RICHARD MARVIlN^ STRONG,
MEMBER OF THE ALBANY BAR,
Jibjtttant jof \\t rni\ Jvtjoitm^t, ^, |. Wwntms,
DIED AT BONNET CARRE, LA.,
MAY 12, 1863.
PUBLISHED IN PURSUANCE OP A RESOLUTION OP THE BAR
OP THE CITY OF ALBANY.
CHARLES VAN BENTHUYSEN
It is due to community, to perpetuate the memory of
those who well perform their part, as an example to others
after them. The life of Adjutant Strong presents a rare
example of excellence and usefulness.
Richard Marvin Strong was the second son of Anthony
M. and Sarah M. Strong, He Avas born in the city of
Albany, June the 10th, 1835, and died in the military
service of the United States, at Bonnet Carre, La,, May
the 12th, 1863.
He received the elements of his education at the Albany
Academy, which he entered at an early age, while it was
yet under the supervision of the late Dr. T, Romeyn Beck,
and remaining there during the succeeding administration
of Dr. William H. Campbell, and for a short time under
Prof. G, H. Cook.
When in 1851 Dr. Campbell resigned his charge in
Albany, Richard had made most valuable progress in his
academic course, and was nearly fitted for college. Few
connected with the Academy at that time will fail to
remember the class of young men, well advanced in
study — the senior class of the school — which the Doctor
had gathered under his especial care, and particularly
instructed in the classics and belles lettres. Undoubtedly
the instruction thus received by those young men, who
daily went before their principal with unfeigned alacrity,
and with the esteem and affection of children towards a
father," exerted an important influence upon their moral,
as well as their intellectual characters. Certain it is
that there is not an instance in which the subsequent life
of any member of the class has put to the blush its moral
training. Its majority are still reaping the earthly bene-
fit of its admirable discipline, and delight to recall its
pleasant associations. As a member of that class, Rich-
ard's standing was second to none. The impressions he
then received, and the habits then formed, partially fur-
nish the explanation of his remarkably pure and upright
life, and of the accuracy, industry and thoroughness which
distinguished him in all his relations.
In 1851, he received from the Academy for his profi-
ciency in mathematics, the Caldwell gold medal, and at
the same time his friend and companion, Charles Boyd,
received the Van Rensselaer classical medal. These
rewards of scholarship, were presented by the principal
(Dr. Campbell) at the anniversary exhibition with evident
pride and satisfaction. " These young gentlemen," said
he, as they stood before him on the stage, " have never
given me a moment's uneasiness throughout all their
academic course." They both entered the junior class, at
the college of New Jersey at Princeton, in 1852, and as
they had graduated from the preparatory school with the
highest honors, so they took at once the rank of the first
scholars in their class. They became members of the
same literary society, were room-mates together, and in
1854 graduated together ; the one pronouncing the vale-
dictory, the other the mathematical oration, the first and
third honors of a large and intelligent class. Charles
Boyd had early become a professor of religion, and devoted
himself to the study of theology ; his assiduity in study,
and his constant attendance upon self-imposed labors of a
charitable and educational nature, exhausted a physical
constitution not naturally strong, and he died at the early
age of twenty-one years, not having completed his course
at the seminary.
As a student Mr. Strong endeared himself to his class-
mates by his companionable and social qualities, as well
as won their admiration by his ability as a scholar. Prof.
vStephen Alexander, of Princeton College, says of him, in
a recent letter :
" He greatly distinguished himself by his attainments
in scholarship while a member of this institution. The
college records exhibit his final standing (at his gradua-
tion) to have been third in his large class, and within the
veriest fraction of the second position. Those who knew
his previous history as an academy boy, will not be sur-
prised to learn that the honorary oration assigned to him
was the mathematical. Of his unexceptionable conduct
and his kind and genial manners, I have still a lively re-
During his senior vacation he was invited by Prof. Al-
exander, who was acting in connection Avith a large com-
mittee of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, to accompany him to Ogdensburgh as an as-
sistant in an observation of the annular eclipse of the sun
in May, 1854, and accompanied him together with Mr.
William J. Gibson to assist in thoise important observa-
tions. Prof. Alexander in his report says :
" I was assisted in my observations by two of my former
pupils in the College of New Jersey, Messrs. William J.
Gibson and Richard M. Strong, both of Albany, N. Y.
Their presence with me, was not only a matter of sincere
personal gratification, but was important also, as Ave were
together enabled to note some phenomena which might
otherwise have escaped me, and they by their aid contri-
buted not a little to the accurate observation of those
which I might have noted if alone."
A single incident of the college life of Adj. Strong
will serve to illustrate the force and fearlessness of his
character even at that early age. He had been one of the
founders of the Kappa Alpha, a secret society in the col-
lege, and besides having a strong attachment for the society
itself, and for its individual members — an attachment
which lasted throughout his life — he had been an appli-
cant to existing chapters in other colleges for authority to
establish a branch at Princeton, and he felt in a measure
responsible for its success and prosperity. The faculty
had concluded to suppress the secret societies, and, among
others, Eichard Strong was summoned before the Presi-
dent to sign a pledge not to attend the meetings of any
such society, and to dissolve his connection therewith, so
long as he remained a member of the institution. He re-
plied substantially to the demand, that his obligations to
his society were contracted when there was nothing in the
college rules preventing him from assuming them, and that
the standing and reputation of its members were ample
proof of its harmlessness. He begged the President not
to insist upon that which he should be obliged to refuse,
and declared that greatly as he deprecated the conse-
quences, he should prefer rather to suffer them than com-
mit himself to such a pledge, A further interview was
appointed with him at an unspecified future time, and the
fact that he was not afterwards called upon to sever his
connection with the society, or to sign the pledge pro-
posed, shows the appreciation in which the worthy Presi-
dent of the college held the character of the young man
who preferred rather to suffer detriment to himself than
prove false to a trust confided to his care.
Though he had few superiors as a classical scholar, Mr.
Strong was naturally inclined to the study of mathematics,
and the natural sciences, and his early preferences were
towards those pursuits as a profession. At one time he
had determined to become a civil engineer, but though
his constitution could not be called feeble, he was led to
abandon this choice from a belief that it was not sufficiently
robust, to endure the hardships and exposures sometimes
attendant upon that mode of life. His next choice was the
law, and soon after leaving college he entered the office of
Reynolds, Cochrane & Reynolds in Albany, and became at
the same time a student of the law department of the Albany
University. He brought to the study a mind naturally
excellent, improved by careful training. He pursued his
studies with diligence, and the results were satisfactory to
himself and to his instructors, giving promise of useful-
ness and distinction in after life. His studies were inter-
rupted for several months which he passed in visiting
Europe, traveling in Great Britain and on the continent,
and resumed again on his return. In 1856 he was admitted
to the Bar. His connection through relatives with im-
portant mercantile interests in Albany, threw him at once
into practice, and his zeal and ability soon gained for him
an extensive business. About a year after his admission to
the Bar, he formed a partnership with Frederick Townsend,
now major of the 18th U. S. Infantry, and William A.
Jackson, afterwards colonel of the 18th regiment N. Y.
volunteers, now deceased, and upon the dissolution of the
firm by the withdrawal of those gentlemen to positions in
the service of the government, he became associated with
Mr. George L. Stedman, with whom he was connected in
business at the time of his decease. The firm of Stedman &
Strong having succeeded to the extensive business of the
firm of Shepard & Bancroft — Mr. Strong was enjoying
the emoluments of a handsome practice when he gave
his services to his country. His ability as a lawyer was
marked and decided. He was accurate in his conclusions,
and rapid in reaching them. He analyzed facts with tho-
roughness, and arranged them with method. His counsel
was clear and reliable. It was always the deliberate
conviction of his judgment after careful investigation
of the facts, and was often sought and followed in pre-
ference to that of others of longer standing in the profes-
sion. He presented an argument to the court with a
terseness, completeness and ingenuity which always
commanded attention. With the members of the Albany
Bar he was a general favorite, as he was among all who
knew him. Fond of social enjoyments, cultivated and inter-
esting in conversation, he was welcome everywhere, and
often gave himself to the social gatherings of the city.
As a companion and friend he was true and unselfish.
He was cordial with all, and where his affections were en-
listed, he was warm and enthusiastic. In countenance he
was genial and joyous, but there was an earnestness in
his expression as in his manner which was the index of
Mr. .Strong's professional career was varied by attention
to other interests of a more public character. He possessed
an activity of mind, and a readiness of perception and
execution which enabled him to attend faithfully and suc-
cessfully to numerous diverse matters without neglecting
his professional duties. His industry was remarkable.
He wasted no time, and it was surprising to see one so
young, so zealous and so constantly employed. In the
truest sense of the term he was public-spirited, not from
ostentation, but from love of well doing and natural energy
of disposition. He was connected with many important
enterprises in his native city, and the assurance that he
was actively engaged in any project was almost a guaranty
of its success.
