this tribute may please the mother of so noble a soul. He is with the
immortals." The poem is appended :
BAGLEY AND FOUR AT CARDENAS BAY,
Five thousand for the five !
That is the call — that's the price they'll pay,
For the brave boys lost at Cardenas bay.
Five thousand for the five !
The brave Carolina lad was there.
Too eager for fight — too willing to dare,
He was there in the midst of the fray;
And he won his place in the warrior's heaven,
Bagley — "full back" of the old eleven,
O ! many a score he made,
While the 'gridiron'' rang with deep, hoarse cries,
Till the echoes came back from Annapolis bay,
And he was the pride of a thousand eyes s
He that is dead to-day ;
By God ! it was good for the soul
To see the rout — to hear the shout —
When Bagley "scored a goal."
But it's over. The green gridiron game,
Though rough and fierce, was mild and tame
Compared with the crashing and roaring hell
Of the withering battle where Bagley fell,
But Bagley was still the same.
Careful and cool in the midst of alarm,
As though with a pigskin under his arm,
He fought for a last touch down. Alas 1
'Tis the iron deck, not the soft, green grass,
And now in a losing game he played ;
But his is the hero's soul.
True to the end of the fight he stayed.
He and the four brave lads at his side,
He and the four brave boys that died
In the fight at Cardenas bay ;
Firm-footed and dauntless and unafraid ;
And the boys will see that the price is paid,
For the guns are ready and grim.
Five thousand for the five —
That is the call, and Spain will pay
Theirs is the place in the warrior's heaven.
Bagley, "full back" of the old "eleven,"
And the men that fell with him.
Silence on board when they call the roll,
" Bagley and four at Cardenas bay,"
Absent, but only in name.
Theirs is a place in the warrior's heaven,
Bagley — "full back" of the old eleven,
And four brave lads that fell with him.
Five names, the first of the roll —
In the battle's red flame, in the last great game,
At the finish, death "scored a goal."
Let the guns be ready and grim.
Five thousand for the five!
To be paid and without delay.
AS ENSIGN IN THE NAVY.
WORTH BAGLEY was at the hospital with his convalescent
mother when he received his commission as Ensign in the
Navy, dated July ist, 1897, and signed by the President and the
Secretary of the Navy. He was ordered to report to the Indiana
on the 10th of July. With a glad and thankful heart that he
had been with his mother in her critical illness, he bade her good-
bye and began his career as Ensign on the Indiana. On
the 17th of August, he was transferred to the Maine, remaining
on that ill-fated vessel as executive clerk to Capt. Sigsbee until
November 19th of the same year when he was ordered to the
Columbian Iron Works, Baltimore, as inspector, in connection
with fitting out the torpedo boat Winslow. Of his short career
before he went on board the Winslow there is little to be said ex-
cept that he was a faithful and popular officer, winning the confi-
dence and regard of his superior officers and the respect and ad-
miration of those who served under him. Many expressions have
come from officers and sailors, all agreeing that the Navy had no
manlier officer or one who gave greater promise of useful and
There was in his nature the innate spirit of the charming host,
and it was his custom to invite his friends aboard ship to
dinner or to luncheon. Here is a description of such an oc-
casion described by a gentleman writing from Elizabeth, N. J.
" While the squadron was at Bar Harbor last summer, my youngest
daughter and myself met your son among others of the young officers
...They naturally desired us to see their pet ship, so on a day
appointed we went aboard. It was lunch time before we had gone
over the vessel and the young gentlemen insisted upon our lunching
with them, and also my daughter, who is only iS, sitting at the head
of the table and presiding. It was a very jolly lunch, your son mak-
ing himself especially agreeable and entertaining, and in that way,
dispensing as it were, the hospitality of his own house."
He was much at Norfolk after he was commissioned Ensign
and was a great favorite. The daughter of an army officer gives
this view of him that shows one of his ways of having fun and
giving pleasure :
'•We used to turn the three rear rooms in our house over to our
Navy friends to occupv whenever they liked. Mother called them
her ' boys ' and Worth was one of them. He used to take the great-
est delight in dressing up in whatever he could find and acting for our
amusement. He was full of fun and always so dignified in whatever
he did. It was the greatest pleasure to have him around. When he
would have us aboard ship he was delightful, and at a dance he was
always a 'star.' It is indeed wonderful how perfect he was in so
Commodore Geer, of the Maryland Naval Reserves, says :
"I knew poor Bagley well. We were shipmates together on the ill-
fated Maine for nearly three weeks, when I was cruising in that ship
undergoing instruction. He was a boyish-looking fellow, but as in-
trepid as a lion. He was proud of his uniform and of his profession
and no one loved the Stars and Stripes better than he. His disposi-
tion was as sunny as ever man had, and he was beloved by the officers
and men. While he was at the Naval Academy he was a leading foot-
ball-player, in which game he excelled. He was very fond of a joke
and many a pleasant hour have I spent in his company listening to
his jolly yarns."
Corporal W. L. Byrnes, at Camp Collier at Lexington, Ky.,
' I served under Ensign Bagley, having enlisted in the Navy when
I was sixteen years of age. He was the first person to teach me the
use of a gun after my first enlistment. He was the most popular
officer among his subordinates I ever had any connection vvith.
While never losing his sense of discipline, he was always dignifiedly
polite to men under him, and was never a user of harsh or profane
The New York World, of May 12th, says:
"A naval officer under whom Ensign Bagley served said to-day
that the Ensign was one of the most lovable young men in the navy."
When Lieut. Bernadou knew that he was to be given command
of the Winslow he enquired from a number of junior officers whom
of their grade they considered fittest to serve on a torpedo boat.
Of five or six lists of many names thus formed, including that
submitted by the late Ensign Breckinridge, Bagley 's name was
universally given first or second place. Deciding to offer Ensign
Bagley the position, Lieut. Bernadou wrote him the following
Newport, R. I., August 19th, 1897.
Dear Mr. Bagley :
I have received preparatory orders to the torpedo boat Winslow
and desire tochoo-e my lieutenant. I am told that you are a °,cod
foot-ball player. Deeming that such ability represents a louni ot
qualities necessary to an efficient torpedo boat officer, I write to ask
you whether you desire to come to the Winslovv. If you do, notify
me on receipt of this letter. . . .Upon hearing from you I will endorse
your application to the Chief of the Bureau.
John B. Bernadou.
To the letter a reply was made expressing some hesitation
about acceptance, and adding that if the offer had been made a
month later it would have been agreeable. Lieut. Bernadou re-
plied that he would defer making the application "until the
Winslow's trial approaches " and adding " if however you do not
desire to come, please write me, and I will consider the incident
as closed, and endeavor to select my second elsewhere." From
a letter written to him by Lieut. Bernadou on the ioth of Sep-
tember, these extracts are taken :
' I am well pleased that you have decided to come to the Winslow.
It is the manifest duty of every officer to look to his best profes-
sional interests; this is the explanation of Captain Sigsbee's con-
templated action and your own ; nor can he blame you for desiring
to exchange to a torpedo boat from duty as his clerk. Again, it may
be more of a compliment to have him endorse your orders unfavora-
bly than favorably, in the present issue, as it is easy to understand
why he does not wish to part with you."
From this letter it is seen that Capt. Sigsbee hated to part with
his clerk, and that the young Ensign hesitated about leaving the
Maine, to which and to whose captain he was warmly attached. In
the light of the destruction of the Maine and the engagement of
the Winslow at Cardenas, the debate in Ensign Bagley's mind,
prior to his leaving the Maine for service on the Winslow, assumes
the aspect of a choice between disasters. There is another inci-
dent connected with the change from the Maine to the Winslow
that has a mournful interest. After Ensign Bagley had been
offered the position of second in command on the Winslow and
was hesitating about accepting, there camea long letterto him from
his closest friend and intimate, Ensign J. Cabell Breckinridge, wh< i
had lately been made executive officer on the torpedo boat
"Cushing ", urging him not to stand in his own light by declining
the proferred promotion, and closing with these words :
"You cannot imagine my disappointment when I heard that you
were about to decide to remain a quill-driver when the opportunity
of getting a torpedo boat, of getting with Bernadou (our smokeless
powder expert and a man of numberless good qualities), and of put-
ting yourself in line of succession to command, had been offered you
Ensigns will command torpedo boats before we are promoted and
the. men who get them will be men who have had previous experi-
On the 1 2th day of February, this gallant young officer, whose
advice may have turned the scale and induced Ensign Bagley to
go to the Winslow, was washed overboard in the harbor of
Havana from the torpedo boat dishing. His death was the sor-
row of Ensign Bagley's life. Writing to his mother a few days
later, he said :
"Just a line to tell you that I leave here for Lexington via Wash-
ington to-night. General Breckinridge telegraphed me to come on.
I am heart-broken. Thank you for your sweet sympathy. ^1 shall
ask the honor of commanding the volley over his dear body."
How little we then thought that in three short months the North
Carolina volunteers would fire a volley " over his dear body",
and that Worth Bagley would follow his friend to a death-
less grave. In life they were not separated. In death they are
not divided. When the boxes containing the letters, photographs,
and valuables, of Ensign Bagley reached Raleigh after his death,
side by side with the pictures of his mother and sisters were two
photographs of Cabell Breckinridge, wrapped in crape, mutely
telling the grief he felt at the sudden death of his room-mate,
classmate, comrade, friend.
The following is the extract from his letter home announcing
his transfer to the Winslow :
Nov. 27th, '97 : (Written from Baltimore) : " My present ambitions
have been realized and I am in Baltimore on shore duty at Columbian
Iron Works in connection with the torpedo boat Winslow ', of which
I am to be executive officer when she goes in commission in a few
weeks, Lieutenant Bernadou commands her, and we will be the only
officers on board. I will write you all about it. My orders raise me
professionally, so I know you will be glad about them."
It was on the 28th of December when the Winslow went into
commission and Ensign Bagley entered upon his duties as exec-
utive officer. He was proud of the little boat, came to have the
warmest regard for Lieut. Bernadou, and to enjoy the confidence
and esteem of the entire crew. In January last the young Ensign had
opportunity to demonstrate that he had taken the advice he com-
mended to his nephew "For God's sake keep your nerve, and
show the stuff you are made of." In a raging storm, with the as-
sistance of two sailors in a life boat, he saved the lives of two
poor fellows from a scow which was adrift at sea about fifty miles
from New York. For this deed, the Secretary of the Navy, on
February ist, wrote a letter of thanks to Lieut. Bernadou, Ensign
Worth Bagley and the other members of the crew, closing with
the words : "The service performed by the Winslow is not only
gratifying to all who engaged in it but tends to reflect additional
lustre upon the whole service."
Upon the arrival of the Winslow at Norfolk, after this narrow
escape, it was necessary to make some repairs to the boat, and,
while these were being made, Ensign Bagley obtained five days
leave and spent from Tuesday to Saturday at his home in Raleigh.
His home coming was always like the coming of Spring, bringing
warmth and cheer and happiness. This time he was received as
one who had narrowly escaped a watery grave. It was five days
of such happiness as those who survive will ever look back upon
as the sweetest period life has vouchsafed. He told the story of
the adventure in the storm on the Jersey coast, only when his
mother asked for the details, as if he had done nothing worthy of
honor, but did not disguise the extreme peril of the situation.
He recounted the bravery of the crew and said that they bore
themselves like courageous and noble men.
' [On watch one night when the wind was blowing a gale,
mother," he said, "and the weather was as cold as it could be, I
found myself singing in an undertone, "Anchored.' "
" Safe, safe at last,
The danger past,
Safe in his father's home,"
and — it seemed to give me hope and strength." The last words
of that song which had strengthened him in the hour of peril
were sung over his grave on the day of the funeral.
There was then talk of war with Spain. He believed in the
righteousness of our cause and was eager for war. His mother,
even at that time when war was not imminent, felt a sinking- of the
heart at the mention ol it, and he sought to cheer her by telling her
that it would be a short war and that if occasion offered he would
distinguish himself. She believed that his courage and daring
would carry him into places "where the bravest love to die," and
had a premonition that his immortality would come at the sacri-
fice of his life. On Saturday, Febraary 5th, for the last time he
said good-bye to his home-folks, and went away to duty air', to
death. His mother clung to him with a yearning, a fondness, a
caressing love that was born of her premonition of danger. His
farewell was full of tender chivalry,
''The bravest are the tenderest.
The loving are the daring."
When the Maine was blown up in the harbor of Havana his
righteous wrath was kindled into a blaze, and his letters were full
of the spirit of war which dominated him, He wrote often and
fully, and these letters show his faith in his country's cause and
his eagerness ior the fray. When his ship left Norfolk, he tele-
graphed his mother, and telegraphed her afterwards when it
reached Charleston and Key West, hoping to minimize her
anxiety by accurate knowledge of his movements.
Noting the presence of the Winslow at Charleston in March,
the News and Courier said :
' Ensign Worth Bagley. the executive officer of the Winslow, has
visited Charleston before and has numbers of friends among
both fair and gallant Charlestonians. He will be remembered also
by manv for his excellent work on the "gridiron" in a recent foot-
ball game, " Uncle Sam'' vs. the Y. M. C. A."
Hon. F. A. Woodard and wife, of Wilson, were at Key West
about the 20th of March, and dined with him on the Winslow.
Writing to Ensign Bagley's sister, Mr. Woodard said :
" We were delighted to meet Worth. He is here and will leave in
a few days. We went to see him at his ship and had a very pleasant
talk with him and went over the boat. It is certainly a most interest-
ing craft Lt. Bernadou is very pleasant and I was gratified to hear
him speak so highly of Worth. He said he was one of the most
promising of the young men of the Navy. Worth is looking splen-
By these friends he sent loving messages home, asking them
to assure his mother that he was in no danger, was at the post of
duty, and was chiefly anxious because of her anxiety.
His letters from March 3rd to May 8th, tell the story not only
of the last two months of his life, but show also the nobleness of
his nature, his thoughtfulness, his affection, his devotion, to " My
Dearest Little Mother," as he began his last letter, his brave
spirit, and the true faith of the soldier that was in him. These ex-
tracts are given :
March 3rd, '98: (Writing from Portsmouth) : ''We are on the eve
of sailing and would have sailed this afternoon but for a telegram
announcing a storm off the coast to-night. W _■ will lay b\ till a fav-
orable opportunity offers for a straight away run for Charleston. It
will take us a little over a day to reach there, and we remain there
long enough to till up with coal. Then we proceed to Jacksonville in
the same way, taking a long run then for Key West, our destination.
I am very well You will have to get out of the habit of feeling
fear for my safety. I am always safe Besides you have enough of
the Spartan in you, if you wish, to say 'with your shield or on it '
and that is what you must always say to me to give me strength and
determination. Von may be sure that I am not ashamed to use the
proper amount of care of myself, and will think of you in the midst of
every danger. These latter are few, after all ; really there are none.
I wish I could talk to you, for I have a great deal to tell you
It must be pleasant to have every one well now. It makes me
more contented about leaving The next time we come to Norfolk,
you are to come and make me a visit, and I'll return it if I can."
April 3rd, '98 : (Written from torpedo boat Winslow) : " It looks as
though we are to have war; our work is for that reason even hanler
than usual, so that all hands on board the Winslow are thoroughly
fatigued. I was never stronger or in better health in my life, but am
tired nearly all the time. Often when needing sleep I find it much
more refreshing to go ashore for the relaxation from confining
work. These opportunities to get relaxation are, however, very few
in number. I believe I am making a success of this work; at all
events, Bernadou says nice things to everybody about me. This may
be on account of a personal interest in my future, however, so I am
by no means satisfied, for it is very apparent to me that there are
innumerable things that should be familiar to me that I do not know.
Bernadou is gaining confidence in me I hope, and leaves a great deal
tome; he is very patient with me He is one of the most broad-
minded men I have ever known, and one of the most far-sighted. He
is certainly kind to me. . . You can readily see that, now that war is
imminent, the torpedo boats have the best chances of distinction.
Consequently we are envied right and left, by all young officers at
least. You will of course be glad that my post, though one of danger,
will be the most honorable. You may be well sure that I shall think
of your dear face and see it before me whenever I am under fire, and
if I get the opportunity to do some distinguished service you may
know that the thought of the happiness it will give you is alone suffi-
cient to make me seize it Do not fear that I shall be afraid,
mother, but always remember that I have a certain amount of skill
and strength wherewith to attack; don't think of me as in danger
defending myself against a black-haired Spaniard with an ugly face,
but think of me as blowing up the Dago lepers. The Spaniards will
be easv prey for our Navy, which is in the most efficient condition.
... If the Spaniards back down now, it would be the source of the
very bitterest disappointment. They will have to kneel and crawl in
a manner that history lias never before seen . • .Why did they blow-
up our Maine? No matter what pretext any or all the members of
Congress ran give for war, we must have it. The cause of war lies
in a set of American colors blown up in an explosion, and with the
colors the men who served to protect them: blown up at night while
asleep — evidence in itself sufficient to show that a contemptible
Spaniard did it The blood almost fills my head when I think of
this; it makes me almost u ild with anger I shall write you another
letter soon, certainly before any fighting takes place. There is no
great danger of my being killed, but should such a tiling happen, there
is not a great deal for me to say. You know how much I iove you,
dearest, don't you ? Love to each one at home."
April 14th, '9S : (Written from torpedo boat Winslow) : " You must
not fret about me. In the first ulace, there may be no war; this is
very probable, I am afraid. In the second place, a Spaniard couldn't
hit an .honest American at pistol range ; the Dago is too much a
coward for that. The war, if it comes, will be very easy. The adver-
sary is too poor an adversary tor much glory to be gained for our
flag. But it is to be hoped that we may sink some of their ships in
return for the poor Maine. Do not be uneasy about me. I will not
run into any danger I do not think proper, but can't promise you
anything else; don't you know what I mean, dear? Still. I will think
of you all the time. It is so Siveet of you to remember me on my
birthday. I was so busy that day I didn't know it was my birthday
till 3 in the afternoon. The pipe is a beauty. Being your present, it
will make many a peaceful, happy smoke for me whenever I smoke
it ... The little yellow buds you put in your last letter made me
think of our front porch, and of how beautiful it must be just now
witli its wealth of them .... I send you my picture taken the other day
by an artist in Key West. I am afraid they are not good likenesses,
for I am much thinner on account of the heat and look much older for
whatever reason I am well, however, and stronger than I ever
was, so you can know that I go to war in good condition. . . -I am so
glad you are well. Please don't be uneasy on my account ; as I said
before, the chance of war after all is a rather scant one I must
close now It is a pleasure to tell you that I am thinking about you
all the time. "
April 21st, '98: (Written from Key West, Fla.) : "We are under
orders to stand by to leave to-night I felt like I would like to write
you a line before going, to say good-bye, not that there is any danger
for me — there never is any — but I knew you would wish to hear. For
your sake, I might almost wish there would be no war; on my own
account, I am very happy that chance is offered me for distinction.
... You need have no fear for me. Nothing will happen to me with
such prayers as yours to aid me. I shall have full confidence at all
times, in action or wherever I may be, and that alone would keep me
ready to do good service. .. Our boat is in splendid condition, and
officers and men are well and anxious for a fight. We have good men
and faithful ones, and our chances for success are the very best
Do not be afraid for me. Everything turns out for the best."
May 4th, '98 : (Written from Key West) : "We leave in a few hours
for Matanzas, whence we came two days ago for some minor repairs
and necessary stores and coal. You are the sweetest mother to me,
for more reasons than I can ever count; but I am thinking principally
about your writing to me. Everytime we have received a mail there
has been a letter from you ; and you would be so glad if you knew
how happy they make me. Each time we come into port or get any
chance whatever to send you a letter I shall do so, and have done so
up to this moment.
"You need have no fears about me, for there is no danger for us
now. There may be when the Spanish fleet comes, but I am sorry to
say that I fear that will never be. A war comes only once in a gene-
ration, and it will be very hard if I can get no chance to do some un-
usual service, so it is very disappointing to have no tangible enemv
to meet. You are a brave mother, so you must feel like I do when-
ever we are engaged in anything at all dangerous — enjoy the excite-
ment, feel that, but nothing more. Thank heaven, I have found that
I have no fear., for I have analyzed all my feelings in danger. Don't
repeat that, it would be a boast to anyone but you. Your last letter
made me feel so happy and I am so proud to receive your praise, to
feel that never have I 'given you an hour's trouble or unhappiness.'
To hear you say that, dear angel, is more to me than any ambition in
" Do you ever think that I have no heart to love because I follow
a profession that keeps me nearly always from you ? I know that you
never do feel so, for you know I love you. Sometimes I remember
and think of how you always love to have us children tell you how
much we love you and how you used to wonder why I hardly ever
petted you. When I am away it is so easy to write my thoughts to
you as they come and tell you how I yearn to be with you. But when
with you. it is my reverence for you that keeps me back, quiet but
(even if I do say it) waiting to serve you, not as a return, but in appre-
ciation of the tender loving care and the hard sacrifices that not till
late (years too late) have 1 understood ; I can indeed, my mother,
'rise up and call you blessed.'. . . .Good bye for a short space. This
letter is hurried for there is a great deal that I must do. Love to
everyone Good bye for a few days."
The following is his last letter, which was received by his mother
half an hour after the news that prostrated her. It was dated
" Off Matanzas, Cuba, May 7th, 1898, 1 1.30 a. m."
"We are now lying off Matanzas in the middle of the entrance to
the harbor three miles further in. A mile and a half away on one side
are the Panto Gardia and Sabanilla batteries, and at the same dis-
tance on the other side are the Maya and other batteries. Matanzas
is a town of about 35,000 inhabitants with an antebellum commerce
of some value, it lies, as I said before, three miles inside the
entrance at which we are lying, around a horse shoe or bend which
makes it not visible from our position. The batteries, however, are
here at the entrance and made themselves very much in evidence
yesterday ^by firing at the Dupont, which was lying too close under
their fire. She got away quickly and in return for having to run,
went up the coast two miles and leveled a Spanish block-house. The
Winslow has not been fired at. All the large ships here left the
blockade, the gunboats and torpedo boats remaining to hold it. No
ship has as much as hove in sight of this entrance for days. So you
may judge for yourself whether the blockade is effective.
"The work, I must say, is extremely tough and unpleasant. We
are in great luck when we receive newspapers from the news corres-
pondents three days after they are published, and read news greedily.
" Iking without news and nothing happening within our own little
litre, the monotony is absolutely painful. There are two other
warships here, the torpedo boat Dupont, and the armed yacht Hor-
net. These two boats lie over at the eastern entrance, while we
guard the western. Of course it is necessary to keep a very careful
lookout at night on account of the Spanish gunboats in these waters.
The calibreof their guns is greater than that of our three little i-pound-
ers but we wish they would come out just the same, for we would use
our torpedoes and sink them .. . You may be sure, I am well. The
weather is not half bad, as we u^<- the awnings now and get all the
breeze without the sun. It is nearly always perfectly clear and a
light passing shower this morning is the first rain I have seen since
the beginning of the war.
"No one knows where the armored ships of our squadron have gone.
but it is supposed that they have left to intercept the Spanish fleet off
San Juan, should that port prove to be its destination.
"The nation as a whole, from the tenor of the papers, has realized
that the navy is our defense, our real fighting body.."
" The Navy has shown its worth; we may trust hereafter that poli-
ticians will cease to prate as they did six months ago, about our ' ex-
pensive gold-laced luxury '. Our nation, a first. class power suppos-
edly, should at the present moment feel shame that our navy is not
such a one that the war should even now be over. To me it seems a dis-
grace that the United States should be fighting an apparently lengthy
war with a nation poor in defense as well as finances. How can the
ordinarily well-informed man, although he may have some pride of
country, tingle with it as he should, if such conditions last ? It is
this ' rope-rein ' politics, advanced by dishonest ' leg-pulling' dema-
gogues, that keeps us as a nation from gaining and gaining glory ' till
we forget'. I have almost spoken my thoughts on paper, and have
forgotten that I am writing a letter. The above subject, which so ab
sorbed me, is close to my heart The Dupont is coming this way,
so I must have my letter ready for her and close now. I feel that I
will hear from you when the next mail comes. Bless you, dear, for
" Love to each one, and don't forget that I am in perfect safety.
" Worth. "
ON the nth of May, the telegraphic reports conveyed the news
that the Winslow had been engaged near Cardenas with three
Spanish gun-boats. The Associated Press account, dated May
ioth, was as follows :
"On board the Associated Press dispatch boat Kate Spencer, off Car-
denas, May 9th, (via Key West, Fla.) — May ioth. — The little torpedo
boat Winslow yesterday morning precipitated the first naval engagement
fought in Cuban waters. On a reconnoissance in Cardenas Harbor she
drew the fire of three Spanish coast guard vessels, and a lively vest
pocket sea fight followed with the tiny gun boats. As the Winslow was
decidedly in the minority she ran for the open sea, where her big station
mate, the gun boat Machias, who had been called up by the firing,
took a hand in the game with her four inch rifles and tossed several
shells over the low sand spit behind which Spanish boats were shel-
tered. It was impossible to see whether any of these landed. The Win-
slow was not touched, but she claims to have knocked a few splinters out
of the larger coast guard boat.
" The most important result of the Winslow's reconnoissance was the
discovery that Cardenas harbor is mined. If there where any batteries
on shore, the Spaniards did not think it worth while to disclose their
position. That there are mines in the channel, is important in view of
the report that it is Cardenas and not Matanzas, where the landing of
United States forces will be made.
''The fight with the Guardia Costas occurred yesterday morning. Car-
denas is one of the largest bays along the coast, the little town of the same
name, lying at the southern end. From the western shore Icicas Point
reaches out like a long index finger, almost touching Piedras Key Light,
which in peaceful days beaconed the harbor entrance. The light house
has been in darkness and deserted for many nights.
"Feeling safe in the desolation of the light house and the silence
ashore, the little Winslow crept quietly in, under the early morning haze,
for a closer inspection of the harbor. There had evidently been a look-
out among the dunes along the sand spit, for the Winslow was allowed
to feel her way into the harbor, taking notes of changed buoys and false
marks designed to lead a hostile fleet on to torpedo fields. But, suddenly,
there was a puff of smoke among the mangrove clumps along one of the
inlets and a six pound shell screeched out of the bushes. Crack ! came
another from the shelter of a tiny key in the bay, and a third from further
down the coast. Then three coast guard boats darted from their cover,
under a full head of steam, like a big garpike after a minnow. The
Winslow's crew jumped to the two pounders fore and aft and let the
Spaniards have it, port and star-board, as they chased in. The little gun
boats came along, shooting, but after the usual Spanish fashion, hit
nothing but the adjacent scenery. Then the Winslow scuttled along for
the open sea, using her after gun as a stern chaser and defiantly shooting
as she went along. The Spanish boats wasted about sixty shots, and the
biggest boat, mounting a twelve pounder, kept up the bombardment as
long as the Winslow was in range. The Spaniards who had probably
heard the news from Manila, were evidently as mad as a nest of hornets
and kept up the chase until all four of the little craft were rocking in the
swell past Piedras Keys. Just then there was a crash and a roar to sea-
ward and the Machias, bearing in under a canopy of smoke, sent a shell
smashing into the pursuing fleet. The little patrol boats spun about like
water spiders and ran to shelter beyond the sand spit. The Machias
sent a few shells skipping in between the sand dunes, but with what
effect could not be seen.
'■ At any rate, there are three prospective additions to our mosquito
fleet bottled up in Cardenas harbor, waiting shipment."
This news deepened the anxiety in the home of Ensign Bag-ley,
though the retreat ot the Winslow in good order was regarded
as a sign that it could take care of itself. Prayers of thanks-
giving went up for the successful termination of this first engage-
ment in Cuban waters. There was no thought that the engage-
ment was to be repeated, and when the news of the result of the bat-
tle on May i ith, was flashed to Raleigh, the blow was as crushingas
if no news of the first fight had been received, Thursday, May
1 2th, on the sweetest of May mornings, as Mrs. Bagley and fam-
ily were at a late breakfast, talking of the happy escape from the
fight of May 8th, the door-bell rang. lion. W. M. Russ, Mayor
of the city, had called at Mrs. Bagley 's home to break the terri-
ble news contained in this telegram ;
Key West, Fla., May 12th, 1S98.
Mayor of Raleigh : —
Please break news to Mrs. Bagley that her son was killed instantly in
action off Cardenas yesterday.
John B. Bernadou.
The Mayor, long a friend of the family and of the young officer,
with a heavy heart, first communicated the news to this writer.
It was feared that the mother, not fully recovered from her serious
illness of 1897, could not survive the shock, and it was not until her
physician, Dr. Hubert Haywood, had been hastily summoned,
that it was deemed safe to acquaint her with the contents of the
telegram. The universal sympathy, so prompt and touching,
coming first from all the people of Raleigh, and later from all por-
tions of the country, carried a measure of consolation and comfort
that helped to temper the blow.
From a letter written by Lieutenant Bernadou, commander of
the Winslow, to Mr. W. H. Bagley, brother of Ensign Worth
Bagley, the following extracts, telling of the engagement, are
'•I have deemed it best to wait, before writing you, until I have suf-
ficiently convalesced to be myself again. Your brother had become a
proven friend, and the remembrance of his loss awakens a keener pang
than the sense of my bodily injury. Still, life is short for all of us ; he
fell in harness; and the Almighty has bestowed upon him the great
honor of calling upon him to die for his country, — than which no honor
"Your brother died instantly. I was standing about ten feet from him
when he fell and immediately ran to him. A glance conveyed the im-
pression that life was extinct, and a minute's observation confirmed the
impression. A hasty examination of his wounds showed me that there
was nothing to be done to save him. His face was composed ; I do not
believe that he suffered. The remains were immediately removed to the
most protected spot and covered. Directly after the fight I signaled to the
Wilmington: ' Send boat with doctor, many killed and wounded'; and
upon transferring those that were injured, I took your brother's body
with me and saw it placed upon the quarter deck and covered with the
flag, before having my own wound dressed.
" Your brother fell at the end of the action. Injuries to the machinery
and steering gear had made the boat almost unmanageable. As I found
that we were working out from under the enemy's batteries by alter
nately backing and going ahead with the one remaining engine, and as
mechanical communication with the engine room was cut off, I directed
him to watch the movement of the vessel ; to keep her out of the Wil-
mington's line of fire ; to watch the man at the reversing gun below and
see that he obeyed orders. This necessitated your brother making re-
peated short trips from the deck to the foot of the engine room ladder. On
the conclusion of one of these trips, he had stopped for a moment on
deck, presumably to watch the effect of our (the Wilmington's) fire, which
was silencing the enemy. He came up to me where I was standing, near the
compass forward, and said: 'Captain, I'm sorry you're wounded; I'm
lucky in these things.' I replied : ' Well, old man, we've been in a fight
this time for sure.' He said: 'Shake',- and we shook hands and looked
one another full in the eyes. A moment later was a quick explosion, — a
short snap, iike the report of a pistol ; your brother and two fell dead ;
and two were mortally wounded.
"After being conveyed to the Wilmington, your brother's body was
transferred to the revenue cutter Hudson and arrived at Key West on
the morning of the 12th. Being anxious to convey to your mother the
news of the death of her son, and to minimize the chance of its coming
to her indirectly ; and not having your address at hand, I wired to the
Mayor of Raleigh. At about the same time I learned that Paymaster
Izard had notified General Breckinridge, requesting him to break the
news to her. I trust that what I did was for the best.
The funeral of your brother here took place on the 13th, when the
rites were celebrated in accordance with the service of the Episcopal
church Here at Key West, every officer's wife present, every officer
and all the men of the torpedo fleet, vied with one another in bestowing
affectionate care and attention to all that remained to us of one so gene-
rally beloved, respected and admired. And apart from personal feel-
ings, I cannot but deplore the loss to the service of such a gallant fellow,
the embodiment of all that a young officer should be, and who served as
a model for the best half of the juniors of the fleet.
"I have been in intimate contact with your brother for nearly five
months ; have practically had no other companion ; was dependent upon
him for many things, and it is not so easy for me to write to you The
general accounts of the fight published were garbled. .. .Your brother
did not fall overboard, as stated, nor was he killed in attempting to
reach any tow line ; he died instantly at his post, while observing the
movements of the enemy. To the moment of his end he was as cool and
collected as when demonstrating his splendid abilities and judgment on
the field of athletic contest."
Lieutenant Bernadou's official report of the engagement to the
Secretary of the Navy in full, is as follows :
Convent Hospital, Key West, Fla., May 16th, 189S.
The Honorable Secretary of the Navy:
1. I respectfully submit the following report of the action off Cardenas,
Cuba, as participated in by the U. S. torpedo boat Winslow, to supple-
ment the summarized statement submitted by me on the nth inst., the
day of the fight.
