Sturtevant, Ralph Orson
Age: 23, credited to Swanton, VTVITALS
Birth: 09/03/1838, Weybridge, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Greenwood Cemetery, St. Albans, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
It is in profound sorrow that I write these words. It seems altogether wrong that he who wrote the first words of this volume should not write the last words also. It was not to be. And so the lot has fallen to one who is by grace a member of the 13th rather than to one who marched under its honored flag and could say, "I was free born." But right or wrong, fitting or otherwise, my little wreath of immortelles which I this day bring to the memory of my soldier friend shall at least have the sweet perfume of sincerity. I have no biography to write: mere facts and figures are cold and lacking the sympathetic touch. My business is to tell you comrades of this noble regiment that when on the 28th of May. L910. Ralph O. Sturtevant breathed his last the life of a true citizen and a most loyal follower of the old flag went out. Was he not known to me? Almost a life time ago we came to Swanton together and never since that day have we been far apart. He loved his chosen home but his heart was larger than the town or state. It was not town rights, nor states right, but this great Nation that took the measure of his love. The War for the Union burned its mark into his heart beyond the power of time to erase. From the foundation of the G. A. R. his heart and soul were in it. When we met if he were absent we almost feared some calamity had kept him away. This very volume is a speaking witness to that love. To him it was not a task an> more than the care of a child is a task to a loving mother. And so in weakness and pain, he toiled on till at last, the work almost done, the pen fell from his nerveless hand. A great heart makes a true friend, and it is my privilege to give this testimony for my comrade.
He was no deserter either on the field of war or of friendship. In this poor fickle world one such friends was evinced by the throngs who came from far and near to pay honor at his bier. They did not come because he was among the great and rich and those powerful to help: they came because they could not stay away.
A good soldier. That means one whose heart is always on the side of right:- right living-good citizenship:-clean, sober lives. For these our comrade fought as he fought under the flag. So it is not strange that for many a year all workers in the field of temperance in this state, knew him well.
"The life that now is and that which is to come." They go together. We go whither our faces are set. It is this which makes it easy to conquer death. It is no longer death but a flying shadow. So we wait in hope. May 28th, 1910. May is the month when all nature puts on new life and "the exuberant burgeon seemed to mock the sere and desolate winter of our sorrow"; but it was only in the seeming, for we thought of another world where it is always Spring and where we, soldiers of '61-'65, who have come to a mellow autumn, shall put on new life forevermore. Thus hoping, thus trusting, till then, brave comrade of the 13th, Good Bye!-Good Bye!
EUGENE J. RANSLOW.
Hon. Member 13th Vt. Vols.
Ralph O. Sturtevant, a well known member of the Franklin county bar, died early Saturday morning of valvular affection of the heart. He had been in poor health for some time, but his death came as a surprise as he was about the streets the day before and took part in the pre-memorial exercises at the Methodist church, addressing, with other speakers, the school children. He complained in the evening of not feeling well, but retired as usual.
Mr. Sturtevant was born in Weybridge, September 3, 1839, was educated in the public schools and completed his education at Brigham academy, subsequently teaching school in various places. He enlisted in Co. K., 13th Vermont and took part in the battle of Gettysburg. He studied law with Judge Wilson and E.A. Sowles, in St. Albans, was admitted to the bar in 1867 and located in Swanton in 1869.
Mr. Sturtevant was a prominent Mason and Odd Fellow, well known as a Grand Army man, and active as a Good Templar. He attended the Good Templar Grand lodge of the world as a delegate from Vermont, at London, England, in 1869. He was always active in politics and at the time of his death was secretary of the first Republic district. Mr. Sturtevant has been engaged for several years preparing the history of the 13th Vermont, and the work, it is understood, is at press. He leaves a wife, who was Miss Mary Burgess of St. Albans.
Rutland Daily Herald, May 31, 1910
Courtesy of Jennifer Snoots.