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Full text of "In memoriam. Companion Robert Newton Adams, died at St. Paul, Minnesota, March 24, 1914"

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^t. Paul. Minneaota 

Harclj 24. 1914 


AUG 5 1914 

Robert N. Adams was born on a farm in Fay- 
ette County, Ohio, September 15th, 1835, and died 
at his home in the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, 
Marcli 24th, 1914, in his seventy-ninth year. 

He was the son of Albert and Nancy Coffey 
Adams and through them inherited that traditional 
firmness of purpose and uprightness of character 
inherent in the old Scotch Presbyterian stock. Until 
his twentieth year he resided with his parents as- 
sisting them in the care of the farm. During the 
winter months he attended the district school 
located near the old home. 

From 1856 to 1858 he attended the Greenfield 
Academy located at Greenfield, Ohio. In the fall of 
1858 he entered the freshman class at Miami Uni- 
versity, Oxford, Ohio, and at the close of his junior 
year was transformed in the twinkling of an eye 
from a student to a soldier. 

At the outbreak of the war Oxford was pre- 
eminently an educational town, there being located 
there the Miami University and three female semi- 
naries having in all an attendance of one thousand 
students. When the call to arms was sounded Rob- 
ern N. Adams was among the first to respond. With 
a number of his fellow students he joined the Uni- 
versity Rifles. This organization became Company 
B of the 20th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in 
which company Adams served as a private from 
April 18th until mustered out August 18th, 1861. 
On the 30th of August, 1861, he was commissioned 
captain of Company C, 81st Ohio Volunteer Infantry 
with which regiment his military services were 
closely identified until the close of the war. 

From September 1861 to March 1862, the Regi- 
ment served in the Department of Missouri under 
General Fremont and was transferred to the Army 
of the Tennessee in time to participate in the Battle 
of Shiloh, April 6th and 7th, 1862. 

The principal battles and operations in which 
General Adams participated were Shiloh, Corinth, 
Bear Creek, Ringold, Buzzard Roost Gap, Dalton, 
Lays Ferry, Resaca, Mariette, Kenesaw Mountain, 
Atlanta, Ezra Chapel, Jonesboro, — where he was 
wounded and his horse shot,^ — Love Joy Station, the 
March to the Sea, Siege of Savanah, Campaign of 
the Carolinas, Bentonville, Occupation of Golds- 
boro, Advance on Raleigh, March to Washington via 
Richmond, and the Grand Review. 

He was mustered out July 13, 1865, having 
served as private, captain, major, — but not mus- 
tered, — lieutenant-colonel, colonel and brevet Briga- 
dier-General for a period of four years and three 

At the Battle of Shiloh Captain Adams behaved 
with conspicuous gallantry, being in command of 
the regiment a part of the time fighting on three 
parts of the field and capturing a Confederate bat- 
tery where now stands a monument to the valor 
of his regiment. In the month of May following he 
was promoted to Major and Lieutenant-Colonel, 
both commissions dating from December 1st, 1861. 
August 8th, 1864, he was commissioned Colonel of 
his regiment and on the 13th of March 1865 was 
breveted Brigadier-General for "meritorious service 
during the war." 

On the March to the Sea he commanded the 
Second Brigade 4th Division, 15th Army Corps, and 
for some time prior thereto commanded the Second 
Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps. 

His military career was one of unbroken honor 
and distinction. At the time he entered the army 
he was in the prime of his young manhood. He was 
of fine appearance and soldierly carriage and was 
able, without serious interruption, to endure the 
hardsliips of active service for more than four 
>^ars. His moral character was a fitting comple- 

nient to his towering form and it is not probable 
that he had his superior in either army as to purity 
of purpose and devotion to duty. His courage stood 
the severest tests. It was not periodical or of the 
blustering type, but steadfast and securely anchored 
in a soul that trusted alike in the living God whether 
in the storm of battle or in the quiet of the sanc- 

At the close of the war General Adams entered 
upon the study of theology, a design which he had 
cherished before entering the war, and in 1869 
graduated from the Western Theological Seminary 
at Alleghany, Pa. For forty-five years he was a 
minister and home missionary in the Presbyterian 
Church of the United States of America. His ac- 
quaintance extended to all parts of the country, 
north, south, east and west. His pastorates were as 
follows : 

McArthur, Ohio, 1869-1872 
Ottawa, Kansas, 1872-1875 
Waverly, Ohio, 1876-1880 
F'ergus Falls, Minn. 1880-1886 

In 1886 he was appointed Superintendent of 
Home Missions work in connection with the Pres- 
byterian Churcli, which position he held for twenty 

In 1906 he was promoted to Field Secretary un- 
der the Home Mission Board, and assigned to the 
Northwestern district, comprising a number of the 
northwestern states including Minnesota. 

After five years service he w^as compelled by 
reason of illness and advanced age to resign this 
important office. He was, however, continued as 
Field Secretary Emeritus, and continued to render 
such services as his health and strength would per- 
mit. On the day of his death he was at his office 
as usual busily engaged in the preparation of an im- 

portant report connected with the work of the 
church, so he died in the harness, the summons 
coming without a moment's warning. To him, how- 
ever, no notice was necessary for whether in war 
or in peace he was always at his post of duty, pre- 
pared to Kve or die. 

No figure in the Presbyterian Church could bet- 
ter represent the idea of militant Christianity than 
Rev. Robert N. Adams, D. D., for during his long 
service as a leader of the Presbyterian Home Mis- 
sion forces in the Northwest he continued an un- 
ceasing campaign against all sorts of social evils 
and material discouragements. 

His promotion to Field Secretary by the Board 
of Home Missions after he had reached the age of 
seventy, to supervise the work in the Dakotas and 
Nebraska, as well as in his own state, was a de- 
served promotion on the field for gallantrj', and was 
riot less a merit- won honor than his promotions for 
gallantry as a soldier 

General Adams became a member of the Minne- 
sota Commandery of the Loyal Legion April 12th, 
1893. He held the office of Chaplain for 16 years, 
and was Commander from May 11th, 1897 to May 
10th, 1898. His entire official services as an officer 
in this Commandery covered a period of 17 years, 
which has never been equalled by any other member 
of the Commandery. He was a member of John \. 
Rawlins Post, Department of Minnesota, Grand 
Army of the Republic. 

He was married December 27th, 1866, at Athens, 
Ohio, to NelHe W. Whipple, who died in 1900. 

March 3rd, 1903, he married Mary C. Compton, 
a sister of the late Captain James Compton of the 
Commandery, who served on the staff of General 
Adams as Brigade Inspector. She survives him. 

Of the first marriage two daughters were born, 
Mrs. Mabel A. Ankeny and Mrs. Maude Waterman, 
who survive him; also a grandson, Adams Ankeny. 

This Commandery has numbered among its 
members many noble spirits, but none of finer mold 
and grain than General Robert N. Adams, and it is 
with a feeling of deep regret and profound personal 
sorrow that we pay this last tribute of love and re- 
spect to his memory. 

Your Committee respectfully asks that this me- 
morial be placed upon tlie records of this Command- 
ery and that a copy thereof, duly certified, be sent 
to the widow of our deceased companion, with as- 
surances of our deep sympathy for her and the sur- 
viving children in the sad bereavement that has 
come to them and to us. 



A true copy of the Original Memorial, adopted 
by a rising vote of the Commandery of the State of 
Minnesota Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the 
United States, at a stated meeting held April 14, 
1914, at the Ryan Hotel, St. Paul, Minn. 




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