2. The Winslow arrived off Cardenas from Matanzas at 9 a. m. on the
nth, having left her station on the blockade to obtain an additional sup-
ply of coal, the amount of fuel in her bunkers being reduced to five tons.
The U. S. S. Machias and Wilmington were found at Peidras Cay. Upon
making application to Captain Merry the senior officer present, I was
directed to apply to Captain Todd, commanding U. S. S. Wilmington,
for necessary supplies. •
3. On boarding the U. S. S. Wilmington, I was informed by her com-
manding officer of his intention to enter Cardenas harbor on the aftei-
noon of that day. Of the three channels leading through the Cays, two
were believed to be mined ; there remained unexplored a third channel
between Romero and Blanco Cays, over which the minimum depth of
water, as shown by the chart, was one and three-quarter fathoms. As the
rise of tide at this place was about one and one-half feet, and as the Wil-
mington drew scant ten feet, I was directed to receive on board a Cuban
pilot, Santos, to take with me the revenue cutter Hudson to sweep the
channel for torpedos. This work I completed by noon, except the sweep-
ing of the channel, which could not be clone on account of the grounding
of the Hudson. That vessel touched lightly but managed to work oft with-
out injury The Winslow, therefore, dragged the channel with grapnels
and returned to the Wilmington, reporting to Captain Todd upon the
practicability of the entrance.
4. The entrance was begun at 12:30, high tide, the Hudson on the
starboard side and the Winslow on the port side of the Wilmington
pssisting in marking out shoal water. No vesse's were in sight on enter-
ing Cardenas bay, save two square-rigged merchantmen with sails un-
bent, anchored directly off the town. As it was thought possible that
gunboats might attempt to escape, the Hudson was sent along the west-
ern side and the eastern side of the bay to intercept them in ev< nt of
such movement ; not finding them, the three vessels met off the town at
a distance of about 3500 yards. When in this position, the Window was
signalled to approach the Wilmington within hail and I was directed by
Captain Todd to go in and investigate a small gunboat then observed for
the first time. — painted grey, with black smokestack, apparently not un-
der steam and moored to a wharf, to the left of which arose a compact
mass of buildings close to the water front. Torpedoes were set for sur-
face runs, the fans upon the war noses were run up, so as to provide
for explosion at short range for use alongside of the gunboat, and all pre-
parations were made for immediate action.
5. At a distance of about 1500 yards, at which time the Winslow was ad-
vancing about 12 knots/which seems her maximum speed in quite shoal
water, the first gun of the engagement was fired from the bow of the Span-
ish gunboat, marked by a clear puff of white smoke. This shot, which
passed over the Winslow, was at once replied to by that ship and was
the signal for the commencement from the beach of a rapidly sustained
fire, characterized primarily by a total absence of smoke. At the com-
mencement of this firing, I received a flesh wound in the left thigh. As
the action advanced, a cloud ot haze collected on shore at the location of
this battery, and when closest I detected one or two gun Hashes from
among the buildings, but at no time could I detect the exact position ot
the guns. My uncertaintv as to the position of the enemy was attested
to by the commanding officer of the Hudson and by officers command-
ing gun divisions on the Wilmington, who enquired of me shortly after
the action what I made out to be the enemy's exact position.
6. At this time the wind w^s blowing from the ships toward the shore.
The first shot that pierced the Winslow rendered her steam and hand
steering gear inoperative and damaged them beyond repair. Efforts to
work the hand steering gear from aft were frustrated by the wrecking of
that mechanism and the rupture of both wheel ropes ; relieving tackles
failed to operate the rudder. For a short time the vessel was held in her
bows on position by use of her propellers. She then swung broad side
to the enemy. A shot now pierced her engine room, rendering one
engine inoperative. I directed my attention to maintaining fire from her
i-pounder guns, to keeping the vessel constantly in movement, so as to
reduce the chances of her being hit, to endeavoring to withdraw from
close range and to keeping clear of the line of fire of the Wilmington and
Hudson. The use of the remaining engine, however, had the effect of
throwing her stern towards the enemy upon backing, while going ahead
threw her bow in the same direction. Under the heavy fire of the Wil-
mington the fire of the enemy slackened ; the Spanish gunboat was
silenced and put out of action early in the engagement.
7. The Winslow now being practically disabled, I signalled to the
Hudson to tow us out of action; she very gallantly approached us and
we succeeded in getting a line to her. Previous to this, the alternate
rapid backing and steaming ahead of the Winslow had had the effect of
working her out irom under the enemy's batteries, ana in this way a dis-
tance of about 300 yards was gained. Finding that we were working out
in this manner. I directed Ensign Bagley to concentrate his attention
upon the movement of the ship, watching the vessel so as to keep her
out of the Wilmington's way and to direct the movements of the man at
the reversing gear, mechanical communication from deck to engine being
impracticable This necessitated Mr. Bagley's making repeated short
trips from the deck to the foot of the engine room ladder. While directing
the vessel's course and atthe moment of being on deck, he stood abreast of
the starboard gun, close to a group of men who had been stationed below,
but who had been sent on deck from the disabled machinery. A shell
hitting, I believe, a hose-reel, exploded instantly, killing Ensign Bagley
and two others and mortally wounding two. This accident, which oc-
curred at the close of the action, was virtually its end ; the enemy fired a
few more shots, but was soon completely silenced by the heavy firing of
the Wilmington. The conduct of Ensign Bagley. and of the men with
him as well as that of the crew who survived the fight, is beyond commen-
dation. After seeing the dead and wounded removed from the Winslow
and conveyed on board the Wilmington, I turned over the command of
the ship to Gunner's Mate G. P. Brady, my own injury preventing me
from performing active duty for the time being.
I have the honor to remain, sir,
Your obedient servant,
John B. Bernadou,
Lieut., U. S. Navy.
The papers published many and varied accounts of the engage-
ment. The official report here given makes it necessary to print
but one newspaper extract. Concluding a graphic account in the
New York Journal, dated Key West, May 12th, Mr. Vincent S
Cooke writes :
'' The engagement at Cardenas was not a lost fight by any means al-
though the ships withdrew in caring for the Winslow. The Spanish loss
in killed and wounded is not known, but the chances are that it will be
soon. It is said that the Machias and Wilmington were to enter the
harbor and shell Cardenas at once.
•' The death of these men has cast a gloom over the people h r<\ All
Flags are at half-mast. Ensign Bagley is well known, and while the
ll ;et was here was a general favorite. He was known as a fe irless yi lung
officer and was well thought of by his superiors. Captain Todd, of the
Wilmington, who gave the order to go into Cardenas Harbor, was espec-
ially fond of Bagley, and more than once, in speaking of the young offi-
cer, said : " He's got the right material in him."
"Lieutenant Bernadou was also fond of Bagley. The men on the
Hudson say they never saw greater courage than Bagley and his men
exhibited while standing unprotected on the Winslow, waiting to catch
the Hudson's line. The air was full of shots, and every instant was fraught
with danger, but Bagley coolly stood by his men. knowing that unless a
line was gotten the Winslow would be shot into ribbons and sunk.
" Describing the fight, Captain Newcomb ot the Hudson said :
"We were in a trap. There were masked batteries at several points,
and neither the Machias nor the Wilmington could aid us much, owing
to the shallow water. Batteries opened on us from all sides— behind
trees, bushes, houses and other places. I think the guns used by the
masked batteries were field pieces."
Cardenas is an important point. It is pronounced Kar-day-nas,
accent on the first syllable. It means " of a purple color." Car-
denas Bay, in which the encounter took place, is a picturesque har-
bor, 70 miles west of Havana. It is broad and shallow, with two jut-
ting fangs of land close at the mouth and a picket line of coral keys
outside, and its surface is studded with other green crowned keys,
through which the tortuous channel, scarce t\\ o fathoms deep, winds
and twists its way to where the city of Cardenas lies nestled under
the angle of the sloping hills, fully seven miles from the entrance.
Its value to the American cause and General Lee's estimate of
Ensign Bagley, are thus given in the Washington ( D. C.) Times
of May 13th :
"Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, who is spoken of as the most likely man
for the post of military governor of Cuba until the republic is established
firmly, said yesterday that Cardenas, which was attacked yesterday by
four American gunboats, was an important point, strategetically, to be
possessed by the United States forces.
"About twenty miles back in the country, at Jovellenes. I think it is.
all the railroads of Cuba form a juncture, and, with Cardenas in the hands
of the Americans, the investment of Havana would be materially advan-
ced by the possession of that place," said Gen. Lee. "No supplies
could reach Havana by the regular channels from the interior, and, with
the blockading fleet in front of the city, its fate would soon be determin-
ed finally. In my opinion, the attack upon Cardenas was for the purpose
of getting at Jovellenes.
"Gen. Lee was told that the official dispatches gave the number of
killed as five and of wounded as three. Referring to Ensign Bagley,
Gen. Lee said :
" He was a gallant lad, and 1 am sorry he is gone. He was a worthy
fellow and brave as a lion. I'll bet he made a good fight. But we must
not take our losses too much to heart War means bloodshed upon
both sides, and we are bound to lose many brave lads before we drag
down the yellow ensign of Spain from the ramparts of Morro."
In Collier's Weekly of June 4th, Mr. James H. Hare, staff pho-
tographer, writing of an expedition to Gomez's camp, tells of an
adventure with the Winslow, as his party was trying to escape the
Spaniards to reach an American ship :
" Suddenly we saw smoke in the distance ; it was evident we had been
sighted. The outlines of a boat appeared. Then smoke became more
distinct. The boat was certainly bearing down on us. What was it. Our
glasses were trained on it. It loomed up, larger and larger, '"bow on"
all the time, so we could not decide whether it was a Spanish gunboat or
one of our own craft, until at last "Old Glory" was recognized and our
anxiety was at an end.
''Bang!" went a shot. We hove to immediately. "Bang!" went
another, evidently a shotted gun, by the sound.
" Let down your sails!" we shouted to the sailor. "Hurry up!" That
is an American expression, but he understood it.
'' By this time we personally had been recognized, and as we lay to,
awaiting instructions from the torpedo boat, we sang the Doxology —
perhaps not very musically, but I will guarantee with as much sincerity
as it had ever known, for our own " Winslow" now had us in charge.
"We were taken to the "Machias," where the captain and officers
made us very welcome, and food was set before us that we t;hall never
forget, for it w is the first civilized meal we had eaten in two weeks.
u vVe joked the " Winslow's" officers, Lieutenant Rernadou and En-
sign Bagley, about the prize they thought they had in view when they
bore down on us. This was on Sunday, May 8, On the following Thurs-
day I photographed the remains of Ensign Bngley and some of his crew
and later attended their funeral ; they had been killed in action off Car-
denas— '" the'.fortunes of war," with a vengeance."
The New York Herald's staff correspondent, sent an interview
that was published May 13th, with Ensign Bagley, indicating
that he had premonitions of the fate that was in store for him :
" Key West, Fla., Thursday. — The death of Ensign Bagley recalls a
story written after an in erview with him on April 29, which was surpres-
sed by the censor, who feared that it might cause Bagley's friends un-
necessary alarm. *
"From the Her\ld's despatch boat Albert F. Dewey I had boarded
the Wins'owto take papers and news bulletins to Lieutenant Bemadou.
After talking some minutes with him I turned to Ensign Bagley with
some rem irk about the troubles which li id befallen his fellow executive
officers of the torpedo fleet. His rejoinder was : —
" Yes, I hear that Boyd (of the torpedo boat Cushing) is in trouble
through no fault of his own, That puts it right up to me. I'm sorry
about Boyd, for I am sure that the accident to the Cushing was not due
to his carelessn j ss. Now, I suppose you will say that I am superstitious
but I must admit that the fatalities which have pursued us have given me
some moments of sombre thought.
"There was poor Breckinridge, my classmate, executive officer of the
Cushing. who was swept overboard between Key West and Havana and
drowned. Then Bostwick, executive officer of the Ericsson, who was
knocked overboard in a collision with a schooner, had his chest caved in
and was all but drowned. He is now slowly recovering. Baldwin, ex-
ecutive officer of the Cushing, successor of Breckinridge and predeces-
sor of Boyd, took his turn next. He was knocked down an open hatch-
way and had his ribs broken. He will not be out of the hospital until
the war is over.
'•There they are. the four BV— Breckinridge, Bostwick, Baldwin and
Boyd. I am the fifth and last— Bagley. I have never been superstitious,
but for a week I have had mysterious intuitions that I am not to escape.
I will make the list complete— of that I am certain. I only hope that my
trouble will not be serious enough to take me out of the fight."
" Bagley's closing remarks were made in a laughing manner, as though
he would not have me take them seriously. Yet it was easily seen that
the premonition of serious trouble had taken a strong hold' upon him.
At any rate, the fate of the 'B's' is complete, and the torpedo boats are
now expected by the "jackies," who are always superstitious, to have
better luck In the future."
ANTE-BURIAL SERVICE AT KEY WEST.
THE body of the young Ensign was carried to Key West,
where it was embalmed. There, as well as all other points
where his ship had headquarters, he had made warm friends.
The officer ordered by the Navy Department to accompany the
body from Key West to Raleigh was at Cardenas and did not
receive the orders in time. The exigencies of the war thus pre-
venting a naval funeral at his home, the authorities at Key West
arranged to have ante-burial services in that place on the after-
noon of May 13th. These services were held by Rev. Gilbert
Higgs, rector of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal church, who had
formerly been rector at Jackson and Warrenton, N. C. From a
letter, dated May 14th written by Dr. Higgs to Rev. Dr. M. M.
Marshall, rector of Christ church, Raleigh, these extracts are
" Yesterday I read the ante burial service over the remains of the late
Ensign Worth Bagley, Raleigh, N. C He was the first officer killed in
battle in our war with Spain .... I write to vou thinking it might be a
comfort to his parents and family to hear through vou that his' remains
were sent to them from God's house and to know that not only a large
representation of the Navy and Army, but many of our citizens were
present in the church and afterwards in a procession, the casket covered
with flowers and emblems, the body was borne to the steamer leaving
that evening for Tampa For many things I love North Carolina, its
people, and feel it an honor to the State that she can claim the first martyr
in the nation's call to arms, and it is a great satisfaction to me to have
been here to minister the last rites before the interment."
The following is the Associated Press telegram giving- an ac-
count of the funeral at Key West:
"Key West, Fla.. May 13th.
"The remains of Ensign Worth Bagley. of the torpedo boat VVinslow,
were sent to Jacksonville this evening to his brother there, from which
point they will be taken to his home in Raleigh, NT. C. Brief funeral ser-
vices were held at St. Paul's Episcopal church, the Rev. Dr. Gilbert
Higgs officiating. A number of officers, with a guard of marines and
sailors from many ships, escorted the body to the church. The Stars and
Stripes and a number of floral offerings covered the coffin. At the con-
clusion of the services many passed near the casket to take a last
look upon the face of the dead. The casket was borne by six sailors,
immediately followed by the pall bearers selected from among Ensign
Bagley's personal friends. Then came fifteen survivors of the torpedo
boat VVinslow, who showed much emotion as they gazed upon the dead
"Most of the fleet officers attended the services and marched to the
wharf. A salute was given when the body was placed on the steamer
The New York World's account of the funeral contains these
additional particulars :
" The commander and executive officer of every warship in Key West
harbor was in the procession, and all lifted their gold-embroidered caps
and stood in attention as the body passed.
" Worth Bagley was the first officer of the United States to fall in a
naval engagement of the present war.
" Only a few weeks ago he remarked : ' It is the ambition of my life to
have a shot at Spain.'
" He had that one shot, and it cost him his life.
" While at Annapolis he played on the foot-ball eleven. For two years
he was full-back, and men who were plebes when he was an upper class-
man will tell you to-day that no one ever went to Annapolis who could
play foot-ball like Bagley. He graduated in 1895 and was on the Maine,
until Commander Bernadou, of the VVinslow, sent for him and made
him executive officer, a great honor for an Ensign of twenty-four.
"At Annapolis the three greatest cronies were Breckinridge, Merritt
and Bagley. Breckinridge was washed overboard and drowned trom the
deck of the torpedo boat Gushing in a storm just outside of Morro Castle,
Merritt went down with the Maine and his body was never recovered."
