Home

Swan Song of a Telegrapher.

COLONEL DAVID HOMER BATES, of New York, who was one of the first four members of the Military Telegraph Corps during the Civil War, in giving his reminiscences of the stormy days of '61, includes a pathetic little story of the death of David Strouse, first superintendent of the Military Corps. Strouse took up his labors in poor health, and the heavy and continuous work soon wrecked his system.

He worked on for five months, however, before he was finally forced to retire to his home at Mexico, Pennsylvania, on the banks of the Juniata River, where he died. Colonel Bates attended the funeral, and while at the Strouse home the mother of the dead superintendent showed him the original of the following stanzas, in Strouse's own handwriting, which were found in his portfolio:

MY BELOVED JUNIATA

Gentle river, ever flowing,
Where my early days were passed,
Like your waters I am going
Sadly to the sea at last.

To that ocean, dark and dreary,
Whence no traveler comes again;
Where the spirit, worn and weary,
Finds repose from grief and pain.

O'er the world I long have wandered;
Now a stranger I return -
Hope, and health, and manhood squandered -
Life's last lesson here to learn.

Calmly on thy bank reposing,
I am waiting for the day
Whose soft twilight, gently closing,
Bears my trembling soul away.

Home
Prev     Next
Site Map