Monday, February 21, 2011

When Commodore Foote left the Benton . . .

. . . the Flag ship of his Mississippi fleet, three loud, long and ringing cheers were given by the crew. – The commodore stood up on his crutches as the De Soto moved up the broad Mississippi, and with tremulous voice said, “God bless you all!  Heaven knows how hard it is for me to leave you!  Better and braver men than you never trod a deck.  I would much rather stay with you than go away.  But my duty to my country compels me to yield to stronger, though I hope not more willing hands.  God bless you all!”  As he looked at the Benton, perhaps for the last time, and saw the many familiar faces that fixed their kind eyes upon him so earnestly, his trembling had frequently sought is quivering lip, and nervously twitched his whiskers.  One could see his efforts to suppress his feelings, but nature prevailed, and the brave officer covered his wan face with a fan he held to dissipate the heat of the afternoon, and wept like a child.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington Iowa, Saturday, May 24, 1862, p. 3

No comments: