The Burial of a Tame Crow

Crow

“I had lived for years at the North, had been graduated recently at Yale, and had but just entered upon the study of law in the city of New York when the war began. Thus torn away by the inexorable demands of conscience and of loyalty to the South from a focal point of intense intellectual life and purpose, one of my keenest regrets was that I was bidding a long good-by to congenial surroundings and companionships. To my surprise and delight, around the camp-fires of the First Company, Richmond Howitzers, I found throbbing an intellectual life as high and brilliant and intense as any I had known.

“I have known the burial of a tame crow to be witnessed not only by the entire command, but by scores, perhaps hundreds, of intelligent people from a neighboring town, and to be dignified not only by salvos of artillery, but also by an English speech, a Latin oration, and a Greek ode, which would have done honor to any literary or memorial occasion at old Yale.”

— Maj. Robert Stiles in Four Years Under Marse Robert (1903)

Bob

Robert Augustus Stiles (1836-1905), Yale, Class of 1859, rose from Private to Major while serving in the Richmond Howitzers. After the war he studied law at the University of Virginia and in 1867 opened his practice in Richmond.

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