In the account in the Washington Times, still more particulars
are given :
"The body was escorted to the church and thence to the boat by a
guard of fifty marines, and an equal number of bluejackets from the
torpedo boats now in the harbor, including a color-guard for the draped
" Ten junior officers acted as honorary pall bearers. The coffin was
covered with the flag, on which the dead man's sword rested among
Among the tender letters received by his mother was one from
a Key West, lady, at whose home he had spent the last evening
ashore. Under date of May 14th, she writes :
''The precious remains of your sou were taken to our church. St.
Paul's, yesterday afternoon. The casket was borne by eight sailors from
his ship ; it was draped with his flag, and kind hearts placed on it God's
choicest gifts, sweet flowers. The church was filled with sympathizing
friends who. alter the service, followed the body to the steamer. . . .The
beautiful hymn sung at the service was: 'When our heads are bowed
with woe.' "
Capt. C. M. Chester, commander of the U. S. S. Cincinnati,
writing from Key West, Fla., on May 13th, to Mrs. Bagley, gives
an account of the funeral and his estimate of the young Ensign:
■" It was my sad yet agreeable duty to have charge of the ceremonies
attending the funeral of your son Worth to-day, and they were made
more sad and also more agreeable by the fact that he was under my care
as Commandant of Cadets at Annapolis for nearly four years. There I
learned to have a high regard for his manly and sterling qualities, and I
always felt that whatever difficulties came up his honor and integrity
could be relied upon.
•'■ Full of courage and youthful vigor, he has met the death that we who
are approaching the three score years limit of life, envy. Yet, for him with
his life all before him, we almost doubt the Divine will that orders such
things. We must, however, bow to it, and I trust the Father who doeth
all things well will give you strength to bear this great affliction. May
He comfort you with the thought that you have such a noble boy, and
with the knowledge that all his friends loved him With great respect
for the mother of one so worthy."
Writing under date of May 16th, at Key West, Fla., Mr. Wal-
ter B. Izard, of the U. S. S. Machias, who had been a class-mate
of Ensign Bagley 's at Annapolis, says:
" [ was ordered by the Department to accompany his body North, but as
we have only just returned from Cardenas, I did not receive them. I would
like to have done something for him at the last Everything that was
possible was done I want to express mv deepest sympathy for you a".
the loss of your noble son. I had known Worth so long and intimately
that it seems hard to realize that so true an officer should be taken
The casket containing all that was mortal of Ensign Worth
Bagley, U. S. N., reached Jacksonville Sunday morning. To that
point the oldest brother of the dead officer had come to take
home the body of the noble youth who had given up his life for
THE FUNERAL IN RALEIGH.
THE following account, with a lew additions, of the funeral held
in Capitol Square, Raieigh, N. C, at the foot of Houdon's
statue of Washington, Monday afternoon May 16th, is taken from
Tuesday morning's News and Observer :
''Yesterday afternoon at 5 o'clock when the funeral open air exercises
were in progress in the capitol square. u\'cr the body of Ensign Bagley,
the United States flag over the quaint old building was exultant in the
sweet wind from the south.
" It seemed typical of the pride of this great nation in the thrilling
valor of this youth from the Old North State.
"There he la} - under the tall green elms the casket wrapped in colors
overlaid with spear of palm and wreath of ivy. The casket rested on a
"It contained the bodv of Worth Bagley, Ensign, U. S. N., Torpedo
Boat Winslow, killed May nth, in an action off Cardenas, while at his
post of duty,
"At 1.30 p. m. a detail of forty-eight men from the Governor's Guard,
Co. K, as a special escort, accompanied the remains to the capitol from
the home of Mrs Bagley. The casket wrapped in a large United States
flag, completely covered with beautiful floral decorations, was lifted on
the shoulders of six non-commissioned officers, chosen to act as body
bearers, Sergeants Bunch, Broughton, Remington, Snipe, Perry and
Hughes, and borne from the home and placed on the caisson, which
was draped in black. Its six horses had also black coverings and each
was led by a United States soldier. They were followed by the follow-
ing officers of the First and Second Regiments of North Carolina Volun-
teers, who acted as honorary pall-bearers : Capt. Crawford, ot the G< v-
ernor's Guard, Raleigh ; Capt. Robertson, of the Hornets' Nest Riflts.
Charlotte ; Capt. Michie, of the Durham Eight Infantry ; Capt. MacRae,
of the Wilmington Light Infantry ; Capt. Bain, of the Goklsboro Rifles ;
Capt. Gray, of theGuiiford Grays, Greensboro. The caisson, completely
covered with flowers, accompanied by the military escort, moved slowly
to thecapitol. Along Fayetteville street the cortege moved with grim
bareness, the honors being those of a Brigadier General. As the caisson
passed along heads were bowed and bared before the loved boy t< 1 win 111
those of his home were glad to do such honor, and the sidewalks were
deep with the people and the windows sombre with the tears on the faces
"The body at the capitol, in the rotunda under the dome, for two
hours lay in state, though the face was not exposed, and while this was
justly considered wise, it may be grateful to friends to say that the face
was splendid to look upon and not disfigured, as has been incorrectly
sent out by the press. Floral designs were sent up from the home by the
wagon load, and were eagerly taken by loving hands, men, women and
children alike, and disposed about the circular area under the dome.
Elaborate designs had been sent by friends, cities and organizations from
SNAP SHOTS-FOOT-BALL FIELD AND SUMMED CRUISE.
SPOILING A SNAP BACK. (bACLEY AT RIGHT END OF CROWD.)
NAVY GOES AROUND THE END FOR TEN YARDS. (BACLEY AT CENTRE, TO LEFT OF REFF. REE.)
SUMMER CRUISE ON "CONSTELLATION. " (bACLEY AND BRECKINRIDGE IN WORKING SUITS.)
BAGLEY AND IZARD IN POSITION FOR PLACE KICK FOR GOAL. (.BACLEY STANDING.)
all parts of the -country. Remaining under charge of the military detArV
the casket was viewed by thousands of people who walked reverently
through the corridors of the capitol until the arrival ol the Brigade at
3.3O p. HI.
"All places of business in the city were closed promptly at 4 o'clock
and shortly after that hour the reverent throng withdrew from the ro-
tunda and corridors that the family might be alone with their dead.
14 Soon the casket was again lifted on the shoulders of the soldier body-
bearers. Preceded by all of the city clergy and several ministers from a
distance, all reading in unison the solemn and beautiful scripture, begin-
ning ' I am the Resurrection and the Life,' and followed by the family, the
body was borne along the line of the special escort, which was standing
with ' present arms' formation to the catafalque at the south end of the
broad terrace which overlooked the length of FayetteviUe street. The fan>
•ily, with its large connection was seated on the right of the casket, the
ministers in the rear, immediately in front of the statue of Washington.
'On the left were the choir, the honorary pail-bearers, and behind them the
State and City officials, State Supreme Court and Federal judges, and
the class mates of Ensign Bagley at Morson and Benson's Academy.
Around were delegations from many towns and cities, students from
Morsotfs Academy, children of the Centennial and Murphey graded
schools, and young ladies of Peace Institute and St. Mary's. Outside oi
all those who had been assigned places nearest the remains, the battalion
•of cadets from the Agricultural and Mechanical college, under command
of Major Staocell, were formed in a large circle. Beyond these were the
students of Shaw University, and the children of Garfield and Washing-
ton graded schools, and the thousands of men, women and children
from a hundred towns, cities and hamlets who had gathered to Join with
the people of Raleigh to pay honor to Raleigh's noble martyr-hero.
"The Brigade, including the First and Second Regiments of North
Carolina Volunteers, under command of Colonel Armfield, was formed
on FayetteviUe street.
"Thefuneral services were conducted by Rev. Eugene Daniel, D. D.,
pastor of the First Presbyterian church, of which Ensign Bagley was a
member, assisted by Rev. W. C, Norman, D D., pastor of Edenton
Street Methodist church; Rev. M. M. Marshall, D. D., rector of Christ
Protestant Episcopal church, and Rev. Thos. E. Skinner. D. D.. of the
Baptist church. The choir consisted of the following persons: Mrs. M.
P. Baumann, Mrs. J. J Thomas, Mrs. D. H. Hamilton, Mrs. Chas. Mc-
Kimmon, Miss Minnie Tucker, Miss Potter. Miss Bessie Bates. Miss Ada
Womble. Miss Josephine Mitchell, Miss Mary Dinwiddie, Mr. W. S.
Primrose, Mr. T. K. Bruner, Mr. Chas Newcomb, Mr. Leo D. Heartt,
with accompanists. Miss Bettie Dinwiddie, organ, Mr. Sam Parrish,
organ, and Mr. J. D. Turner, trombone.
"The services began with a hymn : "The Son of God Goes Forth to
War," sung by the full choir, with organ and trombone accompani 1 -
"Rev. Thos. E. Skinner, D. D., of the Baptist church, then offered
an appropriate prayer.
" Mrs. Chas. McKimmon sang with touching pathos a favorite selection
of Ensign Bagley. the music of which is by the wife o( Commander
Crowninshield, U. S. N.:
<l There is a land mine eye hath seen
In visions of enraptured thought,
So bright that all that spreads between
Is with its radiant glory fraught.
A [sad upon whose blissful shore
There rests no shadow, falls no stain ;
There those who meet shall part no more
And those long parted meet again
Its skies are not like earthly skits,
With varying hues of shade and light ;
It hath no need of suns to rise
To dissipate the gloom of night.
There sweeps no desolating wind
Across the calm, serene abode ;
A wanderer there a home may find
Within the paradise of God."
Rev. W. C. Norman, D. D . of Edenton Street M. E. church, Sooth,
read the 90th Psalm, commencing ' Lord thou hast been our dwel.ing
place in all generations.
" A quartette, Mrs. Chas McKimnion, soprano ; Sirs. J. J. Thomas,,
contralto; Mr. Chas. Neweomb, tenor, and Mr. W. S. Primrose, bass v
then chanted the beautiful hymn :
" 'Abide with Me, Fast Falls- the Eventide/
"Rev. Eugene Daniel, D. D., of the First Presbyterian church, read
from the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and offered a prayer so beauti-
ful and appropriate that it is elsewhere in to-day's paper published in
full. The choir then sang : 'Just As I Am, Without One Plea,' many
soldiers (at the request of Ensign Bagley's mother, announced by Dr.
Daniel) joining in the hymn.
"This strange summer scene of peace, with the great grove shot to
the heart with requiems presented a startling contrast with the martial
dead lying solitary in the midst of the great mass. But the contrast was
no more marked than the blue of the sky with the black battalions of
cloud that walked abroad war-voiced when the remains at midnight
were nearing the city.
"The sky was rent with electric mines, and javelins of light alternated
with terrible luminousness while silence was swallowed up in the deep-
lunged fury of thunder.
"That was the music the young Ensign loved to hear, but no more
than the sweet whispers of the elms of the capitol under which he had
passed his childhood. For if he loved to revel breast high in danger, his
life and letters showed that none was more soothed by the touch of gen-
tleness and peace. Looking upon his face iron- lined with the curves of
courage, some one remarked : ' There lies Napoleon.' Love took up the
observation, saying: ' No, Napoleon had upon his face the look of an
unsatisfied ambition; upon his face sleeps a smile of peace. " It was
true, but illustrated just the contrast noted above wherein Love and War
live together housed as one in the same heart.
"Ten thousand? Yes, more, said some. They stood surrounding the
little funeral scene, lines of military diverging backward from the pulpit
terrace. In front, down Fayetteville street, came the First and Second
Regiments with a heavy tread.
"The services were over and the procession toOakwood cemeterv was
forming. The band of the First Regiment was playing the ' Dead March
in Saul ', while eleven salutes were fired from a cannon at the east gate
of the Capitol as the procession formed on Morgan street at the head of
Fayetteville street, moving thence to Wilmington street, thence North
street via North street to Oakwood avenue to Oakwood cemeterv.
w The dead march ! Oh, the tears of the dead march ! How It goes
anoarning through the grove trees of sweet Southern towns so poig-
nantly when the dead is great in death.
''Along the route to the cemetery, the great line ebbed and flowed in
motion, and thousands had taken their places along the way and on the
hills overlooking beautiful Oakwood. All the city was mourning, the
places of business had been closed, and there was no desire except to
gather about the center of the common heart.
" 1 (own the little hill, all knew so well, over the little rock bridge, the
bridge of sighs to many a home, around the bend along the gentle slope, a
gentle climb, there was the spot, the spot where his gallant father. Maj.
\V. H. Bagley. ol the Confederate Army, lies, and where rest the dust
-of his honored and distinguished grandfather, Governor Jonathan Worth.
"As the family, the clergy and the pall-bearers surrounded the open
grave, the picturesque hills that sloped off Oakwood being filled with a
vast concourse of soldiers and citizens, the last sad rites were said. The
dmpressive and touching prayer of committal was offered by Rev. M. Ms
Marshall, D. D., rector of Christ church, after which Rev. Eugene Daniel,
D. D., pronounced the benediction.
" As they waited by the flower-lined grave, the choir sang softly with-
out accompaniment, ' Now the Day is Over', and one verse again of
'Abide with Me.' after which Mrs. J. 1. Thomas, in the same key, sang
■sweetly the last sentence of a favoritesong of Ensign Bagley 'Anchored'.
'by Watson, as follows:
"' 'A soft smile came from the stars.
And a voice trom the whisp'ring foam,
Safe, safe at last, the danger past,
Safe in his Father's home. 1
The full choir responding ' Amen'.
"Once again and the last time the choir sang. This time the hymn call-
ed the ' Prayer for Seamen' of which the first verse is always used at the
•close of 'he chapel service at the Naval Academy where Ensign Bagley
was a member of the choir :
*' 'Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea, Amen.'
" The flowers were nearby,, ready to be disposed upon the grave, and
thev rose above the dead a very mass of tribute in color and sweetness,
until the mound was hidden deep from the eye.
" From the capito! eleven guns had been fired, and now eleven more
guns were fired at the cemetery.
" As the press of people fell away somewhat at the last words of the ben-
ediction, the troops were drawn up on the north side of the grave.
"The three volleys given over the body and commanded by Col. Arm-
field were stimulating to the hearts of those who heard in them an echo
of the spirit of the dead.
' ' Taps were blown on the bugle from the head of the grave. There was
a martial sweetness in the notes
"Worth Bagley, Ensign U. S. N., on Board Torpedo Boat Winslow,
killed May nth by a bursting shell in an action off Cardenas, while at
post of duty.
*! There he lay.
"The requiem of the elms had grown deeper with the deepening
"From the hearts of the thousands issued this inaudible chant ; "He
lived well, he died well, he sleeps well !•"'
" The living had stood helpless in the presence of the dead that they
would have brought back to life, but they stood mighty to do honor and
that they had done for all the world to know."
HONORED IN RALEIGH.
RALEIGH was all tears, -'like Niobe " when the announce-
ment of the fatal engagement reached the city on Thursday-
morning, May 1 2th. The Post of the next morning told how the
news was received in his native city:
" 'Worth Bagley killed in a naval engagement in Cuban waters'
were the words passed from mouth to mouth in Raleigh yesterday
' 'Never were the people of the capital city so shocked and never
were there more spontaneous and genuine expressions of sympathy
and grief expressed by all classes of people. As if by an electric cur-
rent the news spread throughout the city and every heart throbbed
in deepest sympathy for poor Worth Bagley and his grief-stricken
mother, sisters and brothers. Everyone sought to discredit the news,
hoping against hope that it was only a false report, but the bulletin
boards soon announced confirmatory messages of the terrible tragedy
in Cardenas harbor. Business was laid aside and people talked only
of the distressing fate of the brave young naval officer. Since his en-
listment in the navy the people of Raleigh, and of the State for that
matter, have watched with pride and interest his position as a naval
officer. They knew him as a boy, noble and brave in all things, and
they knew furthermore that he was a worthy son of courageous and
distinguished parentage. They knew the man, and they awaited only
the opportunity for him to distinguish himself. Fate decreed other-
wise. It remained for this brave young North Carolinian to be the
first to sacrifice his life in the war against the Saffron flag. His death
was that of a hero. It reads like a romance. It can hardly be rea-
A Saturday morning's issue of the News & Observer, in local
columns, contained the following :
"There were yesterday inquires on every lip as to the details of the
funeral ceremonies, and eulogy and distress throbbed even to the deep
heart of the city. The sense of the heroic in men and women had glowed
under the picture of the young officer's bearing in battle, but tears came
when North Carolina took knowledge of the youth and promise of the
son who had been torn asunder from her all too soon. Then, too, the
Ihonie that had sent forth a mere youth who should in one brief hour thrill
a nation's heart was turned to with tender condolence by scores of loving
friends. All day long these friends called to offer their sympathy to those
" Among those who came was a committee composed of Mayor Russ,
Messrs. N. VV. West, W. 5. Primrose, R T. Gray and F. A. Olds.
