ADDRESS OF MR. BRIGGS, OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
FEBRUARY 8, 1881.
Mr. SPEAKER: I desire to submit the following resolutions.
The SPEAKER. The resolutions will be read.
The Clerk read as follows:
Resolved, That this House has heard with profound sorrow the announcement of the death of Hon. EVARTS W. FARR, late a Representative from the State of New Hampshire.
Resolved, That in token of regard for the memory of the lamented deceased the members of this House do wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
Resolved, That the Clerk of this House do communicate these resolutions to the Senate of th~ United States.
Resolved; That as a further mark of respect to the memory of the deceased this House now adjourn.
Mr. BRIGGS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to perform the melancholy duty of announcing to this House the death of my colleague, EVARTS W. FARR, which occurred at his home in Littleton on the 3oth of November last. It was my sad privilege to be with him when he passed away. He died as he had lived, with the heroism of a noble manhood born of hope and faith.
It is no vain tribute of respect New Hampshire would fain pay to her noble and gallant son. As a member of this House, I submit he was universally respected both by political friends and foes. But it is not merely an excellent Representative at the National Capitol that New Hampshire mourns in the death of Major FARR. Among those who pressed eagerly to the front when an imperiled nation called her sons to her rescue, this man was the pride of our State, and under the flag with which we draped that hearse at Littleton he earned the imperishable gratitude of our people.
EVARTS W. FARR was born at Littleton on the 10th of October, 1840. He belonged to one of the best families of our State. His father, an honored member of the legal profession, survives him. Mr. FARR was one of eight children, and his early advantages were those of the typical New England country lad. He pursued his academic course at Thetford, Vermont, where he was graduated with honors, and went thence to college. Frank, earnest, and intelligent, the character of the boy gave true promise of the man. What might have been his fortune had he been permitted quietly to pursue his studies, we cannot tell. Destiny had assigned him a part in a stupendous drama, which was to startle Christendom. In that drama he performed his part gloriously and well; and like many other young Americans of that eventful period, he leaped to distinction before he had reached the age of manhood.
At the breaking out of the war young FARR was a member of Dartmouth College. With characteristic decision, he turned his back upon college and his face to the field. He was the first man to enter the service from the town of Littleton, from which he enlisted in the First New Hampshire Volunteers. He served continuously from April 20, 1861, to June 4, 1865.
Soon after he entered the service he joined the New Hampshire Second; was appointed a lieutenant June 4, i86i; he was promoted to the rank of captain January 1, 1862, and while in command of company G lost his right arm at the battle of Williamsburgh, Virginia, May 5, 1862. His regiment, one of the most gallant and distinguished in the service, was then one of the four constituting General Hooker's original brigade.
As soon as his wound permitted he returned to the field, and September 9, 1862. was promoted to rank of major in the New Hampshire Eleventh. After fighting with distinguished gallantry at Fredericksburgh, Major FARR went with his regiment to the West, and participated in the siege and capture of Vicksburgh. After the capture he went South with General Sherman to attack General Johnston at Jackson, Mississippi, and during the remainder of the war served on court-martial duty, most of the time as judge-advocate.
Unquestionably his employment on court-martial duty during all the latter part of the war alone prevented his high promotion in the line. As it was, his career as a soldier was an exceptionally brilliant and successful one. In many of the severest engagements of the war he won golden laurels. In the action at Fredericksburgh it was my fortune to be near him, and no veteran of a hundred battles could have shown a statelier, loftier heroism. There was a touch of chivalry in his nature, and he was then of the age when this spirit is at high tide. His patriotism was not lost in the, effervescent spirit of the cavalier; he had devotion as well as courage. Nor was his courage of that lower order, derived from excitement. It had nothing to do with rashness nor frenzy. He was cool, patient, and determined. It was the courage of Ney rather than that of Murat, In the fiercest and most disheartening fight he was never known to lose his self-command. This, with his quick decision and soldierly intuition, combined to make him a man of wonderful resources. In action or in any grave and responsible situation he never was “at his wit's end.”
Another trait of a great soldier was his fortitude, his power of endurance. “No pain,” writes an officer who was long and most intimate with him, “no pain that he suffered could bring a moan, no toil he encountered could dismay him, the longest and hardest march we ever made could not bring a word of complaint from his lips."