Not long after the commencement of his professional
life, he became a member of the First Presbyterian Church
of Albany, Rev. Dr. John N. Campbell's. He was a faith-
ful, earnest and exemplary Christian, ever mindful of the
obligations of his religious profession, and living the life
of one whose actions were prompted and guided by the
purest faith. When the project of erecting a new Pres-
byterian church on State street, in Albany, was canvassed
among the members of his denomination, he entered
warmly into it and became a leading spirit in its accom-
plishment. In November, 1859, he became one of a com-
mittee of fiftieen appointed from the different Presbyterian
Churches of the city to carry forward the enterprise, and
afterwards secretary of the committee. Under his legal
counsel and conduct the church Avas incorporated, the land
was purchased, the edifice erected and the pulpit supplied.
In each step he not only performed his part as a lawyer
but as an enthusiastic lover of the work, and with a re-
fined taste and excellent judgment gave valuable advice
in the manner and economy of construction, and rendered
efficient services in the accumulation and management of
the funds. He was made a trustee of the church and re-
mained one until the time of his death. He entered the
Sunday school, taking charge of an important class of ad-
vanced scholars, composed of two classes which he had
previously instructed, every Sunday, and which showed
its confidence in its instructor by volunteering unanimously
in his regiment and going with him to the war. The com-
mittee to whose management this church enterprise was
given, threw the legal responsibility of the proceedings en-
tirely upon his shoulders. With characteristic energy he
entered into the law of the subject and in a few weeks had
at his command not only the statute law applicable, but its
sources and history. It was afterwards suggested to him
that a volume on the subject would have both a historic and
practical interest, and ho was urged to undertake its com-
pilation and is supposed to have had it in contemplation.
The rebellion of 1861 made hurried calls upon the time
and services of the efficient young men of the North. The
Albany Barracks were placed under the command of
Brigadier General John ¥. Rathbone. Mr, Strong was
then his aid-de-camp, and took an important part in orga-
nizing the regiments formed there. These barracks were
the rendezvous of thousands of volunteer recruits, Avho
came without discipline, without organization and utterly
unaccustomed to the rigor and restraints of camp life.
There were frequently at one time from four to five thou-
sand, and the position of aid was no sinecure. Mr. Strong
was not unequal to the task ; he had had military expe-
rience as a member of the Albany Burgesses Corps and
the Albany Zouave Cadets, and in those model organiza-
tions had become proficient in the drill of the company ;' —
he soon acquired the experience of a general officer.
When Gen. Rathbone was relieved of his command at the
barracks, Mr. Strong received the appointment on his staff"
of Judge Advocate of the 9th Brigade N. Y. National
Guard. His duties at the barracks ceased with the de-
parture of the troops for the field, and, the general govern-
ment having, as it was supposed, sufficient for its purposes,
he returned to the practice of his profession — impressed,
however, as he stated, with a sense of obligation to the
country, and a determination to give his services, should
the occasion seem to make a demand upon them. On the
organization of the 17 7th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers,
formerly the 10th Regiment National Guard of the State,
he accepted the laborious position of Adjutant, and turned
his attention, with his accustomed energy, to placing it
on a war footing. On the eve of departure, he addressed
the regiment, publicly congratulating the officers and men
upon their unwearied and at length successful efforts to
organize for the war. They left Albany in December, 1862,
with the " Banks expedition," landed at New Orleans, and
were thence sent to Bonnet Carre, La., an important post
on the Mississippi River, being one of the main defencies
of New Orleans. Large numbers of the unacclimated men
of the 17 7th were soon prostrated with diseases peculiar
to the country and to camp life ; and Adjutant Strong,
besides being the acknowledged friend of the individual
members of the regiment, became an unwearied attendant
upon the wants of the sick. His assistance was freely
bestowed on all sides, regardless of danger from infection
and the strain upon his strength. With a rare skill and a
joyous and genial manner peculiar to himself, he watched
with and assisted in the care of the sick, and administered
to the dying the consolations of that religion he had himself
experienced. His labors in this respect, while attending
punctiliously to the duties of his position, rendered him
liable through loss of strength to take the fever to which
he has fallen a victim. In a letter from Bonnet Carre,
written on the day after his death, full of tenderness and
affection, addressed to the fatlier of Adjutant Strong, Dr.
0. H, Young, assistant surgeon of the regiment, says:
" The tenderness of his heart and his unresting desire for
usefulness prompted him to visit the hospital often, in the
hope of adding to the welfare of the sick soldier, and
many will remember the kind solicitude which made him
their constant visitor, and the cheerful words which in-
fused new hope into their drooping spirits. Indeed, the
frequency with which Richard made these visits had more
than once attracted our attention, and creating some soli-
citude for his health had made it incumbent on us as medi-
cal officers to advise him not to spend too much time
among the sick and dying. ******
On Sunday, April 26, he and I sat together on a bench in
front of my tent, listening to divine service. * *
* * * Directly after these exercises he
complained of headache, and asked me for professional
advice, which was given, on condition that he immedi-
ately abandon all official duties Avhich rendered exposure
to the sun's heat necessary.
This headache spoken of by Dr. Young was the ap-
proach of the fever, which soon assumed a typhoid form,
and terminated his life. In speaking of his last sickness,
Dr. Young informed his parents that it was not attended
with physical pain. During his last moments his physical
prostration was too great to permit his articulating, but
his response to tlie question whether he desired to be re-
membered to his father and family at home, Avas audible
and intelligent. He answered, said Dr. Young, distinctly
"Yes," and a few moments after, with his brother's name
upon his lips, expired. His remains were encased in a
metallic coffin, and deposited in Greenwood Cemetery at
New Orleans, to await their conveyance to Albany.
Thus has another valuable life surrendered itself a vol-
untary offering to the institutions of our country, freely
given in the morning of usefulness, with bright promises
for the future unfulfilled. The misgivings as to his physi-
cal endurance, which in earlier years had swerved him from
the pursuits of the studies which he loved, had no power
to influence his action when he felt his services were valu-
able to the country, but he freely gave himself to the risks
of the field of battle, and the exposures of camp life, and
in doing so, none who knew him will say, he was other-
wise actuated, than by a sense of duty, and a desire to bo
of service to his country, in whose institutions he had an
unshaken faith. To that faith he has borne testimony with
the seal of his life — a life full of the brightest promise and
endeared to him by the tenderest family affections, and
throughout which, with all the opportunities and successes
which attended him, there is not one moment over which
his friends would desire to draw a veil. The memory of
his chaste and noble nature, like the lingering rays of the
setting sun, remains to soften the gloom his death has
caused, and is the assurance of a triumphant future.
Sweetly he sleeps the sleep of death among those,
"Qui fuerunt, sed nunc ad astra."
lr0^t^tHttg^ 0f t\xt giUanjj §at
At a meeting of the Albany Bar, convened in the
Mayor's Court Room, in the City Hall of Albany, to take
action regarding the death of Adjutant Richard M. Strong,
on motion of Mr. C. M. Jenkins, Mr. J. I. Werner was
called to the chair. On motion of Mr. J. B. Sturtevant,
Mr. William Lansing was appointed secretary.
On motion, the chair appointed the following commit-
tee on resolutions : Messrs. William A. Young, John C.
McClure, Hamilton Harris, J. Howard King, and George
Hon. John H. Reynolds then addressed the meeting as
One by one, and in rapid succession, those who for a
time travel with us on the highway of life, drop down and
are seen no more. At short intervals of time, some, that
we have known and who have in some sort been our asso-
ciates, disappear, and we know them no longer. At a
little greater interval, those with whom we have been
more intimate, fall by the way side, and then we pause a
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
moment and perhaps shed a few tears, and pass on, intent
only upon reaching the end of our own travels and a season
of repose which never comes. We find but little time to
linger beside those who falter, and less, to stand around
the graves of the fallen. As we move onward, at intervals
which seem to grow less and less in duration, we are
compelled to pause, from time to time, for the reason that
our most intimate associates can no longer keep us com-
pany, but leave us to continue our progress as best we
may. It is then that we tarry a little longer, and feel it
a duty to give some expression to our regret and regard.
We have met to day, to perform this duty, in respect to one
of our professional brethren who, under circumstances of
painful interest, has, in the very morning of life, left us
forever. It is not long since, that under like circum-
stances, we were assembled to pay the last tribute of re-
spect to the memory of another of our brethren, who in
obedience to the call of his country, left home and friends,
and wore out his life, in defence of the flag, which an
army of traitors seek to trample in the dust. And now,
after a little while, we meet again, to pay a like tribute of
regard to one of gentle nature and of high promise, who
more recently gave up the pursuits of an honorable pro-
fession, and severed the tenderest ties that bind our com-
mon humanity, to brave all the privations and dangers
that attend the patriotic citizen and soldier, who takes up
arms in defence of the insulted flag of his country. It is
18 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
fitting that this mournful event should not pass unnoticed
by those who were bound to him in the ties of professional
brotherhood, who knew him intimately, and loved him
well in life, and whose early death falls with crushing
weight upon so many hearts.