"These gentlemen brought the request that the family accede to the
general desire for a military funeral Furthermore, it was stated by the
•committee, that as no church in the city would begin to accommodate
those who wished to attend the funeral, that the plan had been suggest-
ed to have the ceremonies in the Capitol grounds.
" Deeply touched by those expressions on the part of their own peo-
ple, the family assented to the request."
The two thousand volunteers in camp at Raleigh were greatly
moved by the sad event. The Raleigh papers of the 13th, con-
tained the following :
" At Camp Grimes the soldier blood boiled with hatred for the na-
tion that had done the bloody deed, and 'to the front' became the
" ' I hope it's true,' said a member of the Governor's Guard, 'that
we are to be sent at once to Cuba. We now have a mission— some-
thing to fight for — Worth Bagley's death must and shall be avenged."
" Maj. E. M. Hayes, U. S. A.: 'That is terrible news. And Ensign
Bagley had such a brilliant future before him. Even at this time he
was the best known man of his rank in the United States Navy. I
consider his death a national loss. Though I have met him but a few
times, I was very much impressed with his manner and bearing. I
have always watched his career with positive pleasure."
" Col. Wm. H. S. Burgwyn, Colonel of the Second Regiment, South
Carolina Volunteers : ' It is truly an extraordinary coincidence
that North Carolina should lose the first soldier in 1861, and
now the first in the present war. North Carolina has just given hef
brightest and best. She will demand back from Spain a like return,
with tenfold increase. She has something now to fight for, and she
will make as good a record in this war as she did in the last."
"Col. A. D. Cowles, Adjutant General of North Carolina: 'The
North Carolinians will remember the 'Maine' and they will remember,
too, poor Bagley. Gallantly fighting for his country, he fell the first
martyr in the cause of humanity. He poured out his heart's blood
at the base of the standard on which the starry emblem of liberty
proudly floated, and stricken unto death, a patriot's loving hope led
his palsied arms to its fond embrace. As the angels kissed his eye-
lids down in sleep, lovingly he gazed upon the flag above him, and as
the last faint whisper lingered on his stricken lips, he murmured :
' Mother and My Country.' Passing to fame's eternal camping
ground, he saluted our banner in the sky and amid the glories of its
folds, his soldier spirit was wafted to its God. 'Remember thee!
aye, brave soldier, while memory holds a place in this distracted
globe.' Remember thee ! Yea. we'll remember the ' Maine' and you."
These expressions of sympathy came not only from the war-
like living among arms in the white tented city of Camp Grimes.
They came from all organizations, from all creeds, from all
classes, from all colors. At each of the schools the children were
gathered together, and the heroic manner oi his death was told
and his noble character portrayed. At the Centennial Graded
School, ot which Ensign Bagley had been a pupil, Mrs. Barbee,
who had been his teacher, and Miss Mabel Hale, principal of the
school, gave incidents in his life, and Superintendent Logan D.
Howell spoke at length upon his career.
At Morson & Denson's school, where he was prepared for col-
lege, the present and former students, resolved to attend the fun-
eral in a body, and appointed a committee of his classmates,
composed of Hubert A. Royster, William B. Snow, C. Van
Fleming and W. W. Vass, to draw up appropriate resolutions.
" We deeply mourn " said the former fellow students, "the end
of a career so full of promise and the loss of one so rich in the
noblest qualities of mind and character, yet we glory in the proud
example of a life devoted to duty, filled with unselfish heroism*
and fearlessly offered up in his country's cause.''
The news came during the commencement of Shaw University,
the chief Baptist school for the education of the colored youth in
the State. President Meserve announced the death, and resolu-
tions drawn by a committee composed of A. B. Vincent, E. A.
Johnson, 1. A. Dodson and Chas. F. Meserve, were adopted.
Rev. John E. White, who was delivering the address, said "the
death of Ensign Bagley was the first contribution of American
blood to the cause of liberty in Cuba," and the audience was melt-
ed to tears as he spoke of his noble life and heroic death.
The L. O'B Branch Camp No. 515, United Confederate Veterans,
(A. B. Stronach, Commander and J. C. Birdsong, Adjutant,) re-
solved to attend the funeral in a body, and appointed a committee
composed of 1. M. Monie, A. M. Powell and A. B. Stronach to
draft resolutions, from which the following is taken :
"North Carolina is again called upon to lose one of her beloved
sons. By sea and land her sons have made glorious history of this
great commonwealth. In the pages of history the young hero of Car-
denas will take his place in that proud galaxy of names which have
immortalized their country.
" See him at duty's call, as he stands amid the shower of death-
dealing missiles (fresh and ruddy as David, the shepherd boy), in
the prune of his manlv beauty, the embodiment of a line of heroes
which North Carolina cherishes as her richest treasures. Never had
mother nobler son. In him all that was pure and lofty in purpose
found lodgment. Dignified without presumption, affable without
familiarity, he united all graces that made him the idol of his friends
and of his sailors. The perspective of the glories of a liberated Cuba
did not intoxicate him, neither did the cloud of adversity, that so rap-
idly passed over him, serve to depress him. With a smile upon his
face, with the flag of his country in his hand, with thoughts of loved
ones at home, his face to the foe — thus passed away Ensign Worth
"As if the soul that moment caught
Some treasure it through life had sought.''
The Meade Post, No. 39, G. A. R., of Raleigh, vied with the
L. OB. Branch camp of Confederate Veterans in honoring- the
dead Ensign, and on the day of the funeral they marched together
to Oakwood cemetery. On Memorial day, May 30th, a commit-
tee from the. G. A. R. Camp composed of S. D. Wait, chairman,
C. H. Beine and A. W. Shaffer, arranged for placing the floral
contribution of Gen. Meade Post, No. 1, Dept. of Pennsylvania,
on the grave of Ensign Bagley.
Memorial day exercises in Raleigh, May 30th, 1S9S, made
new history in the re-uniting of the blue and gray. Just
as the women and girls had decorated the graves of the
Federal soldiers who sleep their last sleep in the National
cemetery, a storm drove the assembled company to a shel-
tered place to hear the address. They hurried to the Con-
federate Home nearby and in the chapel of the Home, with the
old Confederate veterans composing most of the audience, the
exercises took place. The account in the Raleigh papers is thus
" It was an object lesson in the reuniting of the blue and the grav,
such as perhaps has never before been witnessed in the whole coun-
try. It is certain that never in North Carolina were the blue and the
gray so brought together. It was a sight not soon to be forgotten,
the Federal soldier, speaking of the Southern valor in a Confederate
chapel, and the eyes of Confederate soldiers moistened with tears at
the speaker's reference to the young North Carolina hero, whose
blood has forever banished sectionalism."
" President Chas, F. Meserve, of Shaw University, delivered the
memorial oration. He said the South vies with the North in patriot-
ic ardor and is pouring out her best life-blood in this struggle. After
referring to the sublime spectacle of Gen, Lee, (with a grandson of
Gen. Grant and a son of Benjamin Harrison on his staff.) and Gen.
Wheeler, closing their military careers in uniform of the army of the
United States, he said :
" But the greatest honor that could come to any State has come to
liberty-loving North Carolina, where the memories of the Revolution
are still alive and the spirit of Henry Clay still lingers. I say honor.
It was indeed a great honor, but a most terrible sacrifice, and it touch-
ed deeply the heart of the nation, and the grief was felt by all. When
Ensign Worth Bagley, shattered by a Spanish shell, grasped, as he
fell upon the deck of the Winslow, the staff" from which 'Old Glory 7
proudly waved, and, as his life-blood ebbed away, murmured,
* Mother and Country/ the South showed her loyal devotion to the
Union and her fixed determination to maintain its integrity.
" The Southland has given up her fairest, her choicest and her best,
and has made the first sacrifice in the cause of freedom for Cuba,
The North mourns and weeps with her sister South in her sorrow.
Sorrow has brought both sections close together, and shoulder to
shoulder they will work out the destiny of the American republic."
" Miss Minnie May Curtis then read a beautiful original poem, from
which the following verses are taken :
The North and South clasped bands above the first brave martyr's bier:
They both could claim him, — Pilgrim blood was blent with Chevalier I
Such fine commingling forces met to knit that sturdy frame,
To mould that brave heroic soul, who won a deathless name!
" The love of Freedom that beat strong within that Pilgrim sire,
Throbbed in this true young patriot breast with pure and holy fire,
And nerved his hand to do its best for crushed humanity,
To right a cruel, grievous wrong, and set a people free.
United now as ne'er before, a Nation mourns to-day,
For 'neath " Old Glory," sleeps the son of one who wore the gray,
So loving, gentle, faithful, good : so strong, so brave, so true,
America may well rejoice in noble sons like you I
"The procession then moved to Oakwood cemetery, where the
whole company stood with uncovered heads while Governor Russell
and Mayor Russ and the Commander of the G. A. R. placed
at the head of the grave of Ensign Worth Bagley the beautiful flora}
offering sent by the Meade G. A. R. Post of Philadelphia. The grave
had already been literally covered with a profusion of flowers of the
season, and was an embowered bank of the rarest and loveliest flowers,
tastefully arranged by Steinmetz by order of the New York World,
which paid this tribute to the memory of the first American officer to
fall for Old Glory in this struggle. Above the bower of flowers,
which were intertwined with laurel, were branched the pine and the
palm, typifying the uniting of the North and the South over the grave
of the Federal officer, son of a Confederate soldier. There were
other beautiful tributes, among them one from the Loyal Legion of
Women of Washington, D. C, and Ensign Alfred McKelthan, a
class-mate of Ensign Worth Bagley at the Naval Academy. The
company gathered about the grave, added choice flowers to the love-
ly decorations, and the choir sang "America." The clouds had
passed away, and the last rays of the setting sun fell on the heads of
the company as Rev. Dr. Curtis offered prayer, and Rev. Dr. Pittinger
pronounced the benediction."
Seaton Gales Lodge, No. 64, I. O. O. F., passed resolutions
saying- that the Lodge '' which was honored by having upon its
roll the name of the father of the young and noble son, doth here-
by extend to the grief stricken family the profound sympathy and
condolence that the ties of fraternal love and esteem so forcefully
suggest." They were signed by B. H. Woodell and Henry J.
Young, committee; E. G. Faust, Noble Grand, and Phil. Thiem,
At a meeting of the Board of Alderman of the city of Raleigh,
Mayor Russ appointed Messrs. John C. Drewry. chairman ; W.
W. Parrish, and J. E. Hamlin a committee to draft resolutions,
from which these extracts are taken :
" That we lament the untimely death of this gallant young officer,
whose constant courage and devotion to duty has honored the city
of his birth, and who has found the immortality that comes to a brave
and noble soul who yields his life to the service of his country.
" Resolved, That as a child and boy and man the people of Raleigh
have known and loved him, living as he did a life without fear and
without reproach, and they will keep ever fresh in their hearts the
precious memory of his life and virtues."
On the 20th of May, the anniversary of the Mecklenburg De-
claration of Independence, in presenting a flag given by the ladies
of Raleigh to the Governor's Guards, Capt. C. B. Uenson made
this reference to Ensign Bagley :
"And when you strike, remember that the first hero of this war to
give his blood for his country, was your own friend and fellow-towns-
man, your schoolmate and fellow-Carolinian, now no longer our own,
but blazoned by the triumph ol fame around the world, as his great
TRIBUTES FROM ARMY AND NAVY FRIENDS.
WHEREVER he went Worth Bagley made many friends.
As a boy, he was popular with old and young. As a
naval cadet, he won the love of his fellows, the confidence of his
instructors, and the respect of his superior officers — ore friend
writing ' a history of the past few years of his life will be iound in-
extricably woven in that of the Naval Academy, for he was of the
kind that made history of the place in which he happened to be."
In the discharge of his duties as an officer of the navy he not
only came to number his fellow officer^ as his friends, but in every
port in which his ship touched the charm of his attractive per-
sonality made him a host of friends. From all quarters have
come words of sympathy to his stricken mother, evidencing that
whether on shipboard, in places of danger, in the brilliant gather-
ings of the great cities and resorts in the quiet of vacation, in
the school room, in the workshop, on the athletic field, every-
where, he showed the grace, strength and true chivalry that made
men and women love to call him friend. The letters which hun-
dreds of these friends have written to the darkened home of
which he was the light are full of proofs of the strong hold he had
upon the affections of those who had come into near relationship
with him. The limits of this volume permit extracts only from a
few who had known him intimately at the Naval Academy or
afterward when he was an officer in the navy.
The tribute paid to him by Major General J. C. Breckinridge,
the lather of Ensign Bagley's room-mate at Annapolis and his
most intimate friend, is as follows :
'• war's tribute paid.
" Ensign Bagley has given a name to our national annals which has
a ring of sweetness and pathos in it like monastery bells, but all
must mourn at the sacrifice of the individual, even though devoted
to the cause of humanity. The charm of his character and his loyal
reliability were tempered with such winning manners and sturdy
strength that his exit from our sphere in the first flush ami beauty
of manhood makes the music cease while a wail is heard. Possibly
the tragic death of no other young man of his age would have thrilled
so many hearts with pain nor awakened so many to sympathy, espe-
cially in the sister services. That poets have sung to the theme of
this gallant young life and noble death; that youth throughout the land
have felt their hearts beat higher as they chose him for a model; that
young and old, the daring and the fair, join in his praises and mourn
for his loss is as natural as that honey should be produced from the
dewy flower. It was the very nature of this young man to be loved and
to win unstinted praise from all and for all that he did better than any
one else could do. He was accustomed to have breathless thousands
wait and watch what he, all unperturbed, would do next and do su-
" He was my dead son's room-mate. They have been in my house
like twin gods, endeared to all. I believe you will pardon me more
emotion than can be properly expressed when in the midst of this
campaign we stop to recall the loss our country's cause has
brought to you and us. The State where he was born, the people he
has served, the home so shattered can well hold his memory dear :
he deserved well of his people.
' ' With admiration and affection for the dead and siucerest sympathy
for the living, I remain, most sincerely yours,
"J. C. Breckinridge.
" Tampa, Fla."
Extracts from the letters of Ensign Bagley have already shown
the friendship existing between him and Ensign Barnes, of Okla-
homa. Before the death of Ensign Breckinridge the three were
inseparable. After that mutual sorrow the friendship of these two
young officers was strengthened by their common grief. Writing
from " U. S. S. Vicksburg," off Havana, Cuba, to the mother of
his dead friend, Ensign Barnes says :
When Worth died for his country's cause before Cardenas I lost as
true a friend as God gives to a man and one whom I shall mourn the
remainder of my life, for there is no one to take his place, to be the
friend and companion he was to me.
" Please accept my tearful and heartfelt sympathy, for knowing him
as I did to be the truest gentleman and noblest friend I also know
what a son he was to you.
" Deprived of Bagley and Breckenridge in three short months I do
not know what I shall do.
" For me they were the embodiment of chivalry and honor and I
will miss them all my life.
" It seems as though I had lost myself, so completely do I grieve.
To you and his sisters my heart goes out, feeling the anguish of the
loss" of a brother as you do that of a son. He lived ten days ago when
I saw him last and walked down to the boat with my arm around his
dear broad shoulders. My Dear Madam, I can write no more, please
accept the sympathy I feel for that I would express. I too am be-
Writing to a relative of his dead friend, Ensign Barnes says :
" There are true men in the world, but one does not often know and
prove them. Worth Bagley's life was a short but unmistakable proof
of a noble manhood, a deep-rooted character of gentle chivalry and ster-
ling nobility. He died as a brave man would wish to die — in the
midst of a well fought fight, battling for humanity's cause, front to
Ensign Alfred McKethan, of Fayetteville, N. C, who entered
the Naval Academy on the same day that Ensign Bagley entered,
and who was always one of his best friends, writes from " U. S. S.
Solace " at Key West ;
" The sad news of Worth's death was received on the 17th at sea
from the dispatch boat. Sorry and sad am I On account of the
brotherly affection that has always existed between us, I feel his loss
more than words can express. A friendship and affection from boy-
hood when we first started North in 1889, increased and strengthened
as each day passed, until at last we were as brothers, and now as I
look back upon a friendship never once marred by an unpleasant in-
cident or word between us, my heart bleeds with sorrow and sadness
to know that he has passed away. He gave his life to his country and
died in its defense at his post of duty."
