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1863 January 14: The Dead of 1862

January 16, 2013

The following editorial appeared in The Prescott Journal of January 14, 1863.

The Dead of 1862.

The loyal states have lost no one man of extraordinary eminence in civil life, no conspicuous author, no famous statesman.  In the necrology of the Confederate South the single name John Tyler breaks a similar uniformity.  The South be lost, in Albert Sidney Johnston, in Ashby [Turner Ashby], Maxcy Gregg, Thomas Cobb, Zollicoffer [Felix Zollicoffer] and Twiggs [David E. Twiggs], its full proportion of commanders, most of them, like most our own, perishing by the sword which they had so hotly taken up.  But in the South as in the North, the army or civil leaders which opened the old year opens the new, and Death has interraned to save no one prominent mover from the gathering responsibility of the  formidable fifth act, to ward which it is so rapidly approaching.

Scarcely less noticeable is the pause of the Great Reaper at this work among the taller grain across the sea.  With the exception of the philosophical historian Buckle in England, and of the poet Uhland in Germany, no one man of absolutely commanding position and power has passed from the stage of European public life since January last came to us with its regrets and hopes.

Abroad and home, Death has forborne to distract our thoughts from the one huge carnival our own hands had prepared for him.  He has taken thousands of the people, and left their princes for a leisure day, when the returning reason of the race shall deny to him the fearful license in which we have bid him revel.  He gleams over the last twelvemonth, not like the lightning striking here and there a giant tree in the forest, but like a prairie fire rushing in  billows of flame far as the eye can reach; offering up the flower and hope of a mighty people in one sad and terrible holocaust of wrath.

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