At the early age of twenty-eight, Richard M. Strong
died, far away from home and kindred. We knew but
little of his days of sickness and sufiering, or of the
last hours of his life, save that an unrelenting disease, in
an ungenial clime, wasted him away ; and in his last mo-
ments, his thoughts were turned to loved ones at home,
and his lips faintly murmured a brother's name ; and with
this last efi"ort of affection, his spirit passed to " God who
The story of his life is brief and simple. It is not
marked by uncommon incidents, which will attract the
attention of the great world. He did not live long enough
to achieve the high honors of the profession to which his
life was to have been devoted, and which his talents, his
industry, his manly and modest deportment, his spotless
character, his love of truth and justice, entitled those who
knew him best to predict for his career. So much of
professional life as he was permitted to pursue, gave
assurance that all which would have followed, could not
" Unbeseemed the promise of his spring."
He began the study of the law in an office with which
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
I was connected ; and I shall always remember him with
affection as a devoted, industrious, intelligent and faithful
student; full of hope, and earnest in the pursuit of all
that learning which marks the progress of a true lawyer,
and gives dignity to a noble profession. He brought to
that pursuit a mind capable of reaching a high rank
among men, who never fail to appreciate learning, to
reverence intellect, and to love and cherish all the higher
qualities which adorn human nature. His early training,
where his superiority had always been acknowledged,
fitted him to commence his professional career under cir-
cumstances more favorable to success than is common to
most who enter upon a pursuit where real merit is seldom
unrewarded, and where few ever attain a permanent posi-
tion without severe labor and solid acquirements. His
practice at the bar, although not of long duration or
extensive in its character, illustrated the qualities of mind
and heart which commanded the respect and regard of all
his brethren, and which, step by step, would have led him
to high honors.
In early life he was frail and delicate, and he was nur-
tured with tenderest affection. At school he was patient,
and diligent ; and not only won the regard of his associ-
ates, but attained a position of acknowledged merit; and
when his schoolboy and college days were over, he left
behind him the marks of a superior mind, and the remem-
20 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
brance of an exemplary character. To this, all his early
friends bear willing testimony. He sought our profession
as best adapted to his tastes and talents, and entered upon
it with all the enthusiasm of youth, and with all the hope
and confidence which youth and conscious talents inspire.
Surrounded by every comfort which wealth and affection
can give, stimulated by every motive of honorable ambi-
tion, he saw the future bright before him, and, with just
reliance upon himself, looked forward to a useful and an
honorable career in the profession of his choice. But an
imperiled country called him to other duties. He was
among the first, when the sound of conflict reached us, to
lay down the profession of the law, and assume the pro-
fession of arms ; and he has followed it with fidelity to
the same end to which we are all hastening. With the
brave men who have gone to the field of strife he sought
danger as a duty; and, if opportunity had presented, he
would have proved himself as brave in battle as he was
patient and submissive when disease wasted his life away.
He was a Christian gentleman and a Christian soldier.
He followed, with unfaltering trust, the path of duty to
his God, to his country, to his kindred and his friends.
He leaves no enemy behind him. All who knew him
loved him ; for his nature was gentle and genial. He was
firm in honest purposes, quick to discern and defend the
right, and incapable of wrong. When such men die,
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
early or late in life, there is a melancholy pleasure in
bearing testimony to what they were ; and to do so is a
sacred duty to the living and the dead.
The circumstances under which our deceased brother
closed his brief but honorable career, are peculiarly painful
and impressive, although death now meets us in so many
startling forms that we scarcely notice it until it comes
very near. The stories of blood and battle, of suffering
and death, are daily brought to our view, and yet scarcely
arrest our attention. "We look with interest to scenes of
conflict and carnage, where brave men struggle and die
amid the roar of cannon and the shouts of victory, but
scarcely remember the unhappy patriots who, in a distant
clime, struggle Avith relentless disease, and who, upon
beds of suffering, turn once more to their early homes
and kindred in all the agony of loneliness and desolation.
They are far beyond all those consolations which attend
the dying when surrounded by the endearments of home.
Death is always a merciless visitor ; but to one suffering
amid strangers, in a strange land, becomes robed in his
most ghastly form — terrible to the victim, and agonizing
to those who are nearest and dearest to him. We cannot
turn aside the veil that hides the grief of the afflicted
household in which our lamented brother grew up to
manhood. The father's, the mother's, the brother's and
the sister's agony is all their own. We may sympathize,
but can not alleviate. We may speak a word of kindness,
22 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
and drop a tear of sympathy, but we only add our sorrow
to theirs. God grant that this household, and the many
others that have, in these unhappy days, suffered a like
bereavement, may find consolation from the only source
that can give lasting comfort to the afflicted.
And let us who here grieve over the early dead, be ever
mindful of the admonitions which these mournful occa-
sions give us. Death meets us in all forms, in all condi-
tions of age and station, and on all occasions.
" Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither in the north wind's breath,
And stars to set; but all —
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, oh Death!"
Hon. Lyman Tremain spoke as follows :
I am well aware, Mr. Chairman, how feeble and inade-
quate our language is to give expression to the emotions
of warm sympathy, and profound grief, which pervade the
hearts of all those who had the honor to be ranked among
the friends of Richard M. Strong. Knowing him well, as
I did in life, I should have been lamentably deficient in
sagacity and discrimination, if I had failed to discover,
and to appreciate, his intrinsic merits and exalted worth.
And now that he is dead ; now that he has fallen in the
service of his country, I should prove false to the prompt-
ings of my heart, if I remained silent on this mournful
It is natural and proper at such a time, to speak in
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terms of praise of the departed. Sometimes, we know,
the language employed is exaggerated or undeserved.
On the present occasion, however, I speak the sentiments
of all who knew our lamented professional brother, when
I say, that no eulogium upon his probity, his truthfulness,
his generosity, and in short, upon all those noble and
manly traits of character that endear a man to his family
and his friends, can be pronounced, which shall seem ful-
some or overdrawn.
Mr. Strong belonged in the company of my junior pro-
fessional brethren. Although I never had the pleasure of
what may be called an intimate personal acquaintance
with him, yet I knew him very well, and upon my first
acquaintance with him, his bearing and deportment at-
tracted my attention. While it was no part of his ambi-
tion to win applause by the brilliancy of his efforts, yet he
always appeared to good advantage. He was entitled to,
and he received, the universal respect of the Court and of
his brethren at the Bar. Amiable in the highest degree, I
do not believe that he had an enemy on earth. If we had
been required to select by ballot, that young lawyer in the
city of Albany, who combined more than any other, the
virtues that make up the character of the cultivated Chris-
tian gentleman, I think I hazard little in saying that the
choice would have fallen, with great unanimity, upon
Richard M. Strong.
Our deceased brother was full of good humor and kind
24 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
feeling. He had a keen relish for the society of his
friends, and for the social attractions by which he was
surrounded. But with all this, he retained the artless
simplicity of a child. His was one of those rare characters
which, instead of losing the freshness of youth, or becom-
ing contaminated as years roll on, would continue, if
possible, to grow brighter, purer and nobler, with the
progress of time.
The closing chapters in his young life were entirely
consonant with his previous history, and precisely what
we had a right to expect. What a glorious exhibition of
exalted and self-denying patriotism is furnished by his
How bright is his example ! Look at his career for a
He had graduated at Princeton College with as complete
an education as his country could furnish. He had gone
through with his preparatory studies, and been admitted
to the Bar. He had commenced the practice of the law
under most auspicious circumstances. He was surrounded
by troops of warm and devoted friends, but he felt con-
strained by a stern sense of duty to abandon all these pre-
cious privileges, and to respond to the call of his country.
He could not remain at home, while his country was appeal-
ing to her sons to come to the rescue. He saw his belov-
ed country struggling with a band of robbers for its life,
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
and like a true and faithful son, he said I am in duty
bound to assist in this contest.
With a constitution that had never been hardened by
exposure and toil, he did not shrink from encountering
the perils of a southern climate and the dangers of the
field. Volunteering with the 10th regiment, he became
its adjutant, accompanied it to Louisiana, and fell, a
victim to southern fever, and the exposures of camp life.
Jackson and Strong were but yesterday a promising
firm of young lawyers in our city. Both were talented,
cultivated and promising young men. Both have offered
up their lives upon the altar of their country.
The death of Richard M. Strong is a severe loss. It is
a great loss to his family, a loss to his friends, a loss to
the public, and a special loss to our profession. We can
illy afford to lose so bright an ornament from our number.
His place cannot be supplied.
But Ave can, and we will, honor and cherish his memory
in our inmost heart. His name will occupy one of the
brightest pages in the history of those noble martyrs who
have fallen in the war. We will remember him as one
wdio was willing to devote his time, his talents, his pro-
fessional prospects, and his life to the service of his coun-
Let it be ours to vindicate his name and fame, respect
and honor his memory, imitate his virtue, and if need be
follow his example.
26 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
Mr. Rufus W. Peckham, Jr., said :
Mr. Chairman :
A noble heart has ceased to beat. Called by a sum-
mons which we shall all obey, Richard M. Strong has
departed from the company of living men. I desire upon
this sad occasion to pay the heartfelt tribute of a friend
to the memory of him whose early death we this day
mourn. Growing up with the deceased in terms of inti-
mate friendship, I take a melancholy pleasure in bearing
testimony to his many virtues. I knew him well, and his
warm heart, his generous disposition, his noble character
won from me, as from all who knew him, unqualified admi-
ration and respect. Upright in all his acts, straightfor-
ward and manly in his bearing, his word when given,
might be implicitly relied upon. Genial and affable in
social intercourse, he was the life of that home which is
now made desolate by his death.