Paymaster Walter B. Izard, a classmate at Annapolis and a
member of "the famous eleven" who defeated the West Point
football team, writing from the " U. S. S. Machias," at Key
West, says :
" I want to express my deepest sympathy for you at the loss of your
noble son. I had known Worth so long and intimately that it seems
hard to realize that so true an officer should be taken from us.
" I was ordered by tlie Department to accompany his body North,
but as we have only just returned from Cardenas I did not receive
the orders. I would like to have done something for him at the last."
Ensign R. Z.Johnston, of Lincolnton, N. C, a classmate and
friend, writing- from the " U. S. S. Oregon," says :
" When I heard the news we were in quarantine at Barbadoes.
Some one rowing around the ship was asked the news and replied,
' Winslow sunk, Bagley killed.' It affected me strangely for I was
terribly' mad I liked and admired Worth very much, and you
know that he loved his mother, which I think is the noblest trait in
any man. We are all proud of him and very sorry for his mother
whom he loved so dearly and who always came first in his thoughts."
Naval Constructor Homer L. Ferguson, of Waynesville, N. C,
writing from his station on the Pacific, says :
" I am glad that the Old North State is to so fitly honor one of the
bravest, noblest sons she ever had."
Ensign Harris Lanning, now of the training-ship Mohican,
upon learning of the death of Ensign Bagley, upon his arrival
from Honolulu, said to a reporter of the San Francisco Chronicle :
" I saw Bagley last only a few months ago,' when, after two years
cruising, we met at the Naval Academy to take our final examinations
and receive our commissions. Bagley was known among his fellows-
as a man who knew not what fear was. For his bravery and good
fellowship he was especially beloved by us all."
Charles F. McNeill, Galveston, Texas, writes ;
•' Worth and I were classmates at the Naval Academy in 1889-90and
our friendship was never broken until his tragic death. * * *
I am deeply grieved — for I have lost a friend."
Ensign A. H. A. Davis, \J. S. Navy, of Louisburg, N. C, tele-
graphed from Tortugas :
" Please express my sorrow and deepest sympathy. We have lost a
Ensign Amon Bronson, U. S. Navy, telegraphed:
" To the memory of the best fellow I ever knew."
John William Wilen, cadet U. S. Military Academy, West
Point, writes :
" I knew Worth when he was a cadet at Annapolis, and it is useless
for me to speak of his many noble qualities of which we all know. I
hope you may/ find comfort in knowing that he gave up his life as
only a brave man can for his glorious flag."
Lieutenant Lawrence S. Adams, U. S. Navy, who attended the
funeral at Raleigh, writes :
" As a friend of your son's, I want to express my sincere sympathy
with you in your great loss, and also to express my personal regret in
losing so good a friend."
Robert Coleman Bagby, Newport News, Va., writes:
•' Your son was my good friend — a fine, noble fellow, possessing
all the qualities that constitute an ideal naval officer. For two
years I was associated with him at Annapolis, and it was there that
I first knew him and learned to admire him. * * * Every
cadet that knew him admired him. I have followed his career with
the greatest interest. His death came to me as an awful shock, and
his loss is a personal one."
Mr. Wm. J. Reecke, of St. James, Mo., a former classmate at
the Naval Academy, in a St. Louis paper, says :•
" In all the various duties and activities at the Naval Academy in
which manliness and true courage make up the record of a man's
efficiency, Worth Bagley was in the foremost rank of the leaders.
Personally, his cheerful disposition and earnest endeavor to do his
duty earned the good will and respect of ever}- officer and cadet at the
Naval Academy. The country has lost one of its brightest officers."
Prof Samuel Garner, of the Naval Academy faculty, writes :
" Ensign Bagley was strongly imbued with a sense of duty. When
once he had conceived anything as a duty, he immediately sought to
put his whole energy into it, firmly resolved to succeed at any cost.
This earnestness of purpose Bagley carried into the athletic sports in
which he engaged and to it was attributable his wonderful success as
a ' footballist ' In the class room Cadet Bagley was a model young
man — deferential and respectful to his instructors, in a word, a per-
fect gentleman in his demeanor— always in earnest, always attentive
to the matter in hand. I do not recall a single instance on his part
where he failed to fairly prepare his lesson, how many soever other
claims there may have been upon his time. Here, as elsewhere, his
earnest nature would not allow him to neglect a palpable duty. In
these respects I feel sure that the testimony of his other instructors
would follow along the same lines as my own."
Rev. Robert H. Williams, who was pastor of the Presbyterian
Church at Annapolis while he was a cadet, writes :
" Permit me, who had an interest in your son, Worth, long before
this war commenced, to offer a word or two of sympathy. As pastor
of the Presbyterian Church, of Annapolis, for nearly ten years, a large
number of cadets of the Naval Academy came under my pastoral care,
and your son among them. I remember your son with a great deal of
interest and pleasure. He was a general favorite and bade fair to be
very efficient as an officer, and very useful to the missionary in the
foreign countries he might visit."
Among his classmates and friends at the Naval Academy to
whom he was deeply attached, was Ensign Merritt, who perished
on the Maine. Mr. W. W. Merritt, of Red Oak, Iowa, father of
Ensign Merritt, writes ;
" My heart goes out in sympathy to you in this great sorrow that
has come to you. Your noble son and my ton were classmates and
intimate friends. 1 have often heard him speak of your son in terms
of admiration and affection. My son was foully murdered in the
harbor of Havana. Your son had occasion to ' remember the Maine '
and doubtless controlled by an almost uncontrollable impulse he
braved danger on that fatal day at Cardenas harbor. Ma)' we not
hope that they, with that other classmate, Breckinridge, are now to-
gether on the other shore beyond war's alarms."
A sister of Lieut. Jenkins, who was lost on the Maine, writes :
" Although a stranger, I do not feel you will deem these few lines
an intrusion, for none I am sure can feel more profound sympathy for
you in the loss of your dear boy than do the mother and sister of
ours. Aside from the common bond of sympathy existing I feel that
the life of your noble son was given partly in avenging the death of
my brother and I assure you my whole heart goes out to you in your
Dr. Paul J. Dashiell, an instructor at the Naval Academy,
" I saw a great deal of Bagley, in athletics specially, and his genial
ways and sharp plucky play and coolness under trying circumstances
left a name here that none has eclipsed All liked him — men and
women — and personally I was much attached to him His ath-
letic achievements which will live very long here rather reached a
climax in the very difficult goal he kicked in '93 against West Point,
thus winning the game for the navy."
Mrs. Rob-ley D. Evans, wife of the Commander of the Iowa,
" We were first drawn to your son by his rare personal beauty and
charm of manner six years ago at the Naval Academy, and as he
matured and developed his nature and character seemed to deepen
and sweeten until he promised a very high and noble future to us who
" I saw him last at Key West in the middle of March, about two
months ago, and my husband and I were much impressed by the
splendid development that had come to him. He always bore him-
self in a princely way, and two months ago there was added to that
bearing a strength and sweetness and power of expression that gave
his fine face an almost seraphic expression. His deep suffering, which
we shared, in the loss of his friend, Cabell Breckinridge, I think had
elevated, fortified his own spirit. In writing you this I am sure that
Captain Kvans would agree with all T say for he loved and valued
your son, as we all did and do, and always shall do while memory
" When your deep anguish shall have become a part of your life —
for that is all we mothers can expect when such a blow falls upon
us — you will realize that your boy died as he would have wished, in
the flush and stir of battle, with no lingering or time for pain.
" ' He flashed his soul out with the guns,
And took his haven at once.'
" My only boy, who loved yours, sailed for Havana yesterday after-
noon on the Massachusetts, so you can understand that I know how
to feel for you with very tender sympathy."
Mrs. Priscilla Alden Nicholson, whose husband had been his
instructor and superior officer, writes :
" In the sad death of your brave son I feel, as an old friend of his,
I must offer my deepest sympathy. In our life in the navy we are as
one, so United, and my heart is all interest for those in such dreadful
peril as the present.
" While at the Academy my late husband instructed your son, and
always admired him as a sterling youth, and while on the U. S. S.
Montgomery found him a fine officer. He was in charge of his bat-
tery, and spoke of him always in the highest terms of praise. Last
June, when taking his final examinations, he was a great deal at uur
house, and only last December passed Sunday as my guest. I have
always felt I knew him well, and trust you will believe how deeply I
mourn with you and yours. Please accept my sincerest sympathy —
words fail me. * * * He died bravely — doing his duty
faithfully to the end — but it seems a sacrifice of a much-needed life."
Lieut. Jos. B. Batchelor, Jr., U. S. A., Fort Slocum, New York,
a native of Raleigh, N. C, writes :
" His work was well done — all, from first to last, well done ! On
the edge of the strife, whose course no eye can foresee, all eyes may
see that the sacrifice offered is of our very best. Had he lived, high
honor must have come to him, and we his comrades, afloat and
ashore, mourn the loss of the deeds he would have done ; but who
shall say that the fresh young life so gallantly given to his country,
instantly on demand, is not of more worth than all the long triumph
of a life time I am serving here with many who knew him well.
Of him no word is spoken save in praise. All speak of him, and speak
such words as any mother would be proud to hear/'
The wife of an officer at the Naval Academy, writes :
" We knew your dear son very well, and both my husband and I
were devoted to him. There never has been a cadet more universally
loved and admired here, and it must be some comfort to you to know
he died doing his duty unflinchingly and leaving an unspotted record
Mrs Wm H. G. Bullard, writing for herself and her husband,
who was instructor in Physics and Chemistry at the Naval Acad-
emy and who is now on the " U. S. S. Columbia," writes :
" We were both devoted to Worth Bagley and all of his first class
year he was most constantly at our quarters, and if he had been one
I 1 -
of my own family I could not have felt his loss more deeply. A
sweeter, gentler and more refined nature I never saw."
Closing its account of the disaster at Cardenas, the Army and
Navy Journal, says : ,
" Ensitni Baglev was a great favorite in navy circles."
|N many public gatherings throughout the country the heroism
of Ensign Bagley was the subject of eloquent orators, who
found in his death the theme for inculcating patriotism and those
virtues that make the highest type ot manhood Only a few can
be given here. Concluding a noble speech, to the Kentucky
volunteers in camp at Lexington, with a prayer for his own boys
who were in the ranks, Henry Watterson said :
'.' In that praver let me include each and every one of you, though I
would rather see my boys, and each and every one of you, lying by
the side of that brave and lovely sailor lad wi om North Carolina has
just given up as Heaven's first sacrifice upon the altars of the nation
and mankind, than that one feather should be plucked from the
eagle's wing, or a syllable of reproach be justly cast upon the name
and lame of our dear Kentucky."
At the commencement exercises of the University ot North
Carolina, May 29th, June 1st, inclusive, both the preacher and the
orator paid eloquent tributes to the memory of Ensign Bagley.
It was fitting that the institution in which he had passed the en-
trance examinations, before receiving his appointment to Annapo-
lis, should feel a special pride in his glory. In the course of the
baccalaureate sermon on " Perfect Manhood " from Ephesians
4:13, by Rev. Wilbur F. Tillett, D. D., Dean of the Theological
Faculty of the Vanderbilt University, he said :
" The whole American nation is now watering with its tears the
new made grave in your Capitol City where Ensign Worth Bagley has
been laid to rest. If a Greek historian were to record how that brave
bov, with the blood of a noble and honored Carolina ancestry in his
veins, went in obedience to superior orders to the place of danger on
the ill-fated Winslow, and gave up his pure young life in gallant de-
fense of his country's flag as it sought to carry freedom to the down-
trodden and oppressed, can we be in doubt for a moment as to which of
these two words the historian would choose in calling him a man
Brave boy, thou art not dead ; thou hast simply taken thy well earned
place alongside the gallant akdrhs of never dying Thermopylae and
among the noble young heroes of our Anglo-Saxon race whose names
will find an abiding place in the memorabilia of ideal manhood and
the history of the State that loved you in life and now honors you in
Hon. Hannis Taylor, of Mobile, Ala., Minister to Spain from
1893 to 1897, m the course of his address at the University on
" Our Widening Destiny," made the following reference to En-
sign Bagley :
" By some strange fatality the sons of this State seem to be called
first when such an oblation is to be made. In that dreadful moment
when the North and South were about to be torn apart. North Caro-
lina, a border State, who loved the Union as she loved her lite, held
out her pleading hands to her brethren on either side in the hope that
by kind and tender words she could put away wrath and avert the im-
pending strife. Not until her most strenuous efforts had failed ; not
until she had been cruelly maligned and misunderstood did she finally
resolve to enter into that prolonged and bloody conflict to which she
contributed the first victim in the person of ilenry Wyatt, who fell at
the battle of Bethel, on the soil of Virginia. May it not have been
that North Carolina, through her heroic though unavailing efforts to
avert the civil war and save the Union, won for herself the post of
honor when the time came for the first victim to be offered up upon
the altar of the united nation in its first war against a foreign foe ?
In a proud, yet stricken spirit, we can all feel that the victim was
worthy of the sacrifice. When the brave and pure young life of
Worth Bagley went out on the tide at Cardenas we yielded up one
worthy of a race of heroic men. Of such a life and such a death,
typical as it was of a great national event, there should be some per-
manent memorial. We owe it to ourselves to perpetuate in bronze
or marble the memory not only of our heroic son, but of the noble
mother who gave him to his country.
" If we can do no more let us fix a tablet upon the walls of the Cap-
itol at Raleigh, and carve upon it the fateful words from his last letter
in which he told her : " You have enough of the Spartan in you, if
you wish, to say, ' With your shield or upon it,' and that is what you
must always say to me." Such words have an eternal meaning com-
ing as they did from one who was about to die. Let us hang them
up for monuments so that the generations yet to come may know that
" At the altar of their nation,
Stood that mother and her sou,
He, the victim of oblation;
Panting for his immolation;
She, in priestess' holy station,
Weeping words of consecration.
While God smiled his approbation,
Blessed the boy's self-abnegation,
Cheered the mother's desolation,
When the sacrifice was done."
In his commencement oration at Davidson College, Hon.
Theo. F. Kluttz, of Salisbury, said :
" Now that the silver bells of Peace have been silenced by the dread
sounds of War, North Carolina is again giving freely of her best and
bravest to her country's cause. As at Bethel, she gave in Wyatt, the
first martyr to the vain but glorious struggle for Southern indepen-
dence ; so now, at Cardenas, she gives the first martyr in this war for
Humanity; nor could she have offered a more costly oblation than
the brave young life of gallant Worth Bagley.
" I knew him well : a gallant, manly fellow, the pride and idol of a
widowed mother's heart: capable, brilliant, enthusiastic, ambitious,
loving and loved — with everything in life to live for, he yet laid down
his life bravely, willingly, for his country's honor, and in the great
cause of humanity.
" His name can never die.
" Let it live in story and in song, in marble and in bronze, as long
as patriotism has a votary, or heroism a shrine."
Hon. Hugh G. Miller, of Norfolk, Va., who delivered the com-
mencement oration at Elon College, thus alluded to Ensign Bag-
ley's death :
•' And this evening I bow my head with a feeling of reverence
almost akin to consecration as I stand upon the sacred soil that gave
Ensign Worth Bagley to this Union, the first American to give up his
life for his country in the Spanish-American war. And when at last
over the ruins of Morro Castle the ' Lone Star of the Pearl of the
Antilles' shall float and glitter side by side with our stars and stripes,
the world will remember that it was the life blood of a Carolinian that
first consecrated the divine cause of Cuban Liberty."
Rev. Joseph F. Berry, Fraternal delegate to the General Con-
ference of the M. E. Church, South, at Baltimore, May iSth, in
his address, said :
" A nation's tears have fallen upon the bier of Ensign Bagley, and
a nation has remembered that the first American soldier to fall at his
post, the stars and stripes waving about him, was a youthful son of
At the meeting of the North Carolina Colonial Dames, held in
Wilmington, May 25th, resolutions were passed, and in an ad-
dress, the President, Mrs. Geo. W. Kidder, made this reference
to Ensign Bagley :
" If the deeds of valor of a dead and gone generation appeal
to us, how much more are we thrilled by the daring and courage of
the men of our own day, with whom we are in touch either by word,
thought, or kindred ties. Foremost among them is North Carolina's
brave young Ensign — foremost because he was the first martyr, and
as such will go down conspicuously into history.
