Hon. William M. Hall, President Judge of this (16th) district, delivered an eloquent address in Bedford, on Decoration Day. He paid a tribute to one born in Somerset, who laid his life upon the altar of his country. O.H. Gaither was the second son of Samuel Gaither, Esq. We take pleasure in publishing the annexed extract from Judge Hall’s address:
Let me tell you an incident of the war. From among us here in this village of Bedford there went out a young lawyer, Oswald Hampton Gaither, in all the health and hope and fond aspiration of young manhood. The patriotism, the valor, the honor of the country had been appealed to by the President’s proclamation, and from the pulpit and the rostrum, to stand by the Union of our fathers. The call of duty sounded so imperatively in his ears that his conscience would not permit him to say no. He left all the happy surroundings of our beautiful village and marched forth to uphold the heroic stars and stripes of our ancestors. On one of the battle fields of Virginia he fell, pierced through the breast with a bullet. As he lay upon his hospital bed, conscious of his approaching dissolution, with no mother’s hand to wipe the death sweat from his brow, he was visited by a Presbyterian minister, who spoke to him of the approaching end. He replied, I am prepared to die so far as the consolations of religion are concerned, but oh! Sir, it is hard to die thus, on the very verge of a life that was so full of hope and promise and aspirations of usefulness and fame, but I am consoled by the thought that I perish for the good of my country, that her government and free institutions may live. In a few hours after he was in eternity. Angels leaned over the battlements of Heaven with outstretched hands to welcome to paradise the soul of that young Christian Hero.
Brendon is a history buff who loves American History, especially the American Civil War. He is also a direct descendant of William H. Wagner of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves. Member of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves Co. A (Reenacting Unit). Creator of The Blue & Gray Historian on Instagram and Facebook. He is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.