He graduated at Princeton College, where he left a
name beloved and respected by all who knew him. After
leaving college, he traveled for some time in Europe,
enlarging and enriching his mind from the varied stores
which the cities of the old world throw open to the intel-
ligent traveler. Returning to this city, he, in 1854, com-
menced the study of the law in the office of Mr. Reynolds,
and upon his admission to the bar, entered upon the active
practice of his profession.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
During the comparatively short period of his business
life among us, how much did he accomplish ! By the
purity of his life, his strict, unbending integrity, and the
modest and uniform courtesy of his manners, he merited
and received from the community where he resided, its
unmingled respect and its unlimited confidence, and we
who knew him wxll, recognized in him God's noblest work,
an honest man.
Possessing a mind far above the average, aided by
untiring energy and unremitting industry, there seemed
nothing to obstruct him in the attainment of a high and
honorable position in the ranks of his chosen profession.
It seemed but natural to suppose that a bright and glori-
ous noon would follow so promising a morning. But that
noon was never reached. The angel of death called him,
he obeyed the call, and he now " rests from his labors."
In his death, the younger members of this bar have lost a
cherished companion and a true friend, and his memory
will be endeared to them by the recollection of pleasant
hours passed in his company. Under these circumstances
it seems appropriate to meet here and testify, by this last
act of respect, how much we mourn his early decease.
When the rebellion broke out he was engaged in practice
with the late Col. William A. Jackson, and the firm of
Jackson & Strong has been dissolved by the death of both
its members in the cause of our country.
When the government first called for troops. General
28 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
Rathbone was appointed to the command of the Albany
depot, and Strong, being a member of his staff, was called
upon to devote his whole time and energies to the work
of organizing the special department given him in charge,
and he soon succeeded in establishing order and regularity
therein. During this period, in his intercourse with the
numerous officers congregated here, he displayed the same
courtesy of demeanor, the same aptitude for business
which always characterized him, and many officers will
hear with pain and regret of the decease of one whom in
their short intercourse with him, they had learned to
admire and respect.
When the Albany depot had sent forward to the field
all the troops then asked for. Strong returned to his pro-
fession, ready at a moment's notice to obey any call his
country might make. When the 10th regiment was ac-
cepted, believing his duty called him to the field, he
sought for and obtained the post of Adjutant, and the
officers of the regiment will fully bear me out when I say,
that he devoted his Avhole energies to its proper and
speedy equipment for active service. Untiring in his
efforts to promote its strength and efficiency, ever mindful
of the welfare and comfort of his men, never shirking a
duty, quick and ready to comprehend military matters,
cool, collected and brave, he became the general favorite,
and showed himself an accomplished and gallant officer.
With a growing practice, surrounded by a large circle
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR. 29
of relations and warm personal friends, in the possession
of almost everything that renders life attractive and
beautiful, he has sacrificed all for his country.
No man ever went forth with purer motives, with less
of ambitious dreams animating his soul, than he who now
lies dead, covered with the earth of a distant land. It
was the genuine love of country which sent him to the
contest. No boyish ebullition of enthusiasm governed
him, no thirst for military glory prompted him, fancy held
up to his imagination no gorgeous and glorious scenes to
conceal the stern realities, which with the calm judgment
of a man he decided to brave. No ! he went forth strong
in the belief of the justice of the cause, firm in his deter-
mination to do all that should become a man, and with a
single reliance and pure faith in an overruling Providence
he calmly committed his life to its keeping.
Thus he went forth= We all remember how a few
months ago our streets echoed to the tread of armed men,
and there he was among them. Death has been busy with
them since. Although not as yet engaged in battle, the
ranks of the 10th are thinned, and many of its members
now sleep the sleep that knows no waking.
He of whom Ave speak, "has testified his love for his
country, his respect and reverence for her institutions, by
offering up his own young life, a willing sacrifice for their
preservation. " Greater love hath no man than this."
He has added another name bright and stainless, to the
30 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
long roll of patriot heroes and martyrs whose life blood
has flowed for the cause of American unity, and his me-
mory will live in the grateful hearts of affectionate friends.
He died not as a soldier would prefer to die, on the
field of battle, amid the smoke and flashes of artillery, the
shouts of contending armies and the roar of musketry,
listening as death steals over him for the glorious shouts
of victory. No ! it was in the camp, stretched upon a bed
of sickness, with burning fever upon him, far away from
the land of his birth, from all the comforts and affection
of a home which he ornamented and brightened, sur-
rounded by the stern realities of war, that his manly spirit
passed away, and he fell asleep under the protecting
shadow of that flag which he loved so well. Calmly and
peacefully, amid such scenes, he died,
" Like one who wraps the
Drapery of his couch around him,
And lies down to pleasant dreams."
Early in life he received the sweet consolations of a
strong religious faith. Religion covered him as with a
mantle ; it pervaded the entire man, ennobling and eleva-
ting his every action. Pure was he in his life;, trustful,
with an abiding faith, at his death ; and, living and dying,
he exemplified and embodied all our conceptions of a
We admired his mental qualities, we loved his generous
and warm heart ; and we now do reverence to the spotless
purity of his private character.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
111 the death of such a man, we do not feel as if we had
altogether lost him. His example will live, shining
brightly, as time in his onward march carries lis far from
the scenes of to-day ; and now, while listening sadly to
the decree — " Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, earth to earth,"
in the firm belief that his sleep will be calm, and his
awakening glorious, we bow in humble submission before
the throne of Him who doeth all things well.
Mr. Young, from the committee on resolutions, reported
Another member of the Albany County Bar has died in
the military service of the country. Richard Marvin
Strong, a gentleman of much professional ability, of ami-
able manners and strict integrity, beloved by his compan-
ions in arms, and by all who were associated with him in
the pursuits of civil life, in the flower of his age, has gone
from among us forever. His worth as a citizen and a law-
yer, his valor and patriotism, have consecrated his name
and his memory in the hearts of his brothers of the Bar.
In view of this mournful dispensation.
Resolved, That while contemplating with admiration
and pride the example furnished by the deceased, of con-
scientious devotion to the Union and the supremacy of the
laws, we deeply lament the too early death of one whose
cultivated mind and pure character gave promise of so
much usefulness and distinction. His intercourse with
32 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
his brethren of the Bar was marked, at all times, by kind-
ness and courtesy. Amonj^ his fellow-citizens, his daily
life was eminent for that uprightness and manly bearing
which are the outward manifestations of a heart imbued
with the principles of justice and right. His literary at-
tainments and scholarlike tastes were the graceful and fit-
ting ornaments of his virtues. Knowing the magnitude of
the sacrifices at which he entered upon the career of arms,
we venerate the heroism and constancy of one who was
capable, when his country demanded his services, of ex-
changing the delights of a home, where he had ever been
an object of the tenderest afiection, the charms of study
and the rewards of professional industry, for the hardships,
the perils and the sufferings of the camp and the field.
Resolved, That we tender to the parents and friends of
the deceased our hearfelt sympathies in the afiliction
which this melancholy event has brought upon them ; and
that we invoke in their behalf the consolations which ena-
bled our departed brother to meet death with Christian
fortitude and resignation.
Resolved, That these resolutions be published in the
newspapers of the city, and that a copy, signed by the
officers of this meeting, be presented to the family of the
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
Hon. Deodatus Wright said :
Mr. Chairman :
Before the vote is taken on the resolutions which have
just been read, I desire to express my hearty concurrence
in all that has been said by the speakers who have pre-
ceded me, and to whom we have listened with the deepest
interest, while they have uttered their feeling and eloquent
tributes of esteem and respect for him whose early loss we
have met to deplore, and whose manly and heroic qualities
we have assembled to commemorate. The deceased was
one of the younger members of the junior class of our Bar,
It was therefore eminently fit and proper, that the younger
and middle-aged members of our profession, should first
give expression to the emotions and sentiments which
the occasion could not fail to inspire. But Richard M.
Strong possessed qualities of too marked and manly a char-
acter, not to arrest the attention and secure the respect of
all his professional brethren, without regard to class or age.
In the language of one of the gentlemen who has spoken,
I too can say, that I was not intimately acquainted with
the deceased, and yet I knew him sufficiently well to
affirm, that I entertained for him a regard as high, and an
esteem as sincere, as I entertained for any professional
brother between whom and myself there existed so great
a disparity in years. And I can truly say, that no death
which has occurred in the ranks of those who have gone
forth from our own Bar, to serve their country in this try-
34 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
ing hour, has produced in my mind, emotions of deeper
sadness, or more profound regret. It is therefore very gra-
tifying to me to see so large a number of his professional
brethren assembled here to-day, to honor his memory.