" He ventured love and life and youth
For the great prize of death in battle."
" One touch of nature makes the whole worldakin," and the law of
universal motherhood makes us — a body of patriotic women — claim
this young hero as our own and calls forth a tender and hearty re-
sponse to the appeal for a monument to his memory "
The following resolution, suggested by General W. P. Roberts,
and introduced by Professor E. E. Britton, was adopted by a rising
vote of the Democratic State Convention, held in Rnleigh May
" Resolved, That as Carolinians, proud at all times of the honors,
the achievements and patriotic sacrifices of the sons of our beloved
State, we proclaim our admiration of the heroic conduct of Ensign
Worth Baglev, of the United States Navy, which caused a sacrifice of
his young and promising life in his country's cause, and we extend to
his noble mother our sympathy in the anguish she has been called
upon to suffer in the death of her noble and heroic boy— now the
nation 's son."
The platform, Ohio Republican State Convention, in session
at Columbus, June 22d, contained these words:
" To the friends and relatives of Ensign Baglev, whose noble young
life was the first forfeit of the war, we send condolence."
The Indiana State Democratic Convention in its platform,
' rejoices in the heroic deeds of Dewey, Bagley and Hobson."
In a debate in the House of Representatives on the first of
June, Hon. R. Z. Linney, of the Eighth North Carolina District,
"The State of North Carolina always does its full duty, in time of
war or in time of peace. She not only furnishes troops, but she fur-
nishes the best troops in the world. The first soldier who gave up his
life in the late war between the States was a North Carolinian. The
first who shed his blood in the war with Spain was a North Carolinian.
And such was also the case in the war of the Revolution. Let me call
attention to the sacrifice that State has recently made.
"Worth Bagley stood amid the fire-flames of war at a period that
tried men's souls ; and amid the volleys of shot and canister from the
strongholds of the enemy he had the cool, philosophic courage to
utter expressions that none but the noblest heroes of the world could
have uttered : 'Throw me a rope ! Heave the ship, boys ! It is too
warm for comfort here ! ' One moment afterwards off went the head
of one of the grandest patriots and noblest soldiers of the United
" The services of the citizen soldiery of North Carolina will place
her standing as a State up to high-water mark. The example of
Worth Bagley is the standard my State has set for courage and devo-
tion to principle. We simply invite other States to come up to that
standard. I have no doubt all the soldiers of all the States of the
Union, from Mississippi to the State of my friend from Washington,
will do all they can to come up to the high standard of Worth
Mrs. Flora Adams Darling, A. M., President of the Daughters
of the Revolution, in a letter to Mrs. Spier Whitaker, Regent for
North Carolina, conveyed in loving words the sympathy of the
Mrs. Alice McL. Birney sent the sympathy of the National
Congress of Mothers.
At the hour of the funeral service in Raleigh, May 16th busi-
ness was suspended in the town of Plymouth, N. C, and
services were held in the courthouse and bells were toiled.
Mayor Blount presided, and addresses were made by Rev.
E. P. Green, Rev. D. W Davis, Rev. G. L. Finch and Mr. H
S. Ward. " The Roanoke Riflemen, Company E, attended
in a body, with crape bands around their arms ; the drums were
wrapped in mourning, and the muffled beat of the dead march
added solemnity to the occasion," says the Roanoke Beacon.
Rev. A. W. Cheatham, rector of Trinity Church, Nashville,
Tenn., held memorial services in his church on the 15th of May,
and delivered an appreciative eulogy.
Ol the organizations sending resolutions of sympathy to the
family in addition to those already referred to, were the
Cape Fear Lodge No. 2. I. O. O. F., and Wilmington
Lodge No. 139, I. O. O. F., of Wilmington ; the New Jersey
Society of the Daughters of the Revolution ; the Women's
National Relief Association ; the General Secretary of the Daugh-
ters of the Revolution ; the Woman's National Cuban League ;
the Texas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution,
and the North Carolina Society at Washington. D. C.
The Southwestern Presbyterian University, Clarkesville, Tenn. r
placed its flag at half-mast, and Chancellor Summey wrote that
Worth Bagley's name was inscribed upon it. Many other like
tributes were paid in memory by schools, colleges and comniu-
On the day of the funeral in Raleigh by order of the Governor
of Virginia the flags on the capitol at Richmond were placed at
The first resolutions passed by any military organization were
passed by Company M, " The Queen City Guards " (Capt. H, S.
Chad wick) in camp Bryan Grimes at Raleigh, on May 13th.
Every member of that company contributed to the erection of a
TRIBUTES FROM PUBLIC MEN.
t » r)RESIDENT McKINLEY deeply deplored the death of the gal-
\ lant fellow. Both President McKinley and Secretary Long, in
the expressions of their sorrow at the tragedy, and admiration
for the conductof the W inslow's crew, made it clear that the Winslow
had acted under orders when she entered Cardenas harhor."
The New York Journal of May 14th contained the above tele-
gram from Washington.
The papers have been full of tributes from eminent public men,
and many of them have written words of sympathy to the mother
of the brave boy who sleeps in his deathless grave at Oakwood.
Room is made here only for a few of the personal letters and
telegrams received by Mrs. Bagley from public men of other
States than North Carolina.
Hon. John D. Long, Secretary of the Navy, wrote :
" Washington, D. C, May 17, 1898.
" My Dear Mrs. Bagley :
" I am in receipt to day of a letter from Rev. T. N. Haskell (copy of
which is herein enclosed), requesting that I forward to you the at-
tached verses on the death of your son.
" In forwarding you this, may I not be permitted also to offer you
my heartfelt sympathy at your irreparable loss. Mr. Haskell's quo-
tation of the letter from President Lincoln seems to me especially
appropriate. You, too, have the thanks of the Republic, and a solemn
pride in having ' laid so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom.'
" You also have the assurance that the whole navy mourns with
you in the loss of your son, who died at his post, in the performance
of a daring duty — one of the bravest of the brave.
" With great respect,
" Very sincerely yours,
"John D. Long."
" 1651 Emerson Avenue, }
" Denver, Col , May 12, 1898. f
" Dear Mr. Secretary Long :
" The news of Ensign Bagley's tragic death, with a sketch of his
beautiful character and life and brave deeds, in the midst of which
the bursting shell nearly beheaded him and killed four of the brave
fellows by his side, has just come to my desk, and I could not refrain
from impromptuing the enclosed poem for his deeply afflicted mother,
whose address I cannot learn. On the back of the slip I have copied
President Lincoln's pathetic letter to Widow Bixby, of Boston. I wish,
even in the midst of your mighty deeds and duties now, you would
see that the message is sent to that Jochebed, ' Glorious Mother,' as
soon as may be. Worth Bagley's mother deserves well of all.
" T. N. Haskell."
LINCOLN'S LETTER OF CONDOLENCE TO A BEREFT WIDOW IN
November 21st, 1864.
My Dear Madam :
I have been shown in the files of the War Department, a statement
of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of
five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how
weak and fruitless must be any word of mine, which should attempt
to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming, but I cannot
refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in
the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our
Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and
leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the
solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice
upon the altar of Freedom.
Yours very respectfully and sincerely,
ENSIGN BAGLEY AND HIS BOYS.
BY T. N. HASKELL.
When Israel's " firstlings of the flock "
(Upon Jehovah's altar laid)
Besprinkled blood upon the rock
On which the offering was made.
When Ellsworth fell, a holocaust,
And in the White House " lay in state,'
Mankind conceived how much it cost
Humanity to liberate.
When Ensign Bagley fought and fell,
As the first offering of this land —
The victim of that vicious shell
Exploding 'mong his valiant band —
O, God ! How great the human gift y
A widow's son, so wise and pure,
The Spanish barbarism to lift
And Cuban liberty secure.
(And must men fight and must men fall
And give their lives for greatest good?
The few to fall for good of all,
And broaden out our brotherhood ?
This problem, like thy Providence,
Seems awe-inspiring when'er seen,
Ami it must have long ages hence
To learn much that its lessons mean.)
O, Widow Bagley ! Could you see
Your son's proud name — above all praise —
Emblazoned — as 'twill surely be —
Down to his country's latest days.
You would thank God for such a son
And that his death in such a scene,
Doth decorate all he hath done
And show what Martyrdom doth mean.
" The Boys " that fell at Bagley 's side,
Be blazoned, too, in types of blood,
Proclaimed henceforth " their country's pride,"
To make all boys both brave and good !
Their memory — and that of the " Maine " —
Like " resurrection from the dead."
Shall give the world their lives again
Whene'er their names are known or read.
Hon. W. J. Bryan, Lincoln, Neb.. " Relying for an excuse upon a
brief but pleasant acquaintance with your son, I write to tender you
my sympany in your great bereavement, and at the same time to bid you
hnd consolation in the thought that, while it is the lot of all to die,
it is the good fortune of but few to meet so honorable a death as that
which befell your boy. Time, that great healer of wounds, will as-
suage your grief, but it will only brighten the glory that crowns the
memory of Worth Bagley."
Hon. Hoke Smith, Atlanta, Ga.: " I spent last week at Key West
and was on the Winslow with Ensign Bagley. I was with him several
hours. I am deeply grieved and sympathize with you with all my
Hon. Clark Howell, Atlanta, Ga.: "Permit me to extend
deep sympathy in the bereavement of Ensign Bagley's family. The
fact that the blood of this brave young Southerner is the first shed
on our side builds an everlasting monument to his memory and em-
phasizes more than anything else could have done the fact that this
is a re-united country."
Senator Pritchard : " Permit me to tender you my sincere sympathy
in this your hour of great bereavement."
President Geo. T- Winston, University of Texas : " My heart bleeds
for you in your awful sorrow. May God strengthen and comfort you !
Only a few months ago I saw him here on the Texas, so happy, so
noble and handsome and so admired and beloved by all."
Senator Butler : " He died fighting under the stars and stripes in
the cause of humanity and the advancement of republican institu-
tions. His gallant life and heroic death will do honor to his State,
and, indeed, to the whole country."
Booker T. Washington : "I feel it to be the duty of negro citizens
as well as white citizens to contribute to erect a monument to the
memory of Ensign Worth Bagley."
O'Brien Moore, Charleston, W. Va.: " I send congratulations. I
would rather have a dead Bagley for a relative than a hundred ordi-
nary live men."
Gen. W. R. Cox, Secretary of the U. S. Senate: "Not only
individuals, but the nation laments the sacrifice. Your afflic-
tion is indeed grevious, but yet there is amidst the dark-
ness a silver lining to the cloud, when we recall that at
the command of his country he went promptly to the front, fell
with his face to the country's foe, and parting left behind him a light
that illumines his chosen profession."
Rev. Thomas Dixon Jr., New York : " Please express my heart's
deepest sympathy in the great sorrow in the death of the young hero
at Cardenas. I am proud of him as a North Carolinian. I am proud
of him as a young Southerner. I am proud of him as an American.
I thank God that he reserved for the defeated and poverty-stricken
Southland the pain and glory of the first heroic sacrifice for the new
nation that has entered upon the achievement of its divine destiny.
The young hero's name is a household word in every nook and
corner of America to-day."
Henry Jerome Stockard, Fredericksburg, Va.: "Life at longest is
but a breath : whether we live a day or a century it makes no differ-
ence — there is no 'long,' no ' short ' life when measured with the in-
finite reach of time and eternity : then that spirit which went out in
the blinding, petrific shell at Cardenas went out in a veritable
blaze of glory. The nation reveres him and will remember him."
SEALED THE UNION WITH HIS BLOOD.
' ' \ X J ^ are a ^ Worth Bagley's countrymen " was the concluding
* V sentence of an editorial in the New York Tribune
referring to the death of the first American officer in the war with
Spain, the son of an officer in the Confederate Army. The
Tribune's editorial, reminding one of the utterances of Horace
Greeley, ended with this paragraph :
" It is worth while also to remember that the South furnishes the first
sacrifice of this war. Ensign Bagley was a native of North Carolina.
With his blood he has sealed the union in arms of the North and South.
A people who once fought against the Stars and Stripes send one of
their sons as the first sacrifice for the honor and glory of that Hag. There
is no North and no South after that. We are all Worth Bagley's coun-
In the same spirit writes the Springfield Republican, voicing
the breadth of patriotism breathed into it by Sam Bowles:
"The loss of life in the Cardenas engagement was our first sacrifice
of the sort in this war. Let us not forget that the first American officer
to die for his country was from the South. In view of the great and trag-
ic past, this fact possesses an interest that touches the hearts of all Amer-
icans. In the red blood of the young Carolinian, the North and South
have sealed their perpetual reconciliation."
FUNERAL SCENES AT RALEIGH.
LYING IN STATE AT STATE CAPITOL, VIEW FROM THE HEAD.
HONOR GUARD AT THE BAGLEY HOME.
FUNERAL SERVICES AND CORTEGE AT CAPITAL SQUARE.
FLOWER DECKED GRAVE, WITH GRANDFATHER'S GRAVE TO LEFT, FATHER'S TO THE RIGHT.
CAPITOL SQUARE DURING FUNERAL SERVICES.
From all sources have come similar expressions. The G. A. R.
Posts and the Confederate Veteran Camps have sent resolutions
and wreaths of flowers to place upon the grave. The most his-
toric of the actions taken by any organization outside of North
Carolina was by the George G. Meade Post No. i of Philadelphia,
the oldest Grand Army organization in America. The Philadel-
phia Press thus tells of the method employed by the Meade post
to do honor to Ensign Bagley :
"The handsome floral design which members of George G. Meade Post
No. i, Grand Army of the Republic, will lay on the new-made grave of
Ensign Worth Baglev, ihe hero of Cardenas, was completed yesterday.
To-morrow it will be sent to the Mayor of Raleigh, N. C, with the
Post's expressions of sympathy and eulogies of the gallant conduct of
the brave Southern boy who gave his life for the flag of a reunited nation.
"This pretty tribute by which gray Northern veterans will memorialize
the bravery of a young Southern officer is touchmgly symbolical of the
sentiment that prompts its sending. It speaks tenderly of the past and
hopefully of the future. On a large snow-white wreath of immortelles,
significant of the undying fame of the Southern hero whose name it
commemorates, lies a grim and heavy sword, crossed on its worn scab-
bard, and tied below to the wreath by broad strands of the national
" The sword is a time and war worn weapon, knicked and blunt-point
ed, rust-eaten and stained with blood that flowed a third of a century
ago, frayed on its wire-bound hilt — mute testimony of deeds of valor in
the thick of terrific slaughter The symbolism is touching in its import.
For this blood-cut sword is a relic of one of the fierce and deciding bat-
tles of the war between North and South. In hand-to-hand combat it
was wrested from one of the boys in gray by one of the boys in blue, on
the death-strewn field of Gettysburg. Long prized as a trophy won in
chivalric combat, it is now the gift of a member of the first Grand Army-
Post of the country, the Post that bears the name of Meade, the hero of
Gettysburg, as a tribute to the bravery of the South.
"Raised to strike at the nation, captured and shorn of power by a
defender of the nation, at length returned in forgiveness to the Common-
wealth that was foremost in the civil strife, it tells the whole story of a
divided country reunited and devoted to a common flag.
" Further significant of the sentiment that prompts the sending of this
tribute is the word "United'" in purple immortelles, wrought prettily on
the background of white, between the points of the sword and scabbard.
On the ribbons of national colors that bold the sword and scabbard to
the wreath loom, in gilt lettering the inscriptions : —
•' Ensign Worth Bagley, U. S. N.
"George G. Meade Post, No. i, G. A. R,,
"Veterans of Meade Post speak proudly of the act of chivalry toward
the men of the Southland. Colonel William Haikness. Jr., who is a
member of the Memorial Committee that sends the tribute, said : "We
send this wreath to the people of the Sonth as an outward expression of
what all Northern soldiers feel toward their old foes of Dixie. We all
harbor the kindliest feeling toward Southern soldiers. We want to for-
give and forget. We want to wipe out all that bitter feeling of. the past
and we are glad to have this opportunity to show our sympathy in the
loss of a son of the South and our admiration for a Southern officer's
" We have long since come to believe that the boys in gray were sin-
cere in their belief in the righteousness of their cause, and we respect
them for their heroic devotion to principle. They were brave men and
Accompanying this historic tribute was a tender letter of sym-
pathy to the mother. Placed on the grave by Federal and Con-
federate soldiers, this wreath and sword will find a permanent
place in the State Library at Raleigh, N. C, typifying the oblite-
ration of sectionalism and proving that the long cherished hopes
for a reunited country have been realized.