In the fight between Hooker's and Longstreet's divisions at Williamsburgh, FARR'S coolness and endurance came out in full flower. The fight was close, hot, and prolonged to the verge of human endurance. It rained hard, and the sufferings of the-men were terrible, FARR seemed imbued with the spirit of a multitude. He demeaned himself through that weary, bloody day in a manner never to he forgotten by those to whom it was known. His valor was equaled only by his equanimity. Only breaking ranks, only the signs of yielding, could provoke his impatience. Just at the close of that terrible day he received the shot which made his empty sleeve thenceforth his badge of honor - - -
What a tell-tale thing is an empty sleeve.
It tells in a silent tone to all,
Of a country's need, and a country's call,
Of a kiss and a tear for child and wife,
And a hurried march for a nation's life:
It tells of a battle-field of gore,
Of the saber's clash, of the cannon's roar,
Of the deadly charge, of the bugle's note,
Of a gurgling sound in a freeman's throat,
Of the whizzing grape, of the fiery shell,
Of a scene which mimics the scenes of hell;
Though it points to a myriad wounds and scars,
Yet it tells that a flag of stripes and Stars,
In God's own chosen time will take,
Each place of the rag with the rattle-snake;
And it points to a time when that flag will wave,
O'er a land where there breathes no cowering slave.
Till this very hour, who could ere believe,
What a tell-tale thing is an empty sleeve,
What a weird, queer thing, is an empty sleeve.
His tastes were essentially military, and he brought to his duties in the field that energy. and fixedness of purpose which characterized the man in all he undertook, 'He mastered-the science of the camp and field in an incredibly short time,' and, young as he was, became a recognized authority therein. He was a strict disciplinarian, thorough and exact in all his duties, and requiring the same of others. But he was full of considerate kindness to his men, to whom he endeared himself as the 'friend of all, Prompt, brave, and responsible, he was ever at the post of duty; and in those evil days there marched not under the flag a hero of more dauntless courage, a devotee of more unfaltering faith than EVARTS W. FARR.
At the close of the war he embraced the profession of the law and at once became one of the most promising members of the New Hampshire bar. An ardent and stirring Republican, he also came early to the front in the politics of our State. He held, successively, the positions of assistant assessor and assessor of his internal-revenue district, solicitor of Grafton County, and a member of the governor's council. To the latter position he was handsomely elected in a district which had always been strongly Democratic; and in this, as later, in his two Congressional canvasses, his popularity was abundantly demonstrated. He did credit to every place he held, and his election to the Forty-sixth, and his re-election to the Forty-seventh Congress, were only in the natural course of his ascendant fortune. Of his career in this House, so sadly and so early closed, I will not speak. That I leave to others. His record is familiar to you all. Is it not one of promise?
His memory long will live, alone
In all our hearts, as mournful light
That broods above the fallen sun,
And dwells in heaven half the night.
Of the character of the deceased I propose to offer few words other than those I have already spoken. His was an open, generous, sanguine, earnest nature-such an one as “he who runs may read.” Were I fully to express my own admiration for the man, I should be suspected of intemperate speech. My acquaintance with him began in the Army, where we were comrades together, and from that time our- friendship was fast. He was instinct with generous and kindly impulses which endeared him to his friends and bound them to him in bonds of the strongest affection. Naturally in such a character there was that which inspired his foes with respect, and however he might dislike, no man could despise EVARTS W. FARE.
Like all of us, the man had his faults; yet he had no prominent defects, and I never knew a man whose faults counted for less as against the general strength and purity of his character. I have had much to say of his earnestness, for this I conceive was the leading factor of his strength. He was ready to take up any duty that lay before him, and to attack it with firm and sincere purpose. He followed a purpose with his whole soul and did nothing by halves. This element of his character, together with his versatility, implied large possibilities. He was a young man, and with length of days must have accomplished that of which all that he had done was but a hint. On the whole, his character was solid, well rounded, and symmetrical; without grotesque or brilliant eccentricities, he was a very positive force.
The immediate cause of his death was a sudden and violent attack of typhoid pneumonia. Overwork had induced extreme debility, and his system had little power of resistance. His general health had been blighted in the Army, and his empty sleeve was not the only sad remembrance, not the only legacy of woe that he brought back from southern fields. A post-mortem examination disclosed the presence of chronic disease, which, at best, must ere long have
In his domestic relations he commanded the strongest affection. We will not lift the veil from that circle of crushed hearts.- There is that which should be respected. There is a supreme sorrow, as one day-
There was dole in Astolat.
Major FARR was a great favorite in our State, and his name will be set among those whom New Hampshire delighted to honor. He was a most gallant soldier, a promising young statesman, and a noble, sincere man. We bespeak your respect for his memory as something we shall proudly and gratefully cherish.