But a few short months have elapsed since he was
engaged in a professional career, surrounded by circum-
stances as flattering, and prospects as bright, as those
which attended any young lawyer in this city. While
thus engaged, he saw his country suddenly plunged from
a state of peace and prosperity, into one of the most
formidable and deadly civil conflicts the world has ever
witnessed. He saw that our free, glorious institutions,
hitherto the pride and boast of our own land, and the
hope of the lovers of freedom throughout the world, were
involved in the great issue. He fully appreciated the
magnitude of the contest, and knew that strong arms, and
loyal hearts, could alone avert the fearful calamities which
threatened his country. With these he was liberally
endowed, and these he dedicated to his country's service.
A career so bright, so full of promise in its commence-
ment, so unselfish and patriotic in its progress, has been
suddenly terminated by death. Although cut down in
the very morning and flower of life, just as he had entered
into early nuinhood, we can not mourn for him as for one
who has lived in vain. No man has lived a short life,
who has faithfully and heroically performed all the duties
which devolved on him while he lived. Measuring the
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR. 35
years of our deceased brother by this standard, it will be
found that his span of life exceeds that of many who have
lived longer, and exhibited fewer evidences of exalted
manhood. This war has made sad ravages among our
professional brethren. This is the third time that we
have been called upon to mourn the loss of a member of
our own Bar. Jackson, Hill, and Strong, all young
men, all in the flush of early manhood, all occupying high
social positions, and all enjoying a full measure of public
esteem, have offered up their lives upon their country's
altar, for their country's salvation. Many, very many
others in this city, from all occupations and all pursuits,
have done likewise.
Albany may well feel proud of the patriotic and heroic
band of martyrs who have yielded up their lives for their
country. I doubt whether any other city in the loyal
States, in proportion to its population, can present a longer
or brighter catalogue of brave and heroic spirits who have
perished in this conflict. This war has not only brought
death into many a family in this city ; every city, every
villaga, town and hamlet throughout our land, has been
sadly afflicted. Indeed but few dwellings have escaped
the desolation and woe which the deaths, caused by this
unnatural war, have brought to almost every household.
In view of these sad bereavements, these sore afilictions,
the reflection has forced itself upon my mind since I en-
tered this hall, how imj)ortant, how imperative it is, for
36 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
every man under the solemn responsibilities which he
owes to his God, and to his fellow man, to be definitely,
and clearly persuaded in his own mind, whether the con-
flict in which we are engaged is, or is not, on our part,
holy and just. If it be not just, then we are bound by
the most weighty and sacred obligations that can address
themselves to a Christian and moral people, to use all
legitimate means within our power to arrest its further
progress, to put an end to this deadly, desolating strife.
If, on the other hand, we agree with those who believe
our quarrel just, and who, like him whom we have met
to-day to honor, have given their lives in testimony of the
deep sincerity of their convictions, we are under obliga-
tions equally weighty, and equally solemn, to do all within
our power to bring this unnatural contest to a speedy and
Gen. John Meredith Read, Jr., said:
I should do great injustice to my feelings if I suffered
this occasion to pass without paying my tribute to the mem-
ory of a man for whom I entertained the highest respect.
My acquaintance with Lieut. Strong was slight. But
no one could meet him, even casually, without being im-
pressed by his activity of mind, his integrity of purpose.
It Avas my good fortune, in an official capacity, to witness
the zealous alacrity with which, at the commencement of
the war, he entered upon his duties as a member of Gen.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
Rathbone's staff — and I hazard nothing in saying that his
energy, his perseverance, his executive ability, were felt
and acknoAvledged by all with whom he had official re-
The reputation which he then acquired for thorough
soldierly accomplishments, has never forsaken him.
It seems but a few short months since we were assem-
bled here to pay our last offices of affection and respect, as
a profession, to the friend and partner of our lamented
brother. Little did we think, when Ave uttered words of
sorrow for the departure of William A. Jackson, that we
should so soon be called to mourn the decease of Richard
M. Strong. Little did we imagine that he, who was then
in the full vigor of manhood, would be summoned at so
early a day, to lay doAvn his life as a sacrifice on the altar
of his country.
Relinquishing the luxuries of home, the endearments of
friends, our late associate went forth, in the flush of youth,
with lofty purpose and Christian fortitude, to do battle in
defence of our common country.
Like his comrade, he has fallen by the dread hand of
disease, but Avith his face to the foe — and another martyr
is added to the holy cause of liberty.
38 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
Mr. Orlando Meads said :
Mr. Chairman :
If I may be allowed the privilege, I would add a few
words to those which have already been so well and fit-
tingly spoken in regard to our deceased young friend. It
so happened, that I saw a good deal of him at an early
period of his life. During his school days at the Albany
Academy, and subsequently during a part of his collegiate
course at Princeton College, he was an intimate friend and
companion of my own, now deceased son ; and in this
way, and also in the course of my duties as a trustee of
the Academy, I saw much of him, and came to know him
well. No boy had in a higher degree the confidence and
respect both of his teachers and his companions. He was
intelligent, exact and conscientious in the performance of
every duty, and most amiable, unselfish and faithful in
his intercourse with his friends. In a class of boys, than
which a better never passed through the Albany Academy
— and that I know is saying much — he was one of the
best scholars. He was an accurate and thorough classical
scholar ; but he especially distinguished himself in mathe-
matics, for his proficiency in which he received the
Caldwell medal, given always to the best mathematical
As he was at school, so was lie also at college, where
he maintained the same high character lie had held at the
Academy. The same fine qualities marked him still, as
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
indeed they continued to mark him through life ; the
same good sense, the same high principle, the same regu-
larity and exactness in his habits, the same kind-hearted-
ness, steadfastness and truth.
On leaving college, he entered upon the study of the
law. He brought to it a sound, well balanced and well
disciplined mind, liberal attainments, good habits, and
high moral qualities. With these, he could not well fail
to succeed ; and we can all bear witness, that no young
man among us had in a higher degree the esteem and
confidence both of his professional brethren and of the
community in which he lived.
But the same conscientious sense of duty which had
marked him from his boyhood, led him to yield himself
to the call of his country in this its time of need and
peril. The fact that his friend and late partner, Col. "Wm.
A. Jackson, had recently fallen a victim to his labors and
exposures in the camp and in the field, so far from deter-
ring him from giving himself to the same cause, seemed to
him but an additional reason why he should do so. With
everything to make home attractive, he did not hesitate
to give himself to duties which he regarded as paramount
and imperative. How well and faithfully he fulfilled his
arduous duties as the Adjutant of his regiment, both here
and at its southern post of duty, we all know. In this
honorable and devoted course of service, far from his home
and friends, he, too, has yielded up his life. But it is for
40 PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALBANY BAR.
ourselves and not for him that we should mourn. His
life, from the outset, has been an unbroken round of
duties well performed. It may seem short, but not incom-
plete ; for, in the words of the Book of Wisdom, " He
being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time."
"For honorable age — says the same book — is not that
which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by
the number of years ; but wisdom is the gray hair unto
men, and an unspotted life is old age ! "
The resolutions were thereupon adopted.
On motion, the following committee was appointed b}^
the Chair to prepare and publish a memorial of the de-
ceased : Abraham Lansing, G. L. Stedman, E. J. Miller,
J. C. Cook, J. J. Olcott, A. V. DeWitt, S. Wood, R. W.
Peckham, Jr., and S. Hand.
Pe^alttti0tt^ and f romiling^ ot f uMi^
At a special meeting of the trustees of the State Street
Presbyterian Church of Albany, held June 3d, 1863, the
following memorial was ordered to be entered upon the
"Died — May 12, 1863, at Camp Bonnet Carre, near New
Orleans, of typhoid fever, Richard M. Strong, Adjutant of
the 177th Regiment N. Y. S. Volunteers, in the 28th year
of his age."
The Board of Trustees of the State Street Presbyterian
Church, assembled in view of this sad event, desire to
place upon record their heartfelt sorrow at the death of
1. Called away in the bloom of his manhood — with rare
powers of mind and heart devoted to the service of his
God and his country — with prospects of immediate and
future honorable usefulness clustering about him — with
the hopes of soldiers in the camp and friends at home
centering in him — with the love of kindred and friends
42 PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC BODIES.
clinging to him ; — we can not refrain, because of the loss
to ourselves and others, from mourning for him.
2. Remembering all that he was, and all that he had
already done in his sliort life, that he was an accomplished
scholar, a sound and successful lawyer, an ornament of
social life, and efficient and idolized officer of his regiment,
a conscientious, noble and active Christian gentleman;
and especially remembering, as it becomes us to do, his
prudent and efficient agency in the organization and man-
agement of this Church, — we shall cherish his memory
with gratitude, pride and tender affection.
3. Remembering how in this war for our country's in-
tegrity, he was Avilling to sacrifice his interests at home —
and with no blind and thoughtless rashness, but with calm
and deliberate foresight, to put his life in peril — how
earnestly he labored, in the face of every discouragement,
for the organization and outfit of his regiment, how pa-
tiently and efficiently he has since devoted himself to its
care and management, and how he has been rewarded
with the affijctionate admiration and gratitude of his sol-
diers, — we hesitate not to name him among the honored
and lamented dead of this rebellion.