On Mav 30th. a beautiful wreath of red roses and ivy, with
streamers of the national colors sent by the loyal legion ol Wo-
men of Washington, D. C, was placed on the grave along with
the tribute from Meade Post.
About the same time, the New York Chapter of the United
Daughters of the Confederacy held a meeting and passed resolu-
tions of sympathy. In forwarding the resolutions, Mrs. M. L-
Brodnax, Corresponding Secretary, wrote to Mrs. Bagley :
" While every member feels tenderest emotions of pit} for the mother,
they rejoice with you in the glory and honor which will forever rest upon
the memory of your son whose noble life was sacrificed for his country...
At the memorial services the most beautiful tribute was paid to your gal-
lant boy by the orator of the day. Allusion was made to the graves in
our dear Southland, where the father and son lay side by side, heroes of
the two wars, one in the blue the other in the gray, and the fact that the
first blood that was poured out as a sacrifice was that of a Southerner,
was recalled with great pride by the speaker."
In his Memorial day address in Philadelphia, Commander John
W. Frazier, of the Col. Fred Taylor Post, in the course of a pa-
triotic address on the sublime spectacle of hearing " the Union
cheer and the Rebel yell mingling in melody," said :
•'Can we do better upon this Memorial Day than to highly resolve that
this re-united country of ours baptized with the blood of the martyred
heroes of the Maine; cemented by the death of North Carolina's Bagley—
the Ellsworth of the conflict— shall, under Divine guidance, have a new
birth of Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty that the sectional animosities
that have beset us for a generation shall be obliterated forever ; that all
enmity and prejudice between the North and the South shall be forever
buried, and now that an indestructible Union binds us together in purpose
and patriotism to make the fellowship cordial and sincere, as tender and
lasting as a mother's love, respecting each other's sufferings and sorrows
with American manhood and sympathy? It is our duty as past soldiers
of the Republic, as American citizens, to help bring about these things.'"
When this Federal soldier was thus speaking of the reunited
nation, the R. F. Webb Confederate Camp No. 818, of Durham.
N. C. (Col. Julian S. Carr, Commander, and Capt. N. A. Ramsey
Adjutant) in a series of resolutions said :
"The first blood that has been offered on the altar of humanity and in
the cause of Cuba's freedom is full worth the sacrifice. The spirit of
Worth Bagley has gone to join that of Henry Wyatt. Brave spirits both,
with whom the post of danger was ever the post of honor, and whose
bravery and gallantry have made richer the history of our common coun-
Among many letters from Federal soldiers the following is
given as showing the spirit of the men who followed Grant in the
War Between the States :
Auburn, N. Y., May 25th, 1898.
Dear Madam :—
Although a graduate of the prison pens of Petersburg and Libby, Va. ,
and of Salisbury. N. C, and though my two visits to your beautiful city,
as a prisoner of war, were made under painful conditions and circum-
stances, still, so great a healer is time, and so strong is love for one's \
country and its citizens, that I find myself among the thousands of others
in our reunited land, dropping a tear over the sad fate of your noble boy
who so recently gave up his life as a sacrifice in the cause of America
While it is true that "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin"
I believe it to be equally true that only those who have suffered greatly
for country's sake can best sympathize with one another. It is with that
feeling that I as a Union soldier of the late war, send to you as a widow
of a Confederate soldier, my heart-felt sympathy as you sit by the new
made grave of him who belonged to and died for neither the North nor
the South, but the whole country united under one flag, and now more
closely bound together in a bond of perfect union by the sacrifice of this
young patriot's blood.
Robert L Drummond.
Rev. James L. Tryon, rector of All Saints church, of Attleboro,
Mass., on Sunday May 29th, preached a sermon before the Wm.
A. Streetef Post, G. A. R., at a memorial service to the victims of the
Maine, Private Wesley Brass, and Ensign Worth Bagley. At the
request of Mr. Tryon, Mrs. Bagley sent flowers and a picture of
her son. This extract is taken from the sermon :
" Worth Bagley was a young man characteristic of his time. Public-
spirited, ambitious in the best sense, in mind thoroughly and conscien-
tiously trained. An athlete of athletes, built like a Greek ; a warrior ot
warriors, brave as a Spartan. The flower of the South ; tender as gal-
lant, in love of mother none surpassing, he was a gentleman like General
Lee. He died as the Southern boy would pray to die ; his last command
the grace of knighthood, his arm around the one true flag."
In his memorial address at Arlington, Senator Thurston said :
" If I read God's history aright, civilization and Christianity have not
come from the survival of the fittest, but by the sacrifice of the best. What
puny human intelligence dares to assert that the blood of Lexington was
not sacred, even as the blood of Calvary ? Warren at Bunker Hill, Baker
at Ball's Bluff, Bagley at Cardenas, all gloriously died to hasten the
coming of God's kingdom on earth."
At Fredericksburg, Va., the Ladies Memorial Association
placed a beautiful floral anchor beneath the shield of North Car-
olina on the Confederate monument, and attached to it was a card
on which was written: 'A memorial of the Courage and Faith-
fulness of Ensign Worth Bagley, another Laurel in North Car-
olina's Crown of Heroes. We place this tribute beneath her
shield on our Confederate monument May 19th, 189S."
At Portsmouth, Va., on Confederate Memorial day, the most
touching incident was the unfurling on the soldiers' and sailors'
lot in the cemetery of a silken flag, inscribed to the memory of
Ensign Worth Bagley, U. S. N., the first victim of the Spanish-
American war. The walnut flagstaff was wound about with garlands,
At the top was a chaplet of green and white, while around the
base were grouped a profusion of floral designs and rare blossoms.
" We send this tribute of flowers in the name of Fraternity,
Charity and Loyalty" were the closing words in a letter from the
John Brady Woman's Relief Corps, auxiliary of the G. A. R.
of Erie County Perm., in sending flowers that were placed on the
grave by the side of the flowers sent by Confederate associations
of Southern women— thus commingling the floral offerings of the
noble women of the two sections who keep green the deeds of
valor of the men who composed the armies of Lee and Grant.
From a mass of like clippings from editorial utterances of lead-
ing papers in every state in the Union, the following fairly repre-
sent the view the papers take of the heroic death of the young:
Hartford (Conn.) Courant : "All of us are proud of Worth Bagley,
and his fame belongs to us all . All the states should be represented
in the Monument Fund, and those New England States among the earh^
eit. North Carolina was one of the Old Thirteen, and this is now— God
be thanked for it !— a re united country."
Washington (1). C. ) Times : " It is fitting that the grave of the young
Ensi'ni should be marked by a monument erected by the North ano
South together The South is proud that Ensign Bagley was a North
Carolina man ; the North is proud that he was an American ; and both
should hasten, to do him honor in the only way that remains.'
Philadelphia Record : "The spirit that blossoms forth in such a tri-
bute as that sent to Raleigh, N. C, to be laid on the grave of Ensign
Bagley, honors the Grand Army even as it honors the immortal dead ;
and it's manifestation at this time is a proof that the lesson of decoration
day is being all the more deeply impressed upon thoughtful natures by
the events of the present war."
Columbus (O.) Journal : " The South did not stand alone at the bier of
the dead Ensign who gave his life for his country. In the North the
warmest sympathy was felt for the hero and his bereaved friends, la-
menting his death, were nevertheless happy that he was called to the last
muster under the flag that his father fought against in the late war. The
sad event marked the complete reconciliation of the two sections."
New York Journal : " Ensign Bagley was a North Carolinian, son of a
Confederate, and a Democrat. Admiral Dewey is a Vermonter, of poli-
tics which may be guessed at from the fact that he was simultaneously
made an honorarv member of the Union League and Democratic clubs.
Lieutenant Hobson is an Alabamian and a Democrat. Surely this war
obliterated sectionalism and partisanship in setting up the one standard
New York Times : " Ensign Bagley will be mourned as the first Amer-
ican victim of the war, but for that very reason he is sure of lasting remem-
brance. There is no American who does not remember the first victim
of the civil war on the side of the Union. Bagley will be remembered
as long as Ellsworth is remembered, but with the differene that
whereas Ellsworth threw away his life in doing what he should have
ordered to be done by others, Bagley laid down his in the strict line of
Denver (Col.) Times : "Deeply significant of the thorough restora-
tion of our union is the fact that the first man to fall in the war with
Spain is a Southerner. Ensiem Bagley was from North Carolina, and
was the son of a Confederate Major. * He was born since the civil war,
was a brilliant naval cadet, a gallant officer, and died smiling at danger,
a worthv scion of the heroic people from whom he sprang.
"A more glorious death for a young officer could not be imagined. His
blood was the final cement of a 're-united nation, and will be an immor-
tal landmark in history. As the first shot at Sumter rent the nation
asunder, the long healing process was forever completed the moment he
" Ellsworth, first heroic young officer to give up his life in the civil
war, was the idol of the North. "His name is remembered where gener-
als and admirals and statesmen of the period are forgotten. But Bagley
is the idol of the whole nation. Long after the pyramids of Egypt shall
have sunk to the level of the Nile, his name will live in the memory of
Atlanta Constitution : " There is more than ordinary significance in the
fact that the first drop oi American blood shed in the present war with
Spain should have come from the veins of one of North Carolina's gal-
lant sons ; and if the anguish of private grief for one so gifted with the
hero's spirit admits of any consolation, surely it is found in the gratifying
fact that the blood of this young martyr freely spilled upon his country's
altar, seals effectually the covenant of brotherhood between the North
and the South and completes the work of reconciliation which com-
menced at Appomattox.
" While deploring with unaffected sorrow the tragic death of Ensign
Bagley. North Carolina must feel some measure of patriotic pride in be-
ing the first State in the entire Union to suffer bereavement for the stars
and stripes. But the whole South shares with North Carolina in the
tearful honors of this initial sacrifice. Ensign Bagley illustrated in his
ardent temperament the fire and spirit of the ideal Dixie youth. His
father was one of the bravest soldiers who ever donned the Confederate
uniform, and for generations back his ancestors were natives of the soil.
" More than any other influence which has operated to restore fraterni-
ty between the sections since the late war is the martyrdom of North Caro-
lina's brave young officer. Eloquent speeches have softened the heart of
the nation, but they have failed to approximate in welding and solidfying
power the blood of Ensign Bagley."
Cincinnati Christian Advocate : "Twenty-seven years before. 24th,
May, 1861. Elmer E. Ellsworth, colonel of the Eire Zouaves, of New
York City, died in Alexandria, Virginia. In filial words to parents he
had written: "Whatever may happen, cherish the consolation that I
was engaged in the perlormance of a sacred duty." Ordered to Alex-
andria, his duty became the removal of the rebel flag that, from a win-
dow in the White House, Abraham Lincoln had seen floating defiance
from the roof of the Marshall House. Fearless of death, Ellsworth cut
the stars and bars from their staff— and died a martyr for the Union, the
first soldier officer killed by secession arms.
"In no unworthy urns lie the dust of these voung men. Born far apart
one the son of the North, the other son of the South, they died beneath
the same flag, and for the sacred cause of liberty. Had Bagley lived in
'61, he might have fought beneath the eleven stars — but history had made
him son of the Union, and he died, as Eilsworth died, for stars and stripes
and the Fatherland.
" Beneath the Cuban sun he stood, his face full front toward the foreign
foe ; then fell for Cuba's freedom and philanthropy. When all the story
of the struggle has been told— this also shall be told, that first to die in
war for the Republic of Cuba, was Worth Bagley, ensign on the Winslow."
TWO enduring monuments will tell the high esteem in which
Ensign Bagley was held by the people and the permanent
place that will be accorded him in history. On May 13th, the
Raleigh News & Observer, in its local columns, said ;
"Almost immediately upon the reception of the news of the battle
here, Captain N. W. West, proposed a monument to the first martyr
of the war for Cuban freedom, and indicated a willingness to start
the subscription list with $100.
"Upon consideration, though, it was deemed best to build such a
monument by popular subscriptions of from 1 cent to $1 each. This
suggestion was endorsed by the other members of the committee,
Mayor Russ, Mr. W. S. Primrose, Mr. R. T, Gray, Mr. F. A. Olds,
who represented the city in honoring the dead hero. To this end they
as-ked the press of the city to publish, from day to day, the list of sub-
-1 libers, and to request patriotic citizens in ibis and other States fie*
contribute to the fund."
On the same day the Raleigh Morning Post said :
"The universal sorrow at the death of Ensign Worth Bagley, the
first officer in the American navy to fall in the war with Spain, finds
expression in a spontaneous movement to contribute a fund for the
erection of a monument to commemorate his gallant life and heroic
death. To Mr. N. W. West, who followed the fortunes of the stars
and bars during the war between the States, is due the credit of
suggesting to the Morning Post that it undertake to raise a monument
fund, and accordingly his name heads the list of subscribers. But
the response of the public was so prompt that half a hundred citizens
within half an hour, voluntarily came to the office and had their
" The monument fund will be raised by a plan that is truly a pop-
ular subscription. No subscriber will be permitted to contribute more
than a dollar to the fund, while subscriptions for one cent, or for any sum
more than one cent and not more than one dollar will be received.
Subscriptions are solicited from patriotic citizens wherever the Amer-
ican Hag floats, who love their country and honor bravery. To this
fund all can contribute, for the widow's mite or the child's penny
will be acceptable as any man's dollar.
" The fund will be placed in the custody of the treasurer of the
Post, and when a sufficient sum shall have been received, proper
committees will make arrangements for the erection of a monument."
This fund which the Post thus inaugurated has grown so rapid-
ly as to make it a bronze or marble statue, or monument erected
in the city of Raleigh by contributions from all parts of the Union,
will recall the story of the valor of Worth Bagley to all visitors
to his native city, and be a daily inspiration to the youth of his
A monument of another character, one peculiarly fitting, will
connect his name forever in history with Cushing, Ericcson,
Winslow [also a native of North Carolina] and other heroes of
the American Navy. On the 20th of June, 1S98, the Secretary of
the Navy announced in the public press that the first of the new-
torpedo boats to go into commission would bear the name of the
brave young Ensign Bagley, the first American officer to lose his
life in this war. Hon. Richmond Pearson member of the House
of Representatives of the ninth North Carolina district, conveyed
the information of this honor in the following telegram from
Washington, D. C, to a relative of the dead Ensign :
"The Secretary of the Navy has just told me he would name the
new torpedo boat 'Worth Bagley.' When I described the sponta-
neous outpouring at Bagley's funeral, the Secretary said : 'It was
well deserved.' "
The press and the public received this action with approval.
The following editorial from the Syracuse, N. Y. Post voiced this
sentiment that found expression everywhere :
" It was a deserved act of grateful recognition for the Government
to give the name of Bagley to the first of the new torpedo boats to be
constructed. This brave young officer, the first commissioned officer
in the Navy to fall in the war, met death under peculiarly heroic cir-
cumstances. He did his duty at a most perilous post, exhibiting a
bravery and heroism worthy of a veteran officer. The honor due to
his memory will be an inspiration to other young officers that emulate
[Written by Mr. W- C. Ervin on the Death of Ensign Worth Bagley.]
Two mothers stand by a hero's grave
In a Southern city fair.
And one sheds tears for the fallen brave,
And cries in her dark despair ;
But one makes never a cry nor moan,
And stands in her pride elate :
For one is the mother of flesh and bone,
And one is the mother State.
O, mother, you of the burning tears
And you of the dark despair,
The hope and pride of your love-lit years
Are shrouded and buried there :
For fame is naught when the loved are dead.
And a nation's praise is vain
When the parting words at the grave are said.
And the soul is seared with pain.
And, mother, you in your pride elate,
You joy that another name
Is blazoned now on the lofty gate
In the temple of your fame ;
'.' Behold ! " you cry, "on wave or strand,
How my children die for me —
They fall like Spartans on the land
And like Vikings on the sea I "
A stately shaft of enduring stone
One mother will rear in pride,
And with sculptor's chisel for aye make known
How a Carolinian died !
And one will plant the cypress tree
To sigh for the deadly strife,
And a rose, as white as the snow can be,
To tell of a spotless life.
One mother brings, as a last farewell,
To our hero's grave to-day,
The amaranth and the asphodel,
And one a garland of bay ;
And one stands there in her griet alone,
And one in her pride elate —
For one is the mother of flesh and bone.
And one is the mother State.