4. To his afflicted father and mother and other relatives
we tender our deepest sympathy. God have mercy upon
them, and comfort them in this bereavement. To them,
as to us, it will be sweet — it will be a consolation to re-
call his noble and upright character, his countless deeds
PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC BODIES.
of kindness, his patriotic sacrifice, bis unspotted reputa-
tion as a citizen and a soldier, and his Christian life and
ROBERT L. JOHNSON, President.
John C. McClure, Secretary.
At a special meeting of the Alpha Sigma Society held
June 3d, 1863, the following preamble and resolutions
were adopted :
Whereas, God in his infinite wisdom has taken from
this world, our brother Richard M. Strong, President of
this Society, and has pronounced his work finished, when
to us it seemed that his career of usefulness had but just
commenced ; and
Whereas, This Society has lost one of its most active
members, and each of us, as members, a most cherished
and loving friend ; therefore
Resolved, That while we deeply feel this heavy afilic-
tion, we the companions of his boyhood are rejoiced to
bear witness to his consistent life, his high moral purpose,
his virtue, honor and integrity ; to his untiring industry,
his great natural and acquired attainments ; to his un-
wearied perseverance which overcame all obstacles, and to
that nobleness of character and geniality of disposition
which caused his friends to love him and all to respect
Resolved, That while we deplore his early death, we
are thankful for the example of his life ; a life filled with
44 PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC BODIES.
the grandest purposes and animated with the highest mo-
tives; a life true to himself, his country and his God; the
noble record of which, even as we but partially know it,
shows that he has not lived in vain.
Resolved, That we tender to his family our most heart-
felt sympathies, praying that God, in his mercy, may
show them the silver lining to the dark cloud which now
overshadows them, and transfer their thoughts from their
loss to his everlasting gain.
ERNEST J. MILLER, Vice-President.
R. V. De Witt, Recording Secretary.
At a meeting of the Albany Zouave Cadets, held June
5th, 1863, the following preamble and resolutions were
Whereas, We have heard, with the deepest sorrow, of the
death of Adjt. R. M. Strong, of the l77th Regiment, N.
Y. S. v., a member of our company, and one of our most
estimable citizens ; therefore.
Resolved, That while we bow submissively to the ordi-
nation of Providence, by which one of our most active and
efficient members has been taken from us, we desire to
bear testimony to the zeal and fidelity with which he ever
discharged his duties as a member of this company.
Resolved, That, although we mourn his death with un-
affected sorrow, and while we feel that the loss of one so
intimately identified with us in the organization of this
PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC BODIES.
Company is irreparable, still we rejoice to know that he
fell at the post of duty in the cause of our beloved and
suffering country ; and that having thus freely yielded up
his life in the bloom and strength of manhood in a cause
80 holy, we shall ever cherish his memory with just pride
Resolved, That in the sacrifices he made in his relin-
quishment of business, and the comforts of a home in
which he was beloved, and of society in which he was
honored, in his willingness to accept the perils and hard-
ships incident to the life of a soldier, he has bequeathed to
us a bright example of lofty patriotism and unselfish devo-
tion to duty.
Resolved, That to his afflicted parents, to his sorrowing
friends, and to the l77th Regiment, in which he was uni-
versally beloved, we extend our warmest sympathy ; and
that a copy of these resolutions be sent to his parents, to
his regiment, and also that they be published in the papers
of this city.
A. C. JUDSON, Chairman.
D. S. Benton, Secretary.
46 PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC BODIES.
The following Memorial was adopted at a meeting of
the officers of the l77th Regiment N. Y. S. Y., on the
return of the regiment to Albany, September, 1863 :
The Almighty Ruler of events saw fit to call from earth
our dear companion in arms, Lieutenant Richard M. Strong,
Adjutant of this regiment. An all-wiee Providence has
given rest to the noble labors, and termination to the
patriotic purposes, of one whose true hand and earnest
spirit were pledged to the sacred cause of his country's
integrity. Far from home, and in an unkindly clime, our
brother soldier looked for the last time upon that flag in
defence of which his eyes are now closed forever.
In the death of this young officer the loss to the regi-
ment has been irreparable. Gifted with a mind of no
ordinary capacity, and possessing an intellect eminently
fitted both to organize and to control, Lieutenant Strong
developed, in his brief military career, an aptness and
talent for the profession of arms rarely surpassed by those
who have spent long years in military study and service.
Prompt, energetic, reliable, he performed the duties of
his responsible position with an efficiency and thorough-
ness that were alike a cause of pride and honor to his
regiment, a theme of congratulation to his friends, and a
source of merited distinction to himself.
PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC BODIES.
Nor was it as a tactician and disciplinarian that Lieut.
Strong displayed the briglitest elements of his character.
The Adjutant of the 177th regiment Avas a firm and
thoughtful believer in the precepts of Christianity. Supe-
rior to the many evil influences that beset the soldier's
path, the high example of his life, sincere and devoid of
ostentation, will long be remembered by the many who
saw and profited by it. The soldiers of his regiment
regarded him gratefully as their friend and benefactor ;
one who sympathized in and shared the hardships and
privations of their lives, and who, through act and pre-
cept, offered the highest encouragement to a proper per-
formance of their duties. In him the sick found a cheer-
ing friend and comforting visitor ; and, kneeling by the
bedside of the dying, his prayers besought the merciful
grace of Him,
" Who giveth liis beloved, sleep."
Courteous in manner, soldierly in bearing, gallant,
educated, accomplished. Lieutenant Richard M. Strong
won, unconsciously, the hearts and friendship of the offi-
cers and men who now mourn his loss. Prompted by
a noble desire to serve his country in the field, he left
business, friends, home, and all the dear associations
amidst' which his youth had been passed, and directed his
energies and talents towards organizing and perfecting
the regiment of which he was so bright an ornament. No
labor seemed too difficult, no time inopportune, no sacrifice
48 PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC BODIES.
too great for him, wliile proving his devotion to the direct
course of a soldier's duty. It was while in the discharge
of the latter that he contracted the illness that terminated
only with his life. Had it been his lot to have fallen,
sword in hand, upon the field of battle, he could not have
lived more bravely, or died a nobler death.
In view, therefore, of all that we admiringly knew and
lovingly remember of our departed friend, it is
Bei^olved, That in the death of Lieut. Richard M. Strong, Adju-
tant of the nUh Reg-iment N. Y. S. Volunteers, the soldiers of
the regiment have lost a sincere friejid, the officers a companion
and comrade of surpassing worth, and our government an accom-
plislied, brave and most valuable supporter.
Resolved, That in his decease, an officer and a gcntleinan, —
a Christian officer and gentleman, — has laid down his life and
his sword in the high-toned, unswerving, self-sacrificing dis-
charge of duty to his God and his country.
Besolved, That we devoutly trust and believe that our departed
friend was prepared, through his life and faith, to meet the great
change from time to eternity ; and while we sympathize with
his afflicted friends, and with them mourn his absence here, we
find consolation in the thought that
" Our temporal loss is his eternal gain."
Resolved, That a copy of this expression of our feeling, as
individuals and as a regiment, be transmitted to the family of
the deceased ; and that a copy be also preserved with the
archives of the Htth Regiment N. Y. S. Volunteers.
CoL. IRA W. AINSWORTH, Chairman.
Capt. L. U. Lexnox, Secretary.
®l(« iumpktd Christian ^xft.
ADJT. EICHARD M. STRONG,
177th REGT. N. Y. S. V.
WHO DIED AT BONNET CARRE. LA.,
MAY 12, 1863.
PREACHED IN THE STATE STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH,
ALBANY, N. Y.
By Rev. A. S.' TWOMBLY,
JirN:E3 7, 1863.
J. MUNSELL, 78 STATE STREET.
Neither count I my life dear unto myself, so t/iat I
might finish my course with joy : ACTS xx, 24.
There is always, in the true Christian's heart, a
desire that his earthly life may continue, until its
complete work be done ; until the mortal stage of
the soul become a finished unity.
This was Paul's idea, as given in the text. His
mind had long ago passed by the bitterness of death.
He was ready to be offered, when his time should
come; but his whole nature, made to harmonize by
long culture with the completeness of God's plans,
clung to its wish for the full development of its
earthly career, whether that should be accomplished
by lengthening out his life in suffering, or closing it
by a speedy death. Paul counted dear both life and
death, only as by living or by dying, he might com-
plete his earthly course with joy.
Thus did his exquisite appreciation of God's provi-
dential order, blend with a Christian willingness to
live or die at God's command.
And my Christian friends, there can be no truer
standard than this, by which to regulate our wishes
in regard to the duration of our own mortal life, and
the life of those we love.
When the true cycle of mortality is complete in all
its parts ; when there has come the rounding out of
the career on earth, then with the Apostle, we ought
not to be surprised or disappointed, if death takes us
or our friends, to a new sphere. Life would gain
nothing by delay. Death can deprive of nothing to
be won. The perfect operation of the soul upon the
world, and of the world upon the soul, has been ac-
complished, and there would be but a disturbance of
the balanced forces, were another period added to the
I. Nothing that exists is left to chance for the dura-
tion of its life, or for the length of any }}er'iod of its
life. As one has said, all periods of this descrijDtion
belong to the certainties of nature, but also, at the
same time, to the mysteries of Providence.
This is not Fate. It is God's wonderful adaptation
of all beings and all things to His own purpose ; it is
Omnipotence controlling circumstances after His own
wise choice. Not a sparrow falleth to the ground
without His preordaining power. No human being
sinks into the grave, without His sovereign decree.
All lives, therefore, however shortened or prolonged,
come into harmony with the secret proportions of a
heavenly scale, by virtue of connection wdth the hid-
den movements of the purposes of God.
How to obtain a knowledge of this fixed duration
of our mortal life, we know not. Much relating to
this subject seems precarious, and even in opposition
to the theory of distinct and perfect miity in every
period of life ; but " mysterious indeed, and uncertain,
as regards our knowledge, it is fixed and rigorous cer-
tain in the secret counsels of Jehovah."
Death comes to one before the years begin to fill.
The flush young hope, just springing into joyous exer-
cise, is thrust down into darkness of the grave. Like
buds before they open, before their fragrance is ex-
haled upon a single breeze, Hves are snapped off and
wither into dust. Those who promise best, often go
The man who holds the most important threads of
other lives — from whom go out in every direction in-
visible threads, connecting comitless agencies, to his
one toiling hand or working brain — seems sometimes
sought for first by the destroyer; and the threads
loosened from his grasp can not apparently be gathered
up by any other. No clue remains, by which another
mind can follow out his subtle trains of thought, or
finish the important measures he has undertaken ; and
yet he is cut oil ! The fingers that were tightened on
the world, its interests, its prospects and its welfare,
are relaxed forever ; and that separate life, on which
so many others seemed to hang, is gone ! Yet for all
that, God to be true unto Himself, must have im-
planted in that life the secret of its independent
duration ; and God must also have made its period
commensurate with all the parts which it was fitted
and intended to sustain in the great scheme of univer-
sal life. For since Jehovah can not set the bounds of
man's probationary existence from caprice, these bounds
must be determined in a way to make each mortal
period an organic whole; complete as such, within
itself, and in its relations to all other modes of being.
II. But secondly, we do not modify this general as-
sertion, as we find introduced into the Christian's
earthly stage, elements which make it, in a far higher
sense, a finished whole.
Whether the true Christian lives a single hour or
a hundred years after his conversion, his life fills out
its perfect cycle in the truest of all senses. The child
of scarce unfolded piety, and the veteran Christian,
alike yield up to God in death a mortality mysteri-
ously compact; the work both had to do on earth
being as completely done, as if each had been assigned
the longest period known to man.
For each regenerated life represents the same essen-
tial principle ; each displays the same work of God's
spirit; each contains the germ of holiness, the seeds
of everlasting life, which can in any case be brought
to perfect fruit only by translation to the higher
sphere. There must be in God's mind some fixed ^ro-
portion between the influence which a Christian soul
shall have on earth and the duration of its earthly life.
But even this is not apportioned according to our
knowledge ; for we do not know but that some child
may leave a power for good behind it on the earth,
which will outvie the works of the most aged Christian.
God's measuring out of life unto his chosen, rests on
the ground of a most comprehensive plan, in which
each separate existence has a whole, distinct and per-
feet place; the length of its duration not necessarily
determining its relative importance in the infinitely
varied plan. We know that some long lives seem less
productive than some briefer ones. Then why may
not the very briefest, in God's hand, be of the highest
value? But setting aside what it accomplishes, and
without regard to the length of its duration, we know
each Christian's life is always a completed life, in the
only sense that it can be finished in this probationary
state ; because in it has taken place that reconciliation
of corrupt humanity with God, and that regeneration
or renewal of the nature, for which alone existence
has been given to man since Adam fell.
Not that the process of a perfect sanctification is
effected ; it never is, in any soul upon the earth. It
is not in accordance with our observation, that a soul
shall be perfected in this sense upon the earth ; and it
is a secondary matter whether more or less achieve-
ment lingers after a man, and bears his name ; but in
this haTTiimiy, now instituted between his free-acting
soul and God, there is virtually accomplished the one
thing, for which Jehovah has allowed our race to live.
The probationary stage of any one, in whom this
act of reconciliation has not been accomplished, is in
this higher sense unfinished, since the design of a
probation lias not been met in his career ; but if we
are saved by Faith in Christ alone, then, from the
moment of our reconciliation, the perfected act of
a change of heart is accomplished, and the soul made
ready for the new career above.
This is the oiily completed process through which
the soul can pass on earth. Intellectual perfec-
tion certainly is not found here ; and we have seen
already, that although sanctification is commenced in
this life after the soul's conversion, yet it is never
ended ; for however great a soul's attainments, it must
meet at death perfecting agencies, before it can be
ushered into heavenly purity and bliss.
III. Yet thirdly, there is a sense in which some
Christian lives seem providentially more complete than
others ; when, for example, circumstances give sym-
metry to the outward expression of the inward change ;
or when, in its development, the Christian character
aj)pears in large degree complete.
Christ, the Captain of our Salvation, is said to have
been " made perfect through sufiering ;" as if his life
gained outward unity by the trials it passed through.
And, in like manner, Paul sjoeaks of giving up his
lif ;, if by this means his course could be made the
In some lives, then, there are more perfect indica-
tions of the completed inward act; and in this sense
one life may seem to us more finished than another,
in the righteousness of Christ. As a man exhibits
more or less of finish in his conduct — in his actual
renunciation of the world, and in his willingness to
count all things but loss for God and duty — so must
we look on him with more or less assurance, that there
is in him the perfect work of God's regenerating grace.
Paul's affirmation, and the way he acted on it, leave
no doubt that his course was a finished one.
We must then, in all cases look to the record which
a Christian leaves behind him, if in the higher sense,
we are to judge his earthly life a finished whole. If,
in his course on earth, these evidences appear, then
whether long or short his life ; cut ofi" before maturity
of years, or after a long life of service, we have no
right to say he came to an untimely end.
God's time in taking every Christian home, is the
full harvest time in that soul's earthly course. As
the sickle to a shock of corn in ripeness^ so does death
come to Christians, whether young or old, whose lives
are given to God.
Nor need we question probabilities with shrewd
analysis, when we would be assured that a departed
spirit has finished in this higher sense its probationary
course; for the Christian of perfected earthly life,
however he may doiiljt his own acceptance, seldom
leaves a doubtful record with the friends who weep
The light of one, in whom a pure and undefded
religion is implanted, is seldom hidden from the world.
The humblest of all Christians can not keep the
world from seeing his humility; and even where the
spark of Christian faith is dim, if it be there at all,
the world's sharp eye will catch its gleam. So intri-
cate are human friendship and associations; and so
surely does each man touch other men, in all the real
I and vital quahties of being, that seldom is a Christian
Just as high nobleness of character will show itself,
in spite of that reserve by which true greatness loves
to cover up its deeds, so will affinity for God and truth
give an inevitable attestation to its own existence.
Where friends are doubtful in the matter, although
their affection takes the benefit of the doubt, and still
hopes on, the probability is, that the higher work of
life was left undone.
But setting these comparisons aside, how glad a
thino; it is to turn to such a record as is now before
US, whereon God's providential hand has written the
assurance of a Hfe complete in all the parts relating
to this earthly stage. How it brings smiles of hope,
through tears of grief, to speak of a departed soul
whose earthly life is finished in the Lord, and of
whose preparation for a higher sphere abundant proofs
remain ! Not that we look for, or hope to find per-
fection of desires or deeds in any mortal life. Not
that the memory detects no blemish, or that loving
eulogy finds nothing it would fain conceal. Surely
every man might do more, suffer more for Christ, than
any one has ever done or suffered ! but justly recog-
nizing all defects ; without attempting to delineate a
perfect character, such record puts at least true marks
of Heaven upon the soul, and bears it upward in
triumphal joy to God. For in all qualities that mark
the Christian — in the strong traits by which God's
grace makes evident the beginning of the sanctifying
process — such a record is complete.
The man, the Ghristimi, the friend of Jesus stands
before us, as we view his life ; his manhood and his
faith prevailing in the picture, over all the imperfec-
tions that would bring him to the level of unchristian
men. And seldom do we turn, my friends, to a more
sure and satisfactory record of a finished earthly
course than that to which the sad events of the last
month direct our thoughts.
As you have Hstened to this sermon, I am sure that
none of you have failed to trace an illustration of its
truth, in the career of one whose long continued ab-
sence, and whose recent death, create such tearful
interest to-day, in every word or thought concerning
In the prime of manhood, God has taken him
away. With many earthly hopes yet unfulfilled — a
thousand manly aspirations all unmet — just as the
promise of his early culture ripens towards its fruit —
before life gives its best rewards — he dies! But who
will say that life in him, in any sense, was incom-
plete ? Who will say that death has broken from
the stem, a life whose summer time had not yet come?
This church, which owes much of its strength and
its success, to him whose name alone is left to it,
may seem all incomplete without him. We, his asso-
ciates and friends, among whom he appeared pre-
eminent for genial goodness, strength of judgment,
and simplicity of character, may be obliged to leave
unfinished, his share in the work which Ave together
had assumed. The sabbath school — his pride and
care — that class which he took with liim to the war.
may never find a substitute for the place he occupied.
And in the private circle of his dearest friends, the
years he would have filled with happiness for them,
may seem all incomplete and vacant ; even as to all
whose lives and interests his peculiar qualities seemed
to sup2:)ly that which he only could sujDply, his career
may seem but the fragment of an earthly course.
And why God called this useful servant home so
soon, why all this ripening power for good should be
so soon dissolved in death, we can not tell ; but this
one thing we know, in him, when God's eye searched,
it found the full condition of a finished mortal
The earthly dates that limit his career between the
times of Ijirth and death, are not God's boundaries,
and the meanness of our human computations, God
makes manifest, in giving a far grander finish than
that of years or circumstances, to his life.
For although on all life's ordinary relationships his
memory sheds a fragrant beauty, yet our thoughts
invest him with fixr richer usefulness, and his name
will have far greater eloquence for good, because Reli-
gion lent her lustre to the fair graces which adorned
his life. That his life was rich in things that win
the hearts of friends and touch the finer springs of
feeling, none who witness the universal lamentation at
his death can doubt.
The touching reminiscences preserved of him at
home ; the lonesome feeling there without him ; to-
gether with the last word on his dying lips (his bro-
ther's name), tell well enough of him as son and
brother. While for that trying relationship, existing
so seldom in perfection between a young church mem-
ber and his careless friends, let those to whom his
presence was an admonition, and at the same time a
delight, bear witness. Let the power of his life and
death on them, attest his genial, unobtrusive but con-
sistent character as a friend.
So too, the record of his business life, for thorough-
ness, fairness and ability, may challenge scrutiny.
This, the resolutions published by his associates of the
Bar, full well attest. And let our own church records
show the value of his professional advice. Let this
goodly edifice in which to-night we worship, speak, not
only from the accuracy of all its financial formula;, of
his legal skill, but also from its chaste adornments, of
his care and taste ; thus proving that while apt and
able in professional acquirements, he was likewise
talented and tasteful in all other branches of a liberal
But above all signs like these, who to his record as
a Christian would wish to add more signs of full-orbed
life ? who most anxious for assurance, could desire
more signs of faith, humility and sacrifice by which
the Christian's earthly state is made complete ? Not
that all possible signs appear in him ; but that enough
appear, to show that by God's grace the germ of true
Christianity was in his soul, who that has heard him
pray, who that has watched his manly. Christian life ;
who that has heard of his pure motives in responding
to his country's call, can for a moment doubt? Are
not these outward indications of completeness, clustered
over and about his memory like flowers that tell of a
prolific soil ? And were all other indications wanting,
would not the last great witness of his life ; would not
the counting of his life a willing offering, be sufficient
testimony to the full completion of this trial-epoch of
his soul ?
His fellow soldiers send back loving messages of his
devotion to the sick and suffering in that dreary hos-
pital beneath the southern palm, thus telling us where
the seeds of his own fatal malady were sown. They
tell us how he sympathized with others in their sorrow ;
how in camp he talked and prayed with men (some
of them from his old Sabbath class), when to indite a
prayer or sing a psalm, cost something more than time
or talent.* They tell us that the " Cross at any time
in his deportment could be seen ;" so that we needed
not to hear the tidings of his death, to know assuredly
that life was not accounted dear to him, if that he
might complete his course with joy. If therefore in
addition to the Christian impulse by which he was
hurried to the field; if anything above that sense of
Christian duty, for which he gave our land his life,
were wanting to attest the fullness and completeness
of his earthly course, these last days with the sick
and the disabled — his last words, all of which were
breathed, not for himself but for another, would
announce with unmistakable authority how truly he
had counted all things loss, that he might win the
When we think of him, let not our eyes be dim
with tears — but let our hearts rejoice that God has
* A touching incident occurred to-day, in connection with this
class. A pupil who had volunteered for two years in another regi-
ment, being at home on a short furlough, entered the school and
asked the Superintendent for his former teacher, not knowing that
the class had all enlisted, and that their teacher was no more.
What could more forcibly illustrate our beloved brother's influence
and power as a faithful teacher in the Sabbath School ?
made him able, thus to finish his career with joy.
Let his memory seem to us, like some perfected crystal
formed from the agitated cooling of the ore ; each side
reflects its own peculiar lustre, while together all the
rays perfect a starlike form, whose gleams conceal all
imperfections ; and within whose heart a crystal germ
of purity waits but the master-hand to be made fit for
coronets of kings.
But yesterday our friend was like ourselves, imper-
fect, frail and liable to temptation ; upon his life the
finishing touch had not yet come. To-day, by Jesus's
handling, he is shining in perfection in the diadem of
God ! His mortal life was gladly given for this end ;
then why should we begrudge it ! Everything was
laid for this at Jesus's feet ; and why should we be
sorry for the sacrifice ! A joyous home, great hopes,
strong friendships, happy ties, — all counted loss, so
that he might end his course with joy ! These are
the signs of its completion, what can we ask for more !
Not merely do the tears of all true patriots fall
upon his tomb ; not only does a star-lit and perfected
manhood shine from heaven upon us, to inspire with
hope ; but as a spirit, leaving in its flight sure signs
of its redemption, his memory sheds a glad assurance
down. With Paul, his strength on earth through
Christ, was in the words, " I count not life dear unto
me, so that I finish my career with joy," and with the
Apostle, he has proved those words sincere ; therefore
to-day with all the ransomed hosts above, he finds
ecstatic pleasure in that Song of Songs, " The Lamb
My fellow Christians of this church, he for whose
loss these tears of mingled grief and joy are falling,
was, as you know, one of the first enrolled among our
members. He is among the first to leave this mem-
bership for the Church Triumphant in the skies. He
who greeted me so cordially, one year ago when first I
came to live among you as your pastor, will extend to
me and you no further proofs of his affection : he can
offer now no further acts of love ; but may he not still
live about us, radiant upon us from that upper sphere ?
May not his death be like a cheerful light upon our
way, revealing to us what the Christian has to suffer
and to dare, and showing us the glorious crown he
hopes to wear ? May not this early gift of life to God,
nerve us as worthily to finish our career? Assisted
by him, to look beyond him to a greater sufferer,
may we not in holy emulation, also strive to leave
behind us equal proof that Jesus will present our souls
upon His bleeding heart, before the throne? Then
shall the name of him who has departed become a
sacred memory within our souls : our loved and
honored dead will touch us from the jDast, and fill us
with an ever-present and inspiring joy! He was ours
once, in full companionship, he may be ours forever
more, in that far higher intimacy which death and
a divine communion can establish between kindred
souls. Although his worthiness makes our immediate
loss the heavier, yet for this very reason, is his gain
and ours the greater ! He has finished his career with
joy — we in that completion may find all we need ;
may find the very impulse that we lacked, for giving
up our life in true surrender unto God. Draw near
then ye that mourn and be ye comforted. We have
no cause for grief — and surely he whose requiem we
chant needs not our tears !
In that resplendent lustre of perfected Souls, the
spirits of the just made perfect seem to listen as I speak !
I seem to speak of one among them, as if he heard me
still ! His voice comes gently, like an echo from the
skies, entreating us to get our lives in readiness to
come. He tells us of the rest above ; he chants the
glory of his now perfected life !
Thus would he hush our murmurs, quiet all our
fears, and draw us sweetly to the love of Him, whose
life was freely given, that whosoever loseth life for
His sake on the earth, may find it unto everlasting
The following hymn (a favorite with Adjt, Strong,
among the songs of the Sabbath School), was sung by
request on the evening of the delivery of this dis-
Come sing to me of heaven
When I'm about to die ;
Sing songs of holy ecstasy
To waft my soul on high.
When cold and sluggish drops
Roll off my marble brow,
Break forth in songs of joyfulness,
Let heaven begin below.
When the last moments come
Oh, watch my dying face
To catch the bright seraphic glow
Which in each feature plays.
Then to my raptured ear
Let one sweet song be given ;
Let music charm me last on earth
And greet me first in heaven.
Then close my sightless eyes
And lay me down to rest,
And clasp my cold and icy hands
Upon my lifeless breast.
When round my senseless clay
Assemble those I love —
Then sing of heaven, delightful heaven,
My glorious home above.
Also the grand and appropriate hymn :
" Servant of God, well done,
Rest from thy loved employ :
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy."
The voice at midnight came;
He started up to hear ;
A mortal arrow pierced his frame,
He fell — but felt no fear.
His spirit with a bound,
Left its encumbering clay ;
His tent, at sunrise, on the ground,
A darkened ruin lay.
The pains of death are past.
Labor and sorrow cease ;
And, life's long warfare closed at last,
His soul is found in peace.
Soldier of Christ, well done !
Praise be thy new employ,
And while eternal ages run.
Rest in the Saviour's joy.
•^ I 2 ,
xN